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CBD and its role in optimum sleep


The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.

Yet adequate restful sleep eludes many adults. As many as 16 million UK adults are suffering from sleepless nights, and a third (31%) say they have insomnia, according to a Wellbeing Report published by Aviva in 2017. 

Fortunately, choices for improving sleep have evolved over the years with many natural, healthier choices from meditation to herbal supplements. And now, another option has entered the sleep space: CBD.

In our article Ten Tips for a good night's sleep we discuss ways to improve your quality of sleep. In this post we would like to shine a spotlight on CBD and the role it can play in optimum sleep. 


What Causes Poor Sleep?

To understand how CBD could help improve sleep patterns we must first understand what causes disturbed and unrefreshing sleep. 

Many things can cause you to sleep badly, including:

  • Mental health disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression
  • Medication, which can disturb your sleep-wake cycle
  • Physical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome
  • Caffeine, especially when consumed late in the day
  • Environmental factors, such as loud noises or an uncomfortable bed
  • Stress

Relief from symptoms which may be contributing to your disturbed sleep can offer a way to combat insomnia. 

The role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS)

How CBD works within the body, and it's positive interaction with the body’s native endocannabinoid system (ECS), is key to understanding whether CBD could contribute to a restful night's sleep. We have discussed the ECS in more detail in The Endocannabinoid System: CBD's role and how it helps, but here is a brief overview. 

The ECS is a vast network of receptors and endocannabinoids (chemicals created within the body) which regulate and maintain our brain, organs, immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. The main function of the ECS is homeostasis, or balance, which highlights quite how vital this system is for health and wellness. The ECS is also responsible for regulating sleep. 

It is possible to develop an endocannabinoid deficiency which may lead to ill-health - taking CBD can address this imbalance. This in turn can lead to improved symptom relief, treating the root causes of sleeplessness.

Although studies into the role CBD can have in optimum sleep are limited, anecdotal evidence is growing. Many people find the relaxing properties of CBD oil beneficial when sleep disturbances occur. These calming properties can also help reduce stress. 

But, It's not just CBD that has relaxing properties. You may be surprised to hear other compounds found in cannabis, and our high quality CBD products, can help too. 

Cannabis compounds and improved sleep 

The cannabis plant has over 400 compounds: cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, each with its own individual characteristics all playing their part in the beneficial properties of cannabis. 

With regards to optimum sleep, terpenes are of particular importance. The terpene myrcene is said to be sedating with properties capable of increasing sleep and relaxing muscles. 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. As it turns out, hops have high myrcene levels. 

Myrcene is not the only terpene to make you sleepy. A study showed citral and limonene also presented sedative and motor relaxant effects. Myrcene has also been shown to ease the symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation, and symptom relief can lead to improved sleep. 

Should you be using CBD for sleep?

The importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated. Study after study has shown the importance of regular, restful sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep deficiencies can affect everything from brain health and cognition to immune function and mental health.

CBD is a natural and safe substance which offers many potential therapeutic benefits. Many people report CBD offers a calming and relaxing effect. Added to this CBD also helps our bodies own endocannabinoid system (ECS) reach homeostasis, or balance. A body in balance functions effectively and reduces the risk of ill-health. As mentioned, other cannabis compounds present in Love Hemp CBD products also contribute, most notably the terpene myrcene.

Every individual’s body is unique, and therefore the effect of CBD will be highly individualised. Why not experiment to see if CBD is right for you. 

At Love Hemp we offer a wide variety of high quality CBD products, to suit everybody's needs. Please visit our online shop for further information. 

November 22, 2019 — Tom Rowland