CBD is short for cannabidiol, an organic compound naturally produced by the plants in the Cannabis genus. Cannabidiol belongs to a class of chemicals known as cannabinoids, which are made by marijuana and hemp plants. CBD does not cause intoxication like other cannabinoids such as THC; in fact, it may counteract the strong effects caused by tetrahydrocannabinol. Research into possible therapeutic uses of cannabidiol and a legal grey area for CBD has led to a profusion of products, including CBD sleep products.
People have been using cannabis therapeutically for thousands of years. There are a variety of compounds present in cannabis which are active when consumed, and cannabidiol is one of them. Cannabidiol has the advantage of not producing a strong psychoactive “high” like THC. The intensity of a strong THC high can actually be a stimulant, which would make for a poor natural sleeping remedy.
CBD products have high levels of cannabidiol while having little to no levels of THC. There are a number of ways of making CBD products that don’t include high-producing compounds. Successful selective breeding efforts to increase the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in cultivated cannabis have recently been matched by an increase in CBD content. In fact, there are now commercially available strains of marijuana which contain almost no THC, but high amounts of CBD. Different batches of plant material may have different levels of CBD, but the intense psychoactive effects of cannabis ingestion can be avoided with these special strains.
Another way to get increased CBD content is to physically isolate the cannabinol compound through distillation or some other laboratory method. A mix of active compounds are first extracted from cannabis plant material in a laboratory using a solvent. This solution is then physically separated using fractional distillation, crystallization, or other methods. The advantage with this method is that it is possible to get the specific therapeutic compounds desired to produce a consistent dose when added to a CBD product. The CBD can be mixed with non-cannabinoid compounds for desired combinations, like in CBD sleep gummies with melatonin.
CBD can help with a number of different sleep problems. Research has found that cannabidiol can provide a better night of sleep. One specific sleep issue that CBD is effective at reducing is sleep bruxism. This is when someone’s sleep is disrupted due to grinding teeth at night. Topical application of CBD to the jaw muscles can alleviate bruxism, which can lead to a better night of sleep.
CBD sleep products come in many different forms, including sprays, teas, tinctures, tablets, gummies, chocolates, or oils. A CBD tea for sleep difficulties may include other herbs in a tea bag or mixture that can be steeped in water to make a before-bed tea. CBD sleep sprays are topical sprays that absorb sublingually or through the skin.
A study involving people reporting sleep issues found that taking at least 25 milligrams of cannabidiol improved the quality of sleep. The research found that nearly four out of five participants in the study experienced improved sleep. Whether participants ingested a CBD capsule in the morning or before bed did not seem to make a large difference in how much sleep was improved.
CBD is considered a Schedule I drug by the United States federal government because it is a component or derivative of marijuana. While illegal on a federal level, many individual states have legalized marijuana and cannabis products. This includes cannabidiol, which means CBD occupies a legally gray area. Many states that have legalized the sale of marijuana and marijuana products have focused their regulatory efforts on THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is why CBD sleep products can be purchased easily online, as there is very little to no regulation of CBD sales.
Many states in the US that have legalized cannabis have required the cannabinoid content of various products to be tested before sale. This information may be available to end users either directly on the packaging of the cannabis product or online. Unfortunately, research into the accuracy of the cannabinoid testing results has found that some labs consistently report higher than actual levels of cannabinoids. You could and should independently research any claims about CBD content you may find, and research the laboratories that are used to test for CBD content. But unless you are a chemist with lab equipment with which to test a CBD sleep product yourself, at some point you will have to rely on someone else’s testimony.
CBD sleep gummies are chewable like a gummy bear. CBD sleep gummies contain cannabidiol in a gelatin or pectin base, making them soft and flexible. It probably isn’t a good idea to smoke a CBD sleep gummy, and smoking them isn’t required in order to gain the benefits of cannabidiol.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.