CBD is all the rage now, with its peddlers recommending it as a cure-all remedy for various illnesses and conditions, from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression to insomnia, epilepsy, and drug addiction. But in order to better understand how CBD should be used, you need too first understand what CBD is, how it affects your body, and how effective it is in helping you get a better nighttime sleep without conventional medication.
Cannabidiol, in short CBD, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. It can also be extracted, and it often is, from the hemp plant, aka marijuana’s 'kissing cousin.' But while THC is the most popular cannabinoid due to is psychoactive effects, CBD is the most talked about.
Although it can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp, CBD can’t get you high no matter how much of it you consume, unlike THC. Yet the general public tends to overlook this tiny detail and place CBD and THC in the same basket. Paradoxically, when consumed with THC, CBD tends to block THC’s psychoactive effects.
CBD oil is a mix of CBD concentrate and a carrier plant oil, such as hemp oil, that dilutes it. Depending on the brand, it can contain various fillers, with the cheapest brands having the most fillers. CBD oil has many health benefits including helping with common sleep issues or even relieving insomnia without medication, but the jury still out on some of those benefits.
How Does CBD Affect Your Body
As soon as it has entered your system, CBD will stick to a couple of cannabinoid receptors in your brain, known as the CB2 receptors. These receptors can be activated naturally, by the cannabinoids produced by your own body, or artificially by plant cannabinoids. Another set of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1's have a strong say on how our bodies perceive pleasure and pain, and how strong our appetite is.
CBD will tap CB2 receptors indirectly via the serotonin and adenosine receptors, unlike THC which impacts both CB1 and CB2 directly, for a dopamine release. This means that CBD hemp oil can influence how your body tackles chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
When taken in large doses, CBD can alleviate depression as an extra serotonin receptor is activated (the 5-HTIA). But most importantly, when CBD is paired with THC, it shuts down THC’s effects on the CB1 receptors, preventing it from getting you high.
How Does CBD Make You Feel
Many people wonder if CBD could be used in addressing their sleep issues. Does CBD make you sleepy? There’s no black-and-white answer to that. To better understand how CBD works, you should bear in mind that CBD has a biphasic effect, just like wine. If you drink a glass of wine, you’ll feel stimulated, but if you finish off the whole bottle you’ll be sedated.
Also, there are users that have reported that taking CBD in the evening had a stimulating effect instead of helping them get a better sleep. The scenario also has to do with dosage.
In smaller doses, CBD will have the effect of a small cup of coffee – you’ll feel the buzz and have your mind clearer and ready for action. It will also help reduce daytime sleepiness. So, for extra stimulation, it is best taken in the morning.
In larger doses, on the other hand, CBD will make you drowsy, but help you get asleep. And it does it in a subtler way than medication does by slowly sedating your mind and relaxing your body. If you have recurrent sleep issues, in around 20-30 minutes you should be asleep.
More severe sleep issues, like insomnia, require pairing CBD with herbs or supplements that help you fall asleep. Valerian and melatonin can lend a helpful hand in this case, but consult with a specialist on the right dosage as the duo coupled with CBD may make you sluggish in the morning or lead to upsettingly vivid dreams.
How Long Does It Take to See Some CBD Action?
Don’t expect CBD to work immediately as the absorption rate is influenced by several factors, including your body’s metabolic rate, the quality of the CBD used, and type of usage.
CBD can be used topically by applying it onto your skin, orally, through a shot, through vaping or absorbed sublingually. The faster CBD reaches your bloodstream, the quicker you’ll notice its effects.
The instant method is intravenous injection, with the effects occurring almost instantly. The second in line is inhalation. You can vape CBD and get to see the effects in around 15-20 minutes. A less invasive method is placing the compound sublingually for at least 30 seconds. It should take 15 to 25 minutes for full effect.
CBD and Sleep Disorders
CBD can help people get a better night rest because it staves off anxiety, which is essential for a good sleep quality. Recent research suggests that CBD might help treat insomnia as well, but don’t expect immediate effects. Since cannabidiol is an adaptogen, it needs time to normalize your body.
On the other hand, in small doses CBD acts as a stimulant and improves daytime alertness. So, if you suffer from insomnia and take CBD in the morning in smaller doses expect not to be able to nap during the day.
Although more research needs to be done, CBD may help alleviate sleep disturbances in Parkinson’s disease patients, who are known for moving freely during their sleep, which can harm both them and their sleeping partners.
Normally, during REM sleep, the body is largely immobilized so that it cannot react to too vivid dreams. This is called REM atonia. In Parkinson’s disease sufferers, this state is never achieved, which boosts the risk of self-injury during sleep.
CBD has shown promising results in improving the quality of sleep of these patients, as it promotes higher deep sleep levels. By contrast, THC, the cannabinoid that gets pot smokers high, promotes lower deep sleep levels, which has a detrimental effect on memory consolidation and other critical brain functions over time.
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