If you haven’t heard of CBD, well, welcome back from Mars, hope the trip was great! The rest of us here on earth have discovered something pretty cool — cannabidiol (CBD) — and like the good people we are, have started putting it in just about everything. Remember those delicious gummy candies from when you were a kid? Yeah, those have CBD in them now. If you haven’t tried CBD yet, you may be wondering what the big deal is but that’s probably because you haven’t tried it yet.
Some of the most solid evidence for using CBD is when using it to help you sleep. Since the CDC estimates that one in three Americans has trouble sleeping, CBD has the potential to help a lot of people!
In this case series, 66% of participants reported better sleep after less than one month of taking 25mg of CBD. Also in that series, researchers noted that high dose CBD, of 160mg, helped increase the length of time spent asleep. Side note, if you’re having trouble sleeping try reading scientific literature, that may do the trick on its own!
How does CBD help you sleep?
Well, scientists don’t have a clear cut answer to this question yet but they believe it has something to do with the endocannabinoid system. A case can also be made for CBD’s role in easing an underlying problem, like pain or anxiety, thereby making it easier to catch enough zzz’s. Most CBD users report at least a slight sleepiness, no matter the reason they take it, so most manufacturers recommend taking it at night — yeah, it’s anecdotal evidence but with so much of it out there, it’s more than worth a mention.
How long should I take CBD if I have trouble sleeping?
The case series mentioned earlier had patients use CBD for three months, with over 56% of participants still using it at the end. Most sleep aids, including over-the-counter products, don’t recommend using them for the long term and advocate for getting to the root of your sleeplessness, and that is always solid advice.
Is there anything in particular I should consider if I want to try CBD?
First, make sure that CBD even has the potential to help with whatever it is you need help with. Obviously, if there are studies on it, great, but keep in mind that science hasn’t totally caught up with the CBD market yet, plus studies can take years to publish.
Second, you need to make sure you are taking a high-quality product. All legit companies will provide a certificate of analysis stating that the product actually contains what it says it does — beware of companies that can’t/won’t provide one! If you don’t want to be worried about traces of THC in your product (worry is not great for sleep after all), then make sure you choose one with zero THC.
Last, but not least, consider the issue of bioavailability — the amount of CBD in a product that your body recognizes as actually available to use. If you want another sleep aid, read “A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans, where researchers note that CBD needs to be used with fats to increase absorption, and formulas with “pro-nano liposphere” formulation increased oral bioavailability by about 6-fold”. That means products like Elevare Labs tinctures, that use liposomal encapsulation (more on that here) have CBD in a form that is more easily usable by the body. After all, if you want to maximize the benefits of CBD for sleep, you’ll want the maximum amount available, otherwise, the product (and your money) is wasted!