Given the disturbing and downright dangerous side effects of most sleep medications these days, it’s understandable that people would want to find a natural solution instead. CBD oil is one such solution which has been popular in the news lately. However, it is not without its controversy. Marijuana, in all of its forms, has been illegal for decades in the United States and other developed countries of the world. Things are changing in the US, however. The laws around marijuana – and CBD oil as well – are relaxing.
A big part of this has to do with newfound scientific evidence suggesting that cannabis and parts of the cannabis plant have legitimate health benefits with either zero or highly tolerable negative side effects. Unfortunately, there’s a growing trend of people who would rather ignore the discoveries of legitimate scientific inquiry and keep cannabis illegal in order to hold onto their old-fashioned beliefs. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the evidence supporting CBD oil for sleep and dismiss the controversy once and for all. If you’re curious about the sleep benefits associated with CBD oil, we strongly suggest you keep reading.
Defining What CBD Oil Is
CBD is a convenient acronym which is short for cannabidiol. It’s natural compound which is, surprisingly, not unique to the cannabis plant. Many different flora are known to produce trace amounts of cannabidiol. On top of that, the human body is capable of producing its own cannabidiol compounds – but not in significant enough quantities to prevent certain health conditions. Cannabidiol is found in the largest amounts and in the highest concentrations when extracted from the cannabis plant.
Please keep in mind that there is a very strong difference between cannabidiol and another organic compound produced by the cannabis plant: tetrahydrocannabinol. You may be more familiar with its acronym: THC. Unlike cannabidiol, THC does possess psychoactive properties. It’s the reason why people get “high” from ingesting or smoking certain parts of the cannabis plant.
CBD does not possess the same psychoactive properties that THC does. Furthermore, it also produces many healthful benefits in the human body. CBD is capable of mollifying or even alleviating certain medical conditions such as seizures, joint pain, hemorrhoid pain, low blood pressure, and more without the damaging side effects typical of other drugs. But the health benefits of CBD that we are going to discuss today have to do with sleep.
CBD and Sleep
Unlike most compounds, it is relatively easy for CBD to cross the blood-brain barrier. And when it does so, it becomes very reactive. Once CBD oil gets into your brain, it can enhance many different neurological processes, including neurogenesis – the generation and growth of fresh, new brain cells.
Most people have trouble sleeping because of emotional distress and anxiety. CBD oil has been proven to help reduce and alleviate anxiety in large enough doses. It binds to serotonin receptors located in your brain in much the same way antidepressants do – although without the dangerous side effects.
But CBD doesn’t just help you get to sleep. Once you are resting, it keeps working to improve the quality of your sleep, too. It does this even in the face of serious neurological challenges such as Parkinson’s disease. During REM sleep, the phase of your sleep cycle where you are dreaming, the body usually paralyzes itself to protect you from moving in your sleep and possibly injuring yourself. But that does not always happen with Parkinson’s patients or others who have similar sleep disorders. CBD can help induce REM sleep paralysis and prevent injury. For people without REM sleep paralysis, CBD oil can improve the quality of REM sleep, too.
CBD Oil and Questions of Legality
Whether or not CBD oil is illegal is a question which has not been definitively settled yet. In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Agency classified CBD oil as a “marijuana extract”. Because it is an extract of the marijuana (cannabis) plant, it violates the federal law that makes the entire marijuana plant illegal, including the non-psychoactive sums of its parts. This declaration was made back in December of 2016.
CBD oil enthusiasts should be relieved to know that this law is not exactly set in stone, nor is it without its loopholes. The biggest problem with this law is the fact that only United States judiciary bodies are allowed to make new laws – the DEA has no legal authority whatsoever to make up new laws of their own. This gives many lawyers plenty of wiggle room to challenge such arbitrary rules in court, and many have successfully opened up legal access to CBD products because of it.
Even if it were illegal by federal law, there are over a dozen states in which it is not illegal on the state level. Thankfully, even if you aren’t lucky enough to live in one of these CBD friendly states, it’s not exactly difficult to find ways to purchase it either by crossing state borders or by shopping online. Unfortunately, you have to be smart about your purchases in order to protect yourself from not just persecution under flimsy and unjust laws, but from unscrupulous snake oil salesmen who would sell you a phony product.
Incorporating CBD Oil Into Your Night Time Routine
So what’s the best way to incorporate CBD oil into your bedtime routine? As it turns out, there are a few different strategies you can take advantage of when dealing with CBD products. CBD oil comes in many different forums. It can come as a topical cream, a tincture that you drip onto your tongue, or in capsule form. Whatever form you take it in, especially in a tincture or capsule, you should know that the medically effective dose as studied by scientists ranges somewhere between 10 mg and 600 mg. Start with a lower dose, and work your way up. As we said before, CBD does not have psychoactive properties, so higher doses won’t get you high; however, some people report that excessive doses of CBD can cause headaches.
If you’re worried about taking too much CBD oil for sleep, there’s a very simple solution: pair a low dose CBD oil product with a natural sleep aid. There are many other natural sleep solutions which work very well alongside CBD oil to help you rest. Melatonin, chamomile, and valerian root are just a few of them. If you can find an affordable, high-quality sleep product to take with your CBD oil at night, you’re much more likely to fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed.