The mystery of sleep has confounded humans since the dawn of prehistoric memory. How do we fall asleep? What happens to our brains during? How much sleep is really necessary to maintain proper function? Questions such as these and more have been on the minds of scientists in the modern age as well. Moreover, the study and research of sleep disorders has become the main focus in a fragile world of ever-increasing, constant stimulation.
It seems that every day we hear more and more about some “exciting” new sleep remedy being trotted out by various pharmaceutical companies, however, simply because these are newly synthesized combinations of compounds doesn’t mean that sleep therapy hasn’t been happening holistically (and otherwise) throughout the centuries. The ancient Greeks’ use of opium (although highly addictive and not recommended) was one of the earliest examples of sleep therapy. Centuries later, we are also now experiencing an exponential resurgence of much healthier alternative medicine. Ancient herbs such as Ginkgo Biloba, Chamomile, Kava Kava, and Valerian Root are being emphasized as natural alternatives.
However, there is one more player in alternative medicines that is sparking debate while at the same time revolutionizing the sleep therapy field: the miracle compound, CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive medicinal compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of 113 compounds found in marijuana. Contemporary legislative developments throughout the nation, such as the most recent Hemp Bill have made funding for research more readily available, and we are now beginning to see the compound make its much-heralded entrance into the public sphere. The stigma of marijuana begins to fade, and we’re becoming much more aware of the possibilities of this drug. From topicals to drinks, edibles to powders, tinctures and CBD-infused recipes, it seems that there is no limit to the innovation that’s to come.
But how do we know its specific uses? Is there enough research to validate this overwhelming surge in popularity? Let’s examine these queries within the scope of the issue of sleep and sleep disorders.
CBD & R.E.M. Sleep
The R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) stage is 1 of 5 crucial parts of the sleep cycle. It is necessary for the body to maintain a regularity of all of these stages in order to function normally and alertly throughout our waking lives. The body’s ability to stay in these stages of sleep for the required amounts of time can be affected, caused, and helped by various factors and substances.
A team or Brazilian researchers recently conducted a study on the “therapeutic applications of CBD”. In it, they made a notable conclusion on the relationship between large doses of CBD and sedation:
“A crossover trial of the acute effects of 300 mg of CBD on the sleep architecture of healthy volunteers has shown that this compound did not interfere with the sleep cycle (55). It is particularly important, since different from anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs, acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD is a safe and appear to preserve the sleep architecture. Thus, CBD may be potentially useful therapeutic option for a wide range of disorders.”
A positive find, indeed!
CBD & Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that plagues nearly 60 million Americans yearly. It is an extremely frustrating affliction, and much research has been done in hopes of finding a solid cure. Fortunately, studies are being conducted that assess the effectiveness of THC and CBD in their abilities to curb or eliminate insomnia.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico conducted a study entitled “Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions”. Here again we find substantially positive results in favor of CBD’s prowess:
“When entered separately, the analyses show that only the product characteristic CBD percentage has a statistically significant effect on symptom relief; each additional percentage point of CBD contents is associated with a decrease of −0.04 (p < 0.01) in symptom severity levels. Starting symptom levels are important determinants of patient symptom relief with coefficients implying that once we restrict the sample to only those patients who reported CBD and THC, patients with low starting symptom levels experience worsening insomnia symptoms with consumption of Cannabis unless they are consuming sufficiently high percentages of CBD."
It is important to note that the non-psychoactive properties of CBD become a major player in such a situation where decreased brain stimulation is desired.
CBD, Addiction & Sleep
Scientists have long been grappling with the issue of addiction. The abstract notion of individualized needs, desires, and underlying mental issues has made this field of study both complicated and vital to our public health. Prevalent substances such as methamphetamine are widely recognized as extremely dangerous and highly addictive. This substance also causes havoc for the sleep cycle of the addict, and cravings become active again after long periods of sleep deprivation.
Despite this comes hope in the form of CBD. A study done on the effects of CBD on methamphetamine-induced lab rats has yielded positive results. Here, researchers concluded that Cannabidiol inhibits the relapse of methamphetamine cravings in sleep-deprived rats. While there are many other addictive substances to study, this is one big step in recognizing that CBD could be, and often is the answer.
The CBDTakeOut Takeaway
With the Hemp Bill signed into law, we can safely assert that finally the medicinal possibilities of the cannabis plant are being fully considered. It is no longer a question of prohibition, when countless studies such as the ones detailed above are being done with overwhelmingly positive results.
As citizens of a chaotic and fragile modern world, we must take effort in providing ourselves and those around us with the greatest self-care. It is time to take a discerning look at the remedies of the 20th century, pivot, and make the necessary leap into the medicinal ramifications of the 21st century and beyond. It is time to embrace sustainability, and to look forward with the optimistic worldview that pain management is not only achievable, but possible for people in all walks of life.
Keep following the CBDTakeOut blog for more updates, insight, and culturally relevant information centered around the miracle compound, CBD.