CBDa and CBD for Sleep
In a recent peer reviewed study published in the Permanente Journal online involving 72 adults who identified as poor sleepers, within the first month of using CBD 66.7% of the group reported improved sleeping patterns.
But will CBDa and CBD really help me get a better nights sleep?
In this blog post we take a look at the current science on the subject of cannabinoids and sleep and offer some insights into what to look for in hemp products marketed for sleep and what to avoid.
Cannabinoids, Terpenes and Zzzzz’s
Catching some good ol’ fashioned z’s these days is getting harder and harder. Chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and stress can all get in the way of a good night's rest and with the growing demand for natural sleep aids on the market it's no wonder consumers are turning to cannabis and hemp based products for sleep aids.
What do we know?
The clinical data on cannabinoids and sleep is virtually non-existent, at least in the US, for now. By far there is more data on THC for sleep, but the findings have thus far been inconclusive. Small sample size is also a problem. Case in point, the aforementioned study involved 72 adults who complained of anxiety and poor sleep. Within the first month anxiety decreased by 79.2% and remained that way during the 3 month duration of the study. For sleep, 66.7% of participants reported better sleep, but fluctuated over time. 3 people reported an intolerance for CBD. Although this data is promising, a much larger sample size and clinical studies are needed to draw any significant conclusions.
What we can tell from market trends however is that consumers are increasingly turning to CBD or other cannabinoids like CBN, CBDA, and THC for sleep and insomnia relief. I was recently informed by iheartjane, a cannabis software company, that sleep is the most searched term on their platform.
Cannabis and hemp brands are increasingly pairing cannabinoids with other functional ingredients like melatonin, mushrooms, botanicals and adoptogents.
So if CBD on its own isn’t all that effective for sleep, what about CBDA? Integrative medicine physician Dr. Sulak reports that CBD may even disturb sleep in a small number of people when taken before bed, but he has not heard this report from people using CBDA. I can personally confirm this finding in my own experience using CBD and CBDA before bed. CBDA seems to knock me out for the duration of my nights sleep, whereas CBD tends to wake me up about 4 hours into my sleep cycle. This is most likely due to the fact that CBD on its own is not sedative, however other ingredients, such as terpenes may be giving the product an overall sedative effect. Again, in my own personal experience, CBDA, especially in larger doses, 10mg+ has a very calming and sedative effect making it a perfect evening companion. Best part is CBDA won’t mess with your THC high in case you’re a stoner like me.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis and hemp. Some of these, like myrcene and beta caryophyllene offer well documented sedative and calming effects and may amplify the effects of the cannabinoids.
The entourage effect describes the positive relationship between cannabinoids like CBDa and CBD and terpenes like limonene and myrcene found in hemp and other plants.
Over the counter sleep aids like melatonin and benadryl are generally considered safe and have well documented sleep aiding properties, however you shouldn’t consume them everyday. Cannabis naturally increases the body's production of melamine so we would recommend staying away from cannabis and hemp products with melatonin and other quasi natural products. Most melatonin sold in the grocery store is synthetic and the natural stuff comes from animal pineal glands which could be contaminated with viruses. Yuk!
What products to buy?
Choose cannabis and hemp products with THC and/or CBDA and possibly CBN if you are looking for a good night's sleep. Look for “indica” strains with lots of myrcene and beta caryophyllene for that calming and sedative-like effect. Most importantly choose products from reputable companies with COA’s on their website and a good track record of product integrity and quality and safety standards.
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