CBD, Health and Wellness

How to use CBD for Insomnia?

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The Cannabis plant has been cultivated and used for its medicinal and industrial benefits dating back to ancient times. The Cannabis plant comprises more than 80 different chemicals compounds known as cannabinoids. 

The most abundant cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is well known for its psychoactive properties. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant and is non-psychoactive. That is, it does not cause intoxicating effects.

Can CBD help with Insomnia?

Some evidence advocates that using CBD may help with sleep-related issues. In this article, we explore how CBD can help in managing insomnia.

Types of CBD

Before using CBD for insomnia, we should know the basic difference between the three main types of CBD extracts.

Full Spectrum

Full Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant including THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ9-THC). They may also contain proteins, fiber, chlorophyll, and fatty acids.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD contains most cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant but doesn’t contain THC. 

Isolate

An isolate extract contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids.

Which CBD extract is better?

Broad and full spectrum extracts are less processed. Therefore, they give more health benefits as opposed to pure isolates or distillate products. They also retain cannabis’s volatile organic compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids which have medicinal benefits of their own. 

How to use CBD for Insomnia?

Different CBD products are currently available in the market in a variety of forms. Some forms of CBD are more bioavailable than others which means that the body absorbs them more readily.

Edibles

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A lot of edibles CBD options are available in the form of gummies, capsules, truffles, and even mints. However, research shows that consuming CBD in edible form has a “first pass effect”. CBD is, first, partially broken down by the digestive tract and liver. And then it enters the bloodstream. CBD edibles can take up to  3 hours to have an effect and the body absorbs only 20-30% of it.

Therefore, given CBD’s low bioavailability in edible form, we may need a comparatively large dosage to achieve the same effects as CBD oil. 

CBD oil, Tincture, and other Sublingual Products 

Most people prefer CBD sublingual products like CBD oils and tinctures due to their cost effectiveness, long-lasting, and quick effects. CBD oil is made by infusing cannabis in a carrier oil. A tincture is soaked in alcohol and water.

Types
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These products are designed to diffuse into the blood through tissues and glands under the tongue. Oils and tinctures, when taken sublingually, do not pass through the digestive tract. Hence, the sublingual route preserves more CBD, takes faster effect, and gives quicker results. 

Smoking and Vaping

Smoking and Vaping diffuse CBD directly into the bloodstream so effects are rapid compared to other methods. It has been scientifically testified that using this technique, the human body absorbs anywhere between 36-56% of CBD in under ten minutes.

Although rapid in action, this method is not the safest course of action. CBD vape cartridges are made with thinning agents like propylene glycol and fractionated coconut oil. These may cause damage to lung tissues and other adverse health effects. Also, vaping is illegal in India so we constantly encourage users to adopt alternative methods.

How does CBD work help with Insomnia?

CBD helps in stimulating the Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS) in our body in order to maintain natural homeostasis. The ECS system is responsible for sustaining numerous physiological processes including the sleep cycle. CBD also influences the ECS by decreasing the breakdown of anandamide (an endocannabinoid that helps in sleep).

Evidence also suggests that activation of CB1 receptors encourages sleep by increasing the adenosine and serotonin (calming neurotransmitters) levels in the brain.

Research So Far

Unlike prescription sleeping pills, which can become addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms and other serious side effects, CBD is a fairly safe, natural option. 

Various clinic studies and researches advocate that CBD helps in improving secondary insomnia (insomnia caused due to other underlying medical issues). For example, CBD aids in reducing anxiety which is a common cause of insomnia. A similar study has reported relief in insomnia caused due to chronic pain, PTSD, and seizures. 

Some researches also believe that CBD might help in lessening alcohol and nicotine addiction leading to difficulty in sleeping. 

How much CBD should I take for a good night’s sleep? 

CBD does not have an official daily recommended dose for insomnia. The appropriate dose varies from person to person owing to various factors. These include body weight, symptoms, the severity of the condition, genetics, and the type of product you’re using. 

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Clinical trials done on CBD and insomnia had given anywhere between 25mg-1500mg of CBD per day to people. Therefore, the safest way is to strat with a low dosage (10-20mg of CBD). This can be increased gradually until you find a suitable dose that works for you.

The Bottomline

Many scientific studies encourage the use of CBD for insomnia as alternative medicine. Though we still need more in-depth, high-quality clinical investigations to fully assess its effectiveness. CBD works differently for everyone. We advise that you try a couple of delivery systems before settling on one.

ItsHemp also strongly recommends consulting a physician before taking CBD, especially if you’re currently on any prescription medicine

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