The positive medical benefits associated with marijuana, and more specifically cannabidiol (CBD), are becoming more widely accepted every day. As a Colorado resident for nearly 20 years, this idea is nothing new to me so I decided to give CBD oil a try. I expected CBD would help with pain and soreness but what I didn’t expect was how much it would improve my relaxation and sleep quality overall.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a type of chemical compound, found in both the hemp and marijuana plants, so it is a natural remedy. While there are hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis, THC and CBD are the most commonly known for providing medical benefits such as pain relief, decreasing the loss of appetite, and stress relief. CBD has also been credited by recent scientific studies for holding value when it comes to treating epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
What Kind of CBD Products Are Available?
CBD can be found in a wide variety of forms which include but are not limited to topical lotion and salve, spray, pills or capsules, powder, edibles, vapor, tinctures, transdermal patches, and oil. However, it is most commonly found in oil form because it is easy to ingest and use in a variety of topical applications. Your location of residence will largely determine which forms are available and how easy they are to acquire.
What Makes CBD Different?
Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so it will not make you feel high or inebriated in any way. Established regulations require that “pure” CBD oil contain no more than .03% of THC which is not enough to affect your functionality.
Cannabinoids, including CBD, actively bind to receptors in your central nervous system and interact with proteins and cells in your brain to send chemical messages. The main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, exist within your brain and central nervous system’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is known for playing a role in maintaining specific bodily functions such as sleep including your circadian rhythm, mood, and appetite.
CBD Research and Sleep
Research explaining exactly how and why CBD works so well when it comes to improving sleep is still inconclusive. It is believed that CBD interacts with receptors in your body that directly affect your sleep-wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm. Regardless of how it works exactly, some research has been conducted specifically on how CBD affects sleep and the results thus far have been widely positive.
Aside from regulating your sleep-wake cycle, CBD can also be beneficial when it comes to reducing pain and anxiety, both of which are known for preventing good, restful sleep. Reducing the negative symptoms of pain and anxiety often leads to improved sleep quality. Less anxiety and less pain equal better, undisturbed sleep for you.
CBD’s Effect on Anxiety and Sleep
According to a study conducted by Scott Shannon, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, and Shannon Hughes which was published in The Permanente Journal in January of 2019, CBD was shown to help lower anxiety and improve sleep in their 72 person case study. After the first month of the trial, 79.2% of the test subjects reported lower anxiety scores and 66.7% reported higher sleep scores. However, while decreased anxiety scores maintained improvement throughout, sleep scores fluctuated for the remainder of the experiment indicating more research is needed to determine a solid conclusion.
CBD and Pediatric Insomnia
Another study published in The Permanente Journal, conducted by Scott Shannon and Janet Opila-Lehman in 2016, shows positive results surrounding CBD oil and sleep. The study shows overall improvement concerning sleep in a pediatric insomnia case caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study monitored a 10-year-old girl for 5 months and also showed the CBD oil helped to reduce her anxiety, which has been proven to help minimize insomnia and help people sleep better.
My Personal Experience Consuming CBD
As I briefly mentioned above, CBD is a prominent substance that is commonly used where I live so my personal interest in using CBD was sparked by my friends, acquaintances, and existence in my everyday environment. In addition to the stories most of us have heard, people I know directly told me how CBD is a miracle worker when it comes to their chronic pain. So I figured I would give it a try and see first-hand what everyone is talking about.
Initial Dosage for My Regimen
Once I acquired a bottle of CBD oil, mine was contained in capsule form for easy ingestion, the next step was to determine how many milligrams to consume at once. I started with a smaller dose of approximately 5-10 milligrams and eventually increased the dosage to about 25 milligrams to achieve the desired results. I also tried a 40 mg dosage once but found the difference was negligible so I reverted back to the 25 mg dosage for my personal regimen. Here are some pointers that can help you with CBD dosage.
How CBD Affected Me
As expected, the CBD oil certainly helped to relieve my soreness and residual pain from past injuries. I also experienced lower stress levels after CBD consumption. What I didn’t expect was how much it would affect my sleep in a positive manner.
When I first tried CBD I had not really heard of it improving sleep, or if I had I simply forgot. However, CBD’s effects on sleep became apparent to me immediately.
With the small dosage of approximately 5-10 mg, I noticed a dulling of my pain which promoted my relaxation overall. I decided to up the dosage because I still was not convinced that CBD was the miracle drug everyone was making it out to be.
After upping my dosage to 25mg I began to comprehend why everyone loved CBD so much. My pain was virtually nonexistent and I unexpectedly had one of the best nights of sleep I could remember. About 20 minutes after ingesting the CBD, I found myself struggling to stay awake while I was sitting on my couch. The CBD oil made me feel more relaxed overall and helped me to fall asleep faster than normal as well.
Even with all of the positive things I had been hearing, I was still surprised how well CBD oil worked for me. I was skeptical at first but now I am fully convinced CBD oil can work miracles when it comes to pain, relaxation, and sleep. I now use CBD oil as a regular part of my personal wellness practice.
Common Concerns Surrounding CBD and Its Source
Considering how new CBD oil’s presence in the mainstream market is, it is not unusual to have some concerns. CBD’s relation to cannabis can be confusing for you, and for the law depending on where you live. This is due to the fact that CBD and THC are both illegal on a federal level. THC is legal in some states while hemp products are legal in other states.
The laws in your state, or country, will determine the legality of CBD oil and its availability. For example, if you live in a state that does not have legal marijuana then only CBD oil without THC is legal under state law, and some states do not even allow this. This type of CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant which only contains trace amounts of THC.
If you live in a state with legal marijuana then CBD oil containing THC will most likely be available in a number of places, so make sure to read the label carefully before making a purchase. If the state you live in only has legal medical marijuana then you may need to consult a doctor for easy purchase of CBD oil, particularly if you prefer the oil that also contains THC.
Marijuana laws are changing rapidly in our contemporary culture and these same laws often have an effect on CBD oil and its availability. If your state does not allow legal CBD oil now, keep in mind it very well may in the near future.
Always Consult Professionals
Lastly, if you are currently on probation or receive random drug tests from your employer you will certainly want to consult a professional before consuming any CBD products. Any licensed attorney or the state attorney general in your state of residence can inform you of the legal specifics if you need additional clarification.
Is CBD Right for You?
Now that you have a wealth of information about CBD ranging from where it is sourced to how it works, it is time you decide whether or not you want to give it a try for yourself. If you suffer from stress, are having trouble falling asleep, or have poor sleep quality then I highly recommend you give it a shot, tonight if possible. Honestly, even if you don’t have any sleep issues or stress and just want to chill out then CBD could be a fast, effective, and safe way to achieve maximum relaxation.
Just remember to start consuming CBD in small doses until you establish how much you need to provide you with the desired effects. Considering the high price point on most CBD oils you want to avoid consuming more than necessary or it will be a waste of product and money.
CBD is not inexpensive, especially if the oil you buy also contains THC, but I definitely think it is more than worth the investment. After all, you can’t put a price on ultimate relaxation and a great night of sleep.