Sleep is probably the most important factor when it comes to living your best life. Not just for energy the next day, getting a solid amount of hours per night is integral in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health long-term. So much so that sleep disorders are primarily associated with numerous serious health issues including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Despite this advice, almost half of adults in the UK admit that they sleep less than 7 hours, and nearly a third of the population say that they are suffering from insomnia, according to a survey by the Mental Health Foundation. (1)
Because of this harsh reality as well as the undesirable side effects that may come from traditional sleep medications, like drowsiness and fear of dependency, many are looking for alternatives to help get good quality rest. Unsurprisingly, at the forefront of these solutions are natural sleeping remedies including valerian root, magnesium, chamomile, lavender, and now gaining increasing popularity, cannabis.
CBD for insomnia: Can it help?
The research on cannabis and sleep is still in its early stages, but in a review overlooking the recent scientific literature, Professor Babson and her colleagues of the Boston University School of Medicine, conclude that cannabidiol (CBD) – the primary non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the cannabis plant – may be a potential treatment for insomnia. (2)
Babson also reported on several studies with THC, the primary intoxicating cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that gives you the ‘high’. These showed the potential of THC to help reduce nightmares when it comes to sleep.
What’s more, in 2017 the American National Academy of Science concluded that there is moderate evidence that cannabinoids, mainly Sativex (THC and CBD combined to treat MS spasm), is an effective treatment to improve short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. (3)
Can I use CBD products to help manage my insomnia?
While there are still ways to go with scientific literature around this topic, research clearly suggests that CBD might have a primary role in managing symptoms of insomnia thus far.
However, with many retailers and disreputable brands flooding the market, consumers are uneducated as to results on dosage, efficacy, safety, and long-term effects. Nonetheless, it’s an exciting time for us as we await new results from increasing numbers of clinical trials on the effects of CBD with sleep, anxiety, and stress to name a few.