Anyone who has suffered from insomnia knows how debilitating it can be: sleepless nights can lead to groggy, unproductive days and even contribute to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Many insomniacs would be willing to try just about anything to get their condition under control, however they often discover that the prescription medications they try come with unpleasant side effects that are far worse than the condition they are supposed to treat. By the same token, over-the-counter sleep aids are uncertain at best; you may just end up wasting your hard-earned money on them, while getting no closer to a good night’s rest.
One method of dealing with insomnia that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years is cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Popularity, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into efficacy. Is CBD good for insomnia, or is it simply a case of media hype? Read on to find out.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of two active compounds derived from the cannabis plant. The other compound, THC, is best known as the active ingredient in marijuana. And while THC is psychoactive, CBD’s effects on the body and mind are much more subtle. It doesn’t create a feeling of being “high” or “stoned,” instead acting on the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to achieve a variety of effects.
While the hemp plant has been utilized for its beneficial effects upon the human body for centuries, the extreme popularity of cannabis-derived CBD oil is a comparatively much more recent phenomenon. For this reason, the science behind its effects are still not fully understood. However, users report a wide array of benefits, primarily related to the compound’s effects upon inflammation in the body. CBD has been claimed to help with many common health problems, including arthritis, nausea, seizures, acne, anxiety, depression, and, of course, insomnia.
Can CBD Help With Sleeplessness?
It’s difficult, of course, to find any single treatment for insomnia, because there is no single cause of insomnia. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance, or it can be caused by life stresses, physical illnesses, poor habits, or simply an environment that is not conducive to a restful night. It’s important, when looking to treat insomnia, to try to discover the root cause first.
Before attempting to treat insomnia with any sort of medicine, you should first make an effort to improve your sleeping habits and remove any factors that may be interfering with your ability to rest at night. For example, it’s wise to cut out caffeine in the hours before bedtime; alcohol has a similar deleterious effect on your body’s ability to sleep. Napping too much throughout the day can also throw off your internal clock, leaving you awake all night. A lack of activity can also contribute to insomnia; daily exercise also has a pronounced benefit on a person’s ability to sleep at night.
Once you’ve eliminated the first and most obvious factors that may contribute to your insomnia, you must try to discover if the problem is a more insidious one. Do you suffer from chronic pain that is keeping you up at night? Or is the problem related to stress and anxiety? In either case, it’s possible that CBD may be able to help.
Many CBD users report that the compound helps them relax, even during times of great stress and anxiety. Similarly, many users report that the compound works wonders for easing chronic pain, especially when it is caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Removing the causes of sleeplessness can, unsurprisingly, go a long way towards improving a person’s ability to enjoy a good night’s rest.
As mentioned above, exercise is another major contributor to a good night’s sleep. CBD has been utilized to assist athletes in their recovery, potentially helping you get that much needed daily exercise.
Finding The Right CBD Product
If you wish to attempt to use a CBD product for insomnia, the first step lies in finding the right product. Because CBD is relatively new on the scene, it remains poorly regulated; as a result, it’s important to do your research before making any purchases. Look for a company that thoroughly tests all of their products in a laboratory. They should be able to certify that each of their products is safe and free from harmful impurities.
CBD products should also be cold-pressed; this means that the cannabidiol compound should be extracted from the hemp plant without the use of heat. This is because heat is known to destroy beneficial compounds, leading to a less effective product. Whenever possible, you should also attempt to get a hold of an organic product. Organic products are grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which renders them safer for your consumption.
Once you have found a product that matches all of these factors, continue your research by studying user reviews. Have people been satisfied by this product? Do they find it to be worth the money they spent on it? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have found a product that is worth trying yourself.
Working CBD Into Your Daily Routine
Once you have found a product you’d like to try, it’s time to start slowly working it into your daily routine. There is no recommended dose of CBD, so you’ll have to experiment a bit to find the right amount that works for you. Fortunately, it’s not possible to overdose on CBD. Nevertheless, it’s always best to start with a smaller amount. Begin with a drop or two before bed, and stick with that amount for a few days until you get some idea if the product is affecting you or not. You may decide you need more of the compound, in which case, you can increase the dosage by around a drop a day. Eventually, you will discover the amount of product that works for you.
Your needs regarding CBD may change over time as well; you may need to increase or decrease the dosage as you develop more of a tolerance or your condition improves. Don’t be afraid to experiment as necessary to keep seeking a good night’s sleep.