Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming a favorite gem for self-care, and in particular, a popular way to get better sleep. But while cannabis products are rising in popularity, there is still a stigma around using cannabinoids for everyday wellness. Hot take: CBD is changing lives for many people, including me.
Having a good night’s sleep goes beyond using your favorite weighted blanket and maintaining proper sleep duration. In fact, the things we eat, drink, or do before bed can negatively impact the quality of rest we have at night — even if we’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours. Some treats, like a nice cup of ginger tea, can help promote calm and relation, and that’s also what CBD does.
Here’s how CBD can help you catch more ZZZs, according to science.
Scientific benefits of CBD
I personally studied sleep before launching the House of Wise SLEEP line because I wanted to optimize my own wellness and recovery. If you know anything about parenting, working full-time, or launching a startup, there’s no surprise that I wanted to make every minute in bed count.
Scientific evidence shows that CBD can be effective, and even life-changing, in helping people enjoy a better sense of well being and, most recently, for treating certain diseases (e.g. epilepsy). It has also shown tons of promise in helping to promote sleep, libido, and ease of mind.
The endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system plays a big role in our bodily functions, affecting things like anxiety, hormones, hunger, and sleep. This system helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, and when it’s out of wack, so is your sleep.
CBD affects the endocannabinoid system by spurring endocannabinoids, cannabinoids synthesized by the body, and their receptors to create feelings of calm or pain relief. If you’re interested in learning more about the endocannabinoid system, Eight Sleep has more details on how the the endocannabinoid system works in the article How Cannabis Affects Your Sleep.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) products come in three chemical makeups: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. These terms describe the amount of processing performed after extracting the oil from the cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids and may contain small traces of THC (<0.3% and not enough to produce psychoactive affects), giving you the entourage effect, an effect that occurs when CBD and THC compounds act synergistically. Broad-spectrum has all cannabinoids but is processed to completely remove THC. CBD isolate is CBD only, typically created artificially or pulled from the extract. House of Wise SLEEP uses hemp-derived, full-spectrum CBD oil sourced domestically in Denver, CO.
CBD vs. THC
TO be clear: CBD is not the same thing as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). They are both cannabinoids derived from cannabis. They’re also used in many products on the market today. The difference is the psychoactive properties, though — THC will make you feel high, while CBD will not.
Hemp-derived CBD is currently legal to use in all 50 states (whereas THC is not legal in all states).
CBD companies are currently unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which makes choosing a quality product a little tricky. That’s why I built my company knowing where, who, and what I was selling. All HOW products are sourced in-house at a farm in Denver, CO and tested for quality. I spent a full year making sure these products would work and be safe for a high-functioning, single mom of 3 with 2 jobs.
Who Can Benefit From Using CBD?
Insomnia, which affects 1 in 4 people of the US population, makes it hard to fall asleep and stay in a deep sleep. Sleep disorders like insomnia can be caused by depression and anxiety, bad habits, or other medical issues. CBD paired with melatonin may help people suffering from sleep disorders fall and stay asleep.
It may be scary to try a new substance during the nighttime, especially if you have kids. I can testify that with CBD, I’m able to wake up and deal with a toddler’s closet monster with full attention if needed. (Note: ask your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as CBD may not be right for you in those cases.)
CBD vs. traditional sleep aids
If your goal is to sleep better, CBD is a great alternative to traditional sleep aids
Side effects of sleep aids can leave you tired, nauseous, allergic, or even worse, tied to the toilet the next day. Hard pass. In fact, a Consumer Reports survey showed that 39% of people who used an over-the-counter or prescription drug to try to solve their insomnia felt groggy the next day.
I love that CBD gives me a good night’s rest and also allows me to feel like my best self the next day. There’s no crazy sedative effect in the middle of the night, either. Unlike with other sleep aids, I can still wake up and deal with my kids and take on the day.
CBD vs. alcohol
You may find a glass of wine (or four) in the evenings makes you sleepy. But the reality is that too much alcohol disrupts your REM sleep. Even if you feel sleepy at bedtime, your sleep quality may be compromised (and we won’t even talk about morning hangovers).
Does that mean you should never drink alcohol? Not at all. It just means drink responsibly so that the effects of alcohol won’t come back to haunt you later.
How to take CBD
CBD is available in many forms, including edibles, oils, teas, and vape or skincare products. House of Wise sells tinctures and gummies that are taken orally.
Always check the recommended dosage on your product label and start a little lower (try half). See how you feel after an hour, then work your way up to a stronger dosage as needed.
House of Wise’s SLEEP melatonin + CBD combo is recommended to take as part of your sleep routine 45 minutes before bed. Keep in mind that your weight impacts the strength of your dose. Read more in our Dosage Guide.
How do you know if CBD works?
It may take a few weeks of regular use to notice the difference in the quality of your sleep and recovery. Not everyone who tries CBD for sleep will experience immediate effects, so don’t give up after one night.
Besides being mindful of how you feel, you can monitor your sleep quality on the Pod to see if you notice any variation in your sleep data before and after taking CBD products.
CBD does not produce psychoactive results like THC does, and it is useful for a plethora of wellness purposes, including promoting relaxation and sleep. Paired with melatonin, there’s no stopping your ZZZs from starting.
CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system by helping the brain and nervous system calm down and release the chemicals that it needs to regulate your circadian rhythm.
CBD is safe to use regularly as a part of your nightly routine. Always follow dosage guidelines and any directions from your doctor if you are taking other medications.
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