Is CBD the magic sleeping pill?
Updated: Jun 3
Want to take an all-natural, magical sleeping pill? Many people claim that that pill is CBD. Before you jump on the CBD bandwagon, read this blog post to find out when and how it can help with sleep and why it may not be the cure-all pill you've been dreaming of.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is an active ingredient found in marijuana and hemp plants. As humans, we have an endocannabinoid system that produces endocannabinoids similar to CBD. Our cells have receptors for these molecules. These endocannabinoids help keep our body in homeostasis or balance.
CBD has been used to treat conditions from epilepsy to anxiety to insomnia to chronic pain and many others. Because it’s not approved by the FDA, manufacturers can’t directly claim that CBD helps with these symptoms.
You can take CBD as a pill, tincture, edible or in a vaporizer.
How does CBD help with sleep?
According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), “some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.” Also, CBD may help with conditions like anxiety, chronic pain and restless legs that affect sleep.
A few studies have been done on CBD and sleep with promising results. One study published in the journal Medicines had 409 participants who averaged 6.6 out of 10 for insomnia symptoms. After 2 years of taking the cannabis flower (not isolated CBD), the average score of insomnia symptoms was 2.2, a significant decrease.
Another study at the University of Colorado involved 72 participants who had anxiety and poor sleep. After a month of taking CBD capsules, 79% had improved anxiety and 66% had increased sleep scores although the sleep scores fluctuated over time.
Because there have only been a few studies on CBD and sleep, I agree with the ASA that “though there is plenty of supporting evidence that shows CBD and cannabinoids can improve sleep, the results are not conclusive and more research needs to be done.”
My CBD experiment
When I wasn’t sleeping well, I tried every supplement on the market to help me sleep. Herbs, homeopathics, amino acids, CBD. You name it, I tried it. Everything except over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids because that’s not my MO.
Nothing really helped. And now I know why. Because I wasn’t getting to the root cause of my insomnia. I needed to make lifestyle changes and get rid of a parasite.
My opinion about CBD
This is what I think about all these supplements: they will help if that’s the substance that your body is missing. Melatonin will help if your body isn’t producing enough melatonin. (Although I suggest supporting your body’s melatonin production instead of supplementing.) Magnesium will help if the only reason you aren’t sleeping is because you’re deficient in magnesium. Same with CBD; if you’re lacking cannabinoids, CBD will help.
But if you body isn’t lacking those nutrients, those supplements aren’t going to help. That’s why there’s no magic pill for sleeping that works for everyone.
If you aren’t sleeping, that means your body is out of balance and it’s manifesting as insomnia. Finding out how to get your body back in balance is key. But it usually requires more than one lone supplement. Even if you need CBD, if you have an unhealthy gut that isn’t producing its own cannabinoids and you have a gut infection that is destroying your gut, then all the CBD in the world isn’t going to help. You have to start with treating the gut infection and then repairing the gut. Only then will your body be able to fully use a CBD supplement or even better, make its own endocannabinoids.
I think CBD can help certain people with certain conditions. But labeling CBD a wonder drug that cures everything, as many proponents claim, is going too far.
Of course, it can’t hurt to try. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was willing to try anything that could help.
But if you’ve already tried all the supplements like I did and nothing is working, something else is going on. I do have encouraging news: you are meant to sleep well. We can figure out what’s out of balance and fix it so you can finally get the sleep you need. You deserve to live every day to the fullest. You deserve to wake up feeling rested, full of energy and excited to achieve your biggest goals.
If that’s what you’ve been dreaming of, let’s chat. Book a call with me to find out what’s keeping you awake at night and how to fix it so you can get the sleep you need.