CBD for Sleep

Thinking about using CBD for sleep but not sure how it works? Here we explain how CBD products can help you sleep.

Struggling to sleep? You’re not alone. A recent report revealed that 1 in 7 Brits are battling through the day on what is considered to be ‘dangerously low levels’ of sleep every night. That’s under 5 hours. 

For some, it might be motherhood that deprives you of sleep or the habit of nightly wakings that you just can’t shake now you’re past the early years. Maybe it’s stress that keeps you up at night, or even Covid, which 26% of adults say negatively impacts their sleep. Or perhaps you’re one of the 1 in 3 people who suffer from insomnia - struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep.

There are many reasons why you might be having a hard time with sleep, some of which could be remedied which black-out curtains, no screens before bed, or deep breathing and meditation. But if you’re looking for another solution, CBD might be for you.

According to a study, exploring why people choose to use CBD oil, 42.5% of CBD consumers use this product to combat sleep problems. 

Anecdotally, many swear by CBD oil to help them get proper, restorative rest. But what does the science say?

CBD for Sleep: Sleep & Serotonin 

You’ll almost certainly be familiar with serotonin, but you might know it best as a mood-lifting chemical in the body. This is very true, serotonin is uplifting, but did you know it also plays a vital role in many bodily processes, from bone density and sexual function, to sleep?

Serotonin is in fact essential for getting to sleep and staying asleep, as without appropriate levels of serotonin the body can’t create melatonin - a hormone produced by the pineal gland which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

How does this relate to CBD oil? Well, the CBD molecule alone (which is just one of over 140 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but of course the main active component in CBD oil) has over 65 molecular targets in the body, which is why its effects can be so widespread. One of those targets is serotonin receptors. 

When CBD oil is ingested, it activates serotonin receptors - an action which produces a release of serotonin into the body.

Sleep & The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a vast, complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters (called endocannabinoids) in the body, which regulates all processes. So it should come as no surprise that the way CBD supports this system, by increasing the production and release of endocannabinoids, has an impact on sleep. 

Although most studies looking at the ECs and sleep have been more to do with THC, the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis which can only be accessed in the UK with a prescription, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD also has an effect via the endocannabinoid system.

One key way is via the endocannabinoids, Anandamide (the ‘bliss molecule’) and 2-AG. CBD inhibits the enzyme which ordinarily breaks these down, resulting in higher levels of these lovely chemicals travelling around your body.

As we all know, stress will stop you from sleeping well. And the less you sleep, the more stressed you feel - perhaps partly as a result of depleted endocannabinoids, which can occur as a result of sleep deprivation. It’s a vicious cycle! But one you might be able to stop with CBD oil.

Anandamide works rather than a gatekeeper for stress in the brain. When there’s not enough, the stress response kicks into gear hard and fast, even when you’re faced with a minor issue. When Anandamide is present at higher levels, it keeps this stress cascade under control, preventing the stress cycle from happening unless absolutely necessary.

If CBD oil is used regularly and consistently, the body has a chance to accumulate higher levels of endocannabinoids, which may in turn result in better sleep.

Using CBD for pain: When pain stops you sleeping…

Another common cause of sleep problems is pain. While, again, most pain-related conditions would be treated in a cannabis clinic with higher levels of THC, there are studies to show that CBD can be effective on certain types of pain. Particularly inflammatory pain conditions, such as arthritis. 

Transdermal CBD products (such as balms, gels and patches) have been demonstrated to be quite effective. One mouse model study revealed that a low dose of CBD delivered via a patch (on a knee-joint swelling) provided better absorption than oral administration. Another study revealed that transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane.

According to arthritis.org, as many as 80% of people with arthritis have trouble sleeping. If you’re one of these individuals, it might be worth giving CBD a go!

If you’d like to learn more about ways to bring CBD into your life, take a look at our blog. Ready to begin your CBD journey? Head to the Lady A store…