Many people say CBD helps them get a good night’s sleep, but here’s a few things you should know.
Sleep is in short supply at the moment; despite guidelines advising that healthy adults should aim for between seven and nine hours, previous studies have shown that, on average, Brits are only getting around six hours and twenty minutes.
Many people have found that using CBD can help them sleep, or at least quell the anxiety that may be stopping them dropping off.
A study from 2019 looked at 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25mg of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 per cent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 per cent reported better sleep.
But where to start with using CBD for a good night’s sleep? Here are some pointers…
How does it work?
It is worth noting that most evidence for CBD aiding sleep is anecdotal; without controlled studies, it is difficult to tell whether CBD is truly acting alone to induce sleep. It is also unclear whether cannabis is helping someone sleep, or simply easing the symptoms that are stopping them sleeping.
Another fact to be aware of is that many high-CBD strains often contain myrcene, a terpene that is said to be sedating. Although controlled studies on humans are lacking, myrcene’s sedative effects are well established in the animal literature, and for centuries, herbalists have been using hops as a human sleep aid – which also have high myrcene levels.
Furthermore, little research has been done into isolated CBD as a sleep aid. Instead, researchers have looked at CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids like THC – which is known to have a sedative effect.
Whatever you’re using CBD for, it’s important to start low and go slow, and sleep is no exception.
A good place to start is with 10 to 20mg a day. First-timers should start with this dose for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated with no unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
If this doesn’t feel like it’s working, try upping the dose by 5mg a week until you hit the sweet spot – it is thought that 25mg a day is a realistic goal for treating insomnia.
Before you start tinkering with dosage, it is also a good idea to assess any other contributory factors in how your body may respond to CBD, such as your weight, your metabolism and your general health.
How to take it
One of the most common ways to take CBD is as an oil, where the remedy is mixed with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Other, more recently-developed, products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
If you are looking for a general mood enhancer, a dietary supplement might be a good option, whereas if you’re looking to target a specific condition – such as insomnia – taking an oil, capsule or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.
There is even a range of CBD-infused bedding on the market, filled with microcapsules of CBD which burst throughout the night to continually release microdoses of the cannabinoid.
Whichever way you take it, CBD could be the answer to that elusive eight hours.
Charlotte’s Web collaborates on CBD/CBN sleep and anxiety study
New research will assess the potential of cannabinoids CBD and CBN for improving sleep and reducing anxiety.
New research will assess the potential of cannabinoids CBD and CBN for improving sleep and reducing anxiety.
Renowned CBD brand Charlotte’s Web is collaborating with the University of Colorado-Boulder’s REACH (Research and Education Addressing Cannabis and Health) Centre on a preclinical sleep and anxiety study.
The scientific investigation will use the company’s full spectrum hemp formulations with CBN (cannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol) and levels of THC below 0.3 percent to examine the impact on anxiety and sleep quality.
There is limited preclinical or clinical data on phytocannabinoids other than CBD and THC, especially their effect at levels available in commercially sold hemp-derived CBD supplements.
While there is some anecdotal evidence on the ability of CBN to help with sleep, there is little substantiated clinical or preclinical evidence to validate these claims.
It is hoped that this study will inform future clinical initiatives to better understand how specific ratios of cannabinoids and different delivery formats are effective at supporting improved sleep quality and instilling healthier sleep patterns in humans.
Charlotte’s Web is the only hemp CBD brand supporting the University of Colorado REACH Centre’s milestone study.
“Charlotte’s Web is committed to advancing science on the benefits and safety of CBD and other hemp phytocannabinoids through rigorous scientific investigations such as this sleep and anxiety study,” said Tim Orr, senior vice president of Charlotte’s Web and president of its CW Labs division, which currently has more than a dozen scientific research studies underway.
“We’re honoured to team up with CU’s REACH Centre to explore the potential impacts of full-spectrum hemp extract with CBD and CBN on anxiety and sleep quality.”
Monika Fleshner, PhD, Professor of Integrative Physiology, and a member of the Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder is the project lead, and this preclinical study will be conducted in her Stress Physiology Laboratory.
“There is a great need for properly controlled experimental studies that are designed to test the potential neural and physiological impacts of hemp derived phytocannabinoids,” she commented.
“With support from CU REACH and Charlotte’s Web, our research will explore both the efficacy and mechanisms of how these substances can affect complex brain-mediated behaviour, such as disturbed sleep.”
Cannabis patients show improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep
The clinical outcomes of the first group of patients captured in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry have been published
The first patients to be prescribed medical cannabis in the UK, report significant improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep.
The clinical outcomes of the first group of patients captured in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry have been published in the leading medical journal Neuropsychopharmacology Reports.
These patients are amongst the first to be prescribed this treatment in the UK since legalisation of cannabis-based medical products on prescription in November 2018.
Analysis of patient-reported outcome measures following treatment with cannabis medicines in this study found statistically significant improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep quality scores as well as general quality of life at one and three months following treatment.
The study analysed clinical outcomes of the first 129 patients enrolled in the Registry and found that cannabis medicines were well tolerated, with a side effect rate of 24 per 100 patients.
This compares favourably to commonly prescribed painkillers such as morphine or codeine.
The UK Medical Cannabis Registry records patient‐reported outcome measures, clinical effectiveness measures, and side effect questionnaires which are remotely administered to patients through an online web‐based platform at baseline, one month, three months, six months, and then six monthly intervals.
This forms part of the Real-World Evidence platform which now includes over 2,000 patients.
Authors of the study, led by Dr Simon Erridge, head of research at Sapphire Medical Clinic, stated: “Early results demonstrate CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] may be associated with improved health-related quality of life across a broad spectrum of conditions. In particular, there are statistically significant improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression, sleep quality, pain, and discomfort.
They concluded: “This study suggests that CBMP therapy may be associated with an improvement in health-related quality-of-life outcomes as self-reported by patients. CBMPs are also demonstrated to be relatively safe in the short to medium-term.”
The UK Medical Cannabis Registry is the first such database in the UK, set up by clinicians at Sapphire Medical Clinics.
Tackling adult acne with the help of CBD
After suffering from acne since her teens, Suzanne was running out of options.
Mum-of-three, Suzanne, has struggled with acne for over a decade. She reveals how CBD has helped clear up her skin after years of searching for a product that works.
Suzanne, 31, has suffered from acne since she was a teenager.
The common skin condition affects most people at some point in their life. Many will remember living with the condition during their teenage years, but for some, it can continue into adulthood. It causes spots, oily skin and skin that can feel hot or painful to touch.
For Suzanne, a preschool teacher and mum-of-three, it has had a significant impact on her life.
“It’s one of those things where you just feel really rubbish,” Suzanne says.
“I’m not a shallow person but it does get to you after a while.
“It’s painful and it just really puts you down. I used to just go around thinking that people were looking at how bad my skin was.”
Although Suzanne’s skin did clear up for a period of time in her early 20s, the condition worsened as she approached the end of the decade.
“I used to suffer really badly as a teenager with horrible deep spots; the painful ones,” Suzanne says.
“When you’re a teenager, you think, ‘by the time I’m 30 I’m not going to have sports anymore’. Now at 31, I’m running out of things to try.”
Suzanne thinks she must have used almost every brand on the high street to help manage her acne, but none provided satisfying results. She has also have prescription medication from her doctor a go, but found that the product was too aggressive for her skin.
“It’s quite acidic and it takes a layer off your skin, so you can only use it for a certain amount of time,” she explains.
“When I stopped using it, my skin would flare up again and it wasn’t even completely getting rid of the acne anyway. I wanted something that was kinder to my skin.”
Last year, Suzanne’s sister suggested that she try CBD, but like many people, she was sceptical about the supplement due to its association with cannabis.
“She told me it might not only make my skin better but also chill me out to me out a little bit and help me sleep,” Suzanne recalls.
“I didn’t know anything about it, but I’ve had bad skin pretty much forever, so I thought it was worth a shot.”
After the first national lockdown in March last year, Suzanne noticed her skin was starting to flare up, so she decided to take her sister’s advice. She now uses a raw, unrefined oil and a CBD moisturiser daily to keep on top of her skin.
She found that the moisturiser worked a lot better than other products she had tried, which felt “heavy” and left her skin feeling greasy.
Suzanne didn’t see the benefits instantly, but after a few weeks, she noticed that her spots were less sore.
“I had to use it for a little while to see a big difference, but even if I was getting spots, they weren’t as painful,” she says.
“That in itself was better because I didn’t feel like my face was on fire.
“It does take a little while, it’s not an overnight solution. But if you keep going, it gets a lot better.”
After the pain subsided, her skin started to clear up and, in turn, Suzanne experienced a boost in her confidence as well.
“It sounds like a really silly thing to think, but I always felt like people were looking at my face,” Suzanne says.
“I don’t feel like that anymore. I went out on Friday, and wore makeup. A lot of people wear makeup to cover up their spots, but I [rarely] did because I didn’t want to make my skin worse.
“I can be a bit more girly now and know it’s not going to completely mess my skin up.”
Suzanne has also experienced improvements to her sleep.
Dealing with the pandemic along with stresses in her personal life, her sleeping pattern had taken a hit. Before taking CBD, she used to wake up at least every hour but now she finds she can sleep through a whole night.
Although Suzanne intends to continue using CBD, as a single mum of three kids, she says it can be hard to justify the cost of regularly using the supplement. A 500g tub of moisturiser, priced at £17.99, lasts a long time, she says, but CBD oil sets her back almost £40 every fortnight.
“I’m the kind of person that would give to others before thinking of myself so even spending this money on moisturiser seems selfish to me,” Suzanne adds.
“I feel guilty spending that on myself, but I have to weigh it up against how bad I was feeling.”
Suzanne has since gotten her friends and colleagues using the supplement too. Her boss, who suffers from similar issues with her skin has also noticed big improvements.
“I’d tell people who are unsure to definitely try it,” she adds.
“I think it’s important for people to be open to it.
“I still get a little flare like everyone does, it’s just one of those things. I don’t think I’ll ever not have some kind of skin issues, but it’s nowhere near as bad anymore.”
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