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It’s a well-established and widely accepted fact that a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things for human health and healthy living. Unfortunately, and especially in this day and age, too many people use prescription sleeping pills to get to sleep. But natural alternative solutions like CBD could make addictive drugs a thing of the past.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, the main non-psychoactive component in cannabis and hemp. CBD has been dubbed as “the miracle plant compound” and is used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, pain from inflammation, and sleeping issues like insomnia. So why are so many people still addicted to popular sleeping medications at alarmingly increasing rates? When the average person tells their doctor they’re having trouble sleeping, the first port of call is sleeping pills.
There’s little debate when it comes to the efficacy of such medications as they do work but at what price? Sleeping medications are highly addictive, dependency forming and toxic and often come with side effects. That could explain the increasingly popular trend of insomniacs turning to natural remedies like CBD in favor of prescription medications.
CBD works in a unique way with something called the endocannabinoid system. This system, which is present in all humans, regulates a number of daily functions, such as memory, mood, appetite, and sleep. While clinical studies on CBD are thin on the ground due to decades of cannabis and hemp prohibition, much research carried out to date has shown the compound to be useful for reducing pain from arthritis, shrinking cancerous tumors and ensuring a person gets to sleep and stays asleep.
CBD also shows promise when it comes to treating more severe conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, although more research is needed into this. However, when it comes to sleep, CBD is used successfully by thousands of people from around the world and from different walks of life. Some research on CBD has shown that it can work to increase the amount of sleep a person gets as well as by reducing insomnia.
Author and CBD expert Gretchen Lidicker said, according to a Huffington Post report, “These studies mainly point to CBD’s ability to interact with serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain,” she said. “Serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes relaxation. GABA receptors are the target of benzodiazepines, which are a class of anti-anxiety drugs.”
Lidicker spoke, according to the same report, about the advantage of using CBD over other natural supplements like melatonin. She noted that while melatonin essentially signals to the body when it’s time to get to sleep, “CBD appears to help with sleep because of its anti-anxiety properties and ability to promote relaxation.” So while melatonin supplements can help some people, they are little use to those who can’t sleep due to anxiety and invasive thoughts. Although as she also mentioned, “Interpersonal variation is a common theme with cannabis-derived therapies because the way you react to cannabis is highly individualized.”
This makes standardizing CBD dosage for patients tricky as the distribution of cannabinoid receptors in each person’s body is different. There are also a variety of different delivery methods for CBD including CBD edibles, oil drops, and vape pens. While some people prefer taking their CBD in an oil tincture under the tongue before bed, others prefer vaping CBD vape juice. The main difference between the two is that when you ingest CBD it takes a couple of hours for the active compound to work. This is due to the long and arduous journey it needs to take through the stomach before it enters the bloodstream. When CBD is taken in vape form, it enters the bloodstream via the lungs and therefore takes effect potently and instantaneously.