Cannabis and Health

CBD and cannabis light as a cure for insomnia: do they work?

Can CBD and cannabis light help overcome insomnia and regulate the sleep/wake cycle?

Many people use CBD and cannabis light to relax, thanks to their relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. However, can high concentrations of cannabidiol influence sleep-wake rhythms and be considered a real cure for insomnia?

To find out, we decided to do some research with the recent scientific studies, to understand if CBD can really be a godsend for those who cannot maintain regular and satisfying sleep cycles. First, we recall that CBD is devoid of psychoactive effects, unlike the other known cannabinoid THC, which is currently banned in Italy in percentage concentrations above 0.2% with a final tolerance of 0.6%. If products with a high THC content are the prerogative of real drugs (therapeutic cannabis and preparations based on it), CBD can be used in Italy without prescription even at moderate concentrations and can be purchased in different formulas. For example, in the same light cannabis stores.

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How does CBD work in the body?

In general, CBD is a substance that, by interacting with the endocannabinoid system present in our body, regulates various mechanisms and generally, it allows maintaining the body’s equilibrium in line, ensuring effective internal homeostasis. In other words, the receptors of the human endocannabinoid system react and the presence of CBD stimulates them amplifying some of their functions. Consequently, these receptors stimulate, for instance, the production of anti-inflammatory and relaxing substances.

CBD, insomnia and sleep cycles

The consequence of CBD intake can also have positive effects on the regulation of sleep cycles and it helps to find some peace for those people who suffer from insomnia. However, it is very important to know that the efficacy of CBD in these fields is rather difficult to evaluate in a standard way because the reaction to this endocannabinoid system molecule varies greatly from person to person. Therefore, it is impossible to guarantee univocal results with standard administrations, especially for insomnia, which is extremely complex as many different factors can provoke it.

Firstly, let us analyse the sleep cycle system in order to understand at what level CBD can be effective. Sleeping is a physiological process that involves the central and autonomic nervous systems in five phases. A good night’s sleep varies between seven to eight hours, but it is subjective and it changes at different stages of life. It is divided into two levels: the NREM phase (Non-rapid eye movement) which, in turn, is divided into four other phases and the REM phase (Rapid eye movement), also known as active or paradoxical sleep. Each stage can last up to 10 minutes and the cycle of sleep is completed when from phase one it progresses until phase four through the REM phase. Then, it restarts again from stage one.

The lack of sleep can have negative effects on the body and in the worst case, it may alter significantly the health of the person by causing the premature ageing of tissues and organs. Nevertheless, how does the body react with the introduction of external substances? Moreover, to what extent can CBD affect the sleep cycles?

These questions have few answers so far because the research which has been carried out in this regard are really few and the analysed samples are too small to be considered incontestable evidence. However, it is certain that the use of CBD in modest dosage after the initial phase of relaxing effect, it allows the body to regain its energies by awakening the receptors of adenosine, as it happens with caffeine. For these reasons, CBD is not the best solution to induce sleep.

The truth is that many patients consuming cannabis or CBD concentrate mixed with melatonin find the right recipe to get a good night’s sleep. The explanation comes from the interaction of CBD with other substances. In particular, the relaxing effects of cannabidiol implemented by the simultaneous intake of a low THC dose. Similarly, the presence of CBD supports the balancing effects of melatonin on sleep cycles.

In these terms, CBD could be very useful in maintaining a correct circadian rhythm. Instead, it cannot be considered a sedative product to induce sleep.

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