Imagine waking up in the morning feeling rested and awake – no more residual grogginess or impairment. In order to understand how CBD helps modulate sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. We will address the results below.
Epidiolex is a type of medical cannabis that has been developed and trialled under licence in the US and UK. The cannabidiol (CBD) therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of refractory epilepsy for some with Dravet and Lennox Gastaut syndromes, tuberous sclerosis and infantile spasms. The drug is also being evaluated as an add-on therapy for adults with poorly controlled focal seizures. This cannabidiol product contains virtually no THC.
When appropriate doses of CBD are taken during the day (which should be determined in consultation with your doctor, but often include one dose in the morning and one in the evening), daytime performance is drastically improved, and in turn, both the “strength and consistency” of the sleep-wake cycle is also improved. Naturally, this enhances the ability of the body to enter the all-important non-REM sleep cycle at night.
Talansky says that his sleep improved almost immediately when he started taking CBD daily. Soon after, he was also less anxious about transitioning from pro cycling to his new sport, felt that he recovered more quickly from hard training, and had fewer flare-ups of his old cycling injuries. Now he encourages other athletes to try CBD, in part “to get rid of the association with smoking weed,” he says. “It’s completely different.”
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.
When exposed to air, warmth and light (especially without antioxidants), the oil loses its taste and psychoactivity due to aging. Cannabinoid carboxylic acids (THCA, CBDA, and maybe others) have an antibiotic effect on gram-positive bacteria such as (penicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus aureus, but gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli are unaffected.
All I can say is that evening, I had a great dinner (pizza!) and sat on the couch watching TV in a state of genuine contentment. I actually remember thinking to myself while watching an episode of The Office, “holy crap, that CBD must’ve really actually worked.” I experienced no side effects whatsoever, and I went to bed that night and had a genuinely good sleep.
5-HT1A partial agonist: Modulation of neurotransmission at the 5-HT1A receptor is understood to provide anxiolytic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective effects. Research has demonstrated the effect of cannabidiol as a 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, meaning it binds to the receptor site but only stimulates the receptor partially (relative to a full agonist). Studies with cloned human cell cultures note that cannabidiol displaces 5-HT1A agonists from 5-HT1A receptor sites in a dose-dependent manner.
Likewise, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may interfere with sleep architecture and decrease restorative sleep, leading to increased awakenings, reduced REM sleep, increased REM latency, as well as increased periodic limb movement during sleep (Feige et al., 2002). In addition, SSRIs and SNRIs have been associated with REM sleep without atonia, characterized by increased tonic or phasic motor activity in electromyographic channels during REM sleep (Schenck et al., 1992; American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014; Lee et al., 2016).
Several parameters were recorded during polysomnography, considering that the essential tests for sleep staging are electroencephalogram, electrooculogram, and electromyogram. Given the lack of studies on the effect of CBD on human polysomnography-monitored sleep, other parameters were selected based on studies that tested the effect of other drugs in healthy volunteers (Orr et al., 2012; Yadollahi et al., 2014). When comparing our polysomnographic data with results from other studies that used placebo in healthy volunteers, similar findings were observed (Buysse et al., 1989; Sabbatini et al., 2005; Fidan et al., 2011; Feld et al., 2013; Wilson et al., 2015).
Some researchers believe that hippocampal neurogenesis may play a critical role in attenuating symptoms of severe anxiety and/or depression. Although not all 5-HT1A partial agonists may induce hippocampal neurogenesis, there’s evidence to suggest that cannabidiol does. A study published in 2013 assessed the anxiolytic effects of CBD in mice exposed to chronic stress.
Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.
Research works in this aspect are inclining in the favor of CBD for alleviation of insomnia. For example, a study carried out in the year 2006 revealed that cannabidiol (CBD), which is the second important constituent of cannabis, and is non-psychoactive in nature, may have an impact on the sleep mechanism of rats. It was shown to increase alertness with light, and had no particular impact on sleep with the lights off. This provides an insight that CBD could be brought into use for therapeutic relief of day-time somnolence, and hence, can this way improve night-time sleep.
But now, as more and more people are turning to the drug to treat ailments, the science of cannabis is experiencing a rebirth. We’re finding surprises, and possibly miracles, concealed inside this once forbidden plant. Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, recently expressed interest in what science will learn about marijuana, noting that preliminary data show that “for certain medical conditions and symptoms” it can be “helpful.”
In 31 states and the District of Columbia cannabis is legal for some medical uses, and a majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use. Other countries are rethinking their relationship to pot too. In Uruguay and Canada the drug is legal. Portugal has decriminalized it. Israel and the Netherlands have medical marijuana programs, and in recent years numerous countries have liberalized possession laws.
Stress is an important contributor to anxiety disorders, and traumatic stress exposure is essential to the development of PTSD. Systemically administered CBD reduced acute increases in heart rate and blood pressure induced by restraint stress, as well as the delayed (24 h) anxiogenic effects of stress in the EPM, partially by 5-HT1AR activation [67, 73]. However intra-BNST microinjection of CBD augmented stress-induced heart rate increase, also partially via 5-HT1AR activation . In a subchronic study, CBD administered daily 1 h after predator stress (a proposed model of PTSD) reduced the long-lasting anxiogenic effects of chronic predator stress, partially via 5-HT1AR activation . In a chronic study, systemic CBD prevented increased anxiety produced by chronic unpredictable stress, in addition to increasing hippocampal AEA; these anxiolytic effects depended upon CB1R activation and hippocampal neurogenesis, as demonstrated by genetic ablation techniques . Prior stress also appears to modulate CBD’s anxiogenic effects: microinjection of CBD into the prelimbic cortex of unstressed animals was anxiogenic in the EPM but following restraint stress was found to be anxiolytic . Likewise, systemic CBD was anxiolytic in the EPM following but not prior to stress .
American veterans have been vocal in the discourse regarding medical marijuana. Scientists found that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are deficient in endocannabinoids. They also found that CB1 receptors signal the deactivation of traumatic memories. PTSD is increasingly popping up on states’ lists of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. In June 2017, Colorado added PTSD to its list making it the ninth and most recent qualifying condition. New York added PTSD to its tightly controlled program this year after pressure from veterans groups made its way to the governor. Those affected by PTSD often suffer from extreme anxiety, drastically impacting their life and ability to interact with others.
Despite that, he’s not particularly in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. He doesn’t think anyone should go to jail for possessing it, but he insists that marijuana is “not an innocuous substance”—especially for young people. He cites studies showing that the prolonged use of high-THC strains of marijuana can change the way the developing brain grows. He notes that in some people cannabis can provoke serious and debilitating anxiety attacks. And he points to studies that suggest cannabis may trigger the onset of schizophrenia among those who have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
People claim that cannabis oil can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, though evidence to back up these claims is often lacking. For example, according to Medical News Today, people use cannabis oil for conditions ranging from pain to acne; some even claim the oil can cure diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. (But again, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims.)
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