A restless night can mess up your whole day. It’s not surprising that many people are always on the lookout to have a more restful sleep. But not everyone wants to take sleep medications. Many people are looking for more holistic forms of sleep aids. Are there options for people who fall under this category? Recent research would suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) may be a great option to get a better night’s sleep.
What are CBD and melatonin?
Definitions are always a good thing to have when talking about things like this. So, let’s start with CBD.
CBD is a compound that’s found in cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana. It is a member of a specific class of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. There are over 113 different types of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, CBD being just one of them. There is another cannabinoid that is more famous than CBD and is often conflated with it. That cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
It’s essential to know the difference between THC and CBD. THC produces what is known as a psychoactive effect. That means that it makes the inebriation, more recently thought of as a high associated with marijuana use. Many people believe that CBD and THC are both cannabinoids and are both found in cannabis, which means that CBD is also psychoactive. However, that is not the case. CBD is not psychoactive. It does not create any sort of high when used.
Most CBD products are made by extracting the cannabinoid from hemp, rather than marijuana. There are a few reasons for this. One of the main ones is the hemp has low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) and high levels of CBD, while marijuana has high levels of THC and varying degrees of CBD. However, it is also because hemp is federally legal, while marijuana is still federally illegal. 2018 the Farm Bill officially legalized farmers to grow and sell hemp (however, there are some restrictions in individual states). Marijuana has been legalized by a handful of states, whether for medical or recreational use.
Now that we have talked about what CBD is, let’s cover the other half of this: melatonin.
The definition of melatonin is relatively simple. It is a hormone in the body that helps regulate sleep. It is connected with your internal clock and is made to be released at specific times (generally when you usually go to sleep). However, it is not uncommon for the production and release of melatonin to become disrupted. As a result, scientists have developed ways to make melatonin in labs, and incorporated into supplements. Melatonin products are usually taken to help people fall asleep and often preferred by many people because they are less likely to become habit forming, unlike other sleep aids.
All of this does raise the question, what sort of benefit could come from CBD and melatonin being mixed?
What can melatonin and CBD do for sleep?
There have been many studies looking at some different effects that CBD may have on its users. In particular, there is one that could make a difference for those looking for a good night’s sleep. That would be its effect on one’s mental state.
By that, we mean its ability to help people achieve a greater sense of calm. For example, this study had test subjects with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) participate in public speaking. Some of the subjects were given CBD, while others were given a placebo. The researchers concluded that those who were given CBD were able to handle the task much more confidently than those given the placebo. This study suggests that CBD may help calm those who have SAD that affect their sleep.
Another, more telling study looked at CBD’s effects on a little girl with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and insomnia resulting from the disorder. The researchers gave the test subject a trial run of CBD before she went to bed. The test subject reported a steady increase in the quality of her sleep.
These studies, among many others, suggest that CBD has some beneficial calming effects. This, on its own, may be able to help many people fall asleep. However, it may not be enough for everyone. Because there have been many studies on melatonin’s effect on sleep, we already know that it could aid in that. The mix of CBD and melatonin may be able to provide that little boost that you may need to fall asleep.
What other CBD products are there?
Of course, melatonin is not for everyone. Some people would prefer to have the CBD without the addition. As mentioned in the studies above, that could work well, too, as CBD could have enough of a calming effect that CBD on its own may be able to help you fall asleep. So, if you are looking for a non-melatonin CBD product, here are the different forms you may find them in.
Tinctures & oils
Oils and tinctures are one of the most common kinds of CBD products. They are CBD extract that has been mixed with a carrier oil, like coconut oil. A lot of their popularity stems from their versatility. You have a few different options when it comes to taking tinctures and oils. You can mix them in with food or drink. This way does take a little bit longer, like the food or drink that you mix it in does need to digest before it can start working. Another way to take this particular kind of CBD product is by placing a few drops directly into your mouth. This is a much faster way because the skin under your tongue is thin and allows things (like a CBD oil, for example) to absorb and enter the bloodstream easily.
Tablets & capsules
If you are looking for something a bit more pill-like, then these are what you should be looking out for. CBD capsules are usually soft gels. That means that they are made with liquid CBD extract. The benefit of this is that they digest faster and start working quicker as a result. CBD tablets are commonly sublingual. These are pills that you place under your tongue and allow to dissolve. Much like with oils and tinctures, the benefit in this is based on the fact that the CBD can absorb through the skin under your tongue easily, entering the system quickly.
CBD edibles are arguably the most popular CBD product available. This is likely because of what they are. If you did not guess from the name, CBD edibles are any food or drink that has been made with CBD extract. So, it is not hard to see why people like them a lot. They are easy to take and taste great. However, the one downside of edibles is that the food needs to digest before the CBD can enter the system and start working. But they also have the longest-lasting effects, so there is a bit of a trade-off.
CBD topicals are a pretty broad category of products. It boils down to anything that you use on your skin that has been made with CBD. This could include lotions, salves, balms, and hand sanitizers, and those are just a few examples of the options you have within this category. These are going to provide you with a more localized effect than other CBD products. This is because the CBD in topicals never enters the bloodstream. Instead, the CBD absorbs through the pores and does its work there. The effect of CBD topicals does not move much beyond where it is initially used.
FDA approved medications
While we are still trying to understand all CBD effects, some CBD-based medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One of the main ones is Epidiolex, a medication that is aimed at helping people with epilepsy keep their number of seizures down. Another is called Sativex and is made to help ease the pain-related spasticity caused by MS. Most of the other CBD based medications are aimed at helping ease nausea that is a common side effect with many cancer treatments. While all legal, these medications are only available through a prescription from a medical professional and should only be used as directed.
There are a few different benefits that CBD may be able to provide on its own. However, research does suggest that CBD’s calming effects may be able to help people fall asleep. That mixed with the natural effects of melatonin may be an excellent combination for those who struggle with falling asleep. Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we recognize this potential benefit and have developed our CBD-melatonin product. Our melatonin soft gels are made with a specially formulated mix of CBD and melatonin to provide you with a restful night. Check it out here.