Sleep Disorders & CBD Research Overview
The rapid growth of the CBD industry over the last several years has directly led to more research into its many benefits. While many of these uses have been passed down for generations, we’re only just starting to get peer-reviewed research backing the claims.
Even for perfectly healthy people, quality sleep is one of the single most important things you can do for your mental well-being. However, for those dealing with a severe sleep disorder, their quality of life can be dramatically reduced. That’s one of the reasons there’s been so much excitement recently around the power of CBD to improve sleep quality.
One study of over 2000 subjects called, Cannabis, pain, and sleep: lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine concluded CBD based medications can significantly improve sleep quality for those living with sleep disorders. According to their data, 40%-50% of all subjects graded their sleep quality “good” or “very good” once they had begun taking CBD. Even more importantly, there was no increased tolerance noted by researchers, meaning no need for increased dosages.
A different study called, Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats also found evidence of a distinct value of CBD for sleep disorders. After administration, the CBD test groups had much longer sleep times, and it didn’t take nearly as long for them to fall asleep. They even found evidence of increased slow-wave sleep, but more research is needed to uncover the full extent.
Another study using rats to test the effect of CBD on sleep quality, titled Intranodose ganglion injections of dronabinol attenuate serotonin-induced apnea in Sprague-Dawley rats concluded CBD based medicines are quite effective at stabilizing breathing while asleep. Early data suggests this is because cannabidiol regulates the muscles in the upper airway, which helps prevent irregular patterns.
Finally, we also have reason to believe that CBD can dramatically improve the quality of your REM sleep. In fact, a study called, Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature argues CBD may soon become the primary non-pharmaceutical way to improve sleep quality.
However, we have just as much research backing another significant benefit of CBD, this time for those dealing with a sleep disorder which makes them excessively tired. For instance, a report called, The nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent cannabidiol is a wake-inducing agent provides robust evidence that CBD significantly improves wakefulness. Starting on a regimen of CBD successfully regulated energy levels by affecting specific parts of the brain known to regulate wakefulness.
One study offers insight into why CBD seems to work in this way. Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and early-morning behavior in young adults shows strong evidence that CBD counteracts the sleep-inducing qualities of THC. The double-blind study also concluded CBD helps mitigate the mood-altering effects of THC, as well as improving reaction time scores.
Another report provides further understanding of the impact of CBD on wakefulness. The report, called Cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa, modulates sleep in rats shows that CBD affects neurons in the hypothalamus which are known to modulate wakefulness. Their research also showed that CBD isn’t inhibited by the presence of the known sleep inducing cannabinoid, anandamide. A study titled, Endocannabinoid modulation of cortical up-states and NREM sleep also shows that CBD activates the CB1 receptor, which decreases the length of NREM sleep. Researchers believe a decrease in REM sleep can significantly increase your cortical up-states. However, they confirmed these decreases in NREM sleep were only having a negative impact on mice which were already in recovery from forced sleep deprivation.
The introduction of CBD into your routine can also provide some significant benefits for issues related to sleep disorders. A study called The impact of drugs for multiple sclerosis on sleep showed CBD provides restful and restorative sleep for patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. For many debilitating conditions like this, quality sleep is one of the single most important, and challenging, things you can do to improve your quality of life. Finally, it’s not uncommon for sleep disorders to be accompanied by moderate to severe anxiety. Luckily, a report called Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence analyzed over 1500 papers before concluding CBD is one of the single most effective natural treatments for anxiety we have.