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CBD Oil – The Complete Guide
Last Updated on April 27, 2020 by Ben Locke
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a Phytocannabinoid that was found in 1940. CBD is one of the 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It also accounts for almost 40% of the extract from the cannabis plants. Clinical research done on the cannabidiol shows its effect on anxiety, cognition, movement-related disorders as well as pain. However, there is a lack of evidence that proves that the use of CBD helps in dealing with these disorders. Cannabidiol can be used on our bodies in a variety of ways that include inhaling cannabis smoke or vapor, use of cannabis aerosol sprays into the cheek, and by mouth. However, CBD can also be used in the form of an oil. This oil only contains CBD as an active ingredient, and there is no trace of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or terpenes. Cannabidiol can be available as a full-plant CBD containing hemp oil extract, dried Cannabis, capsules and as a liquid solution with proper prescription. CBD has a different psychoactivity as compared to the THC, and it might even alter the psychoactive effects of THC if both the compounds are present in the human body. Till now, we have little to no idea of the mechanism of action for the putative biological effects of CBD. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the cannabidiol drug, Epidiolex, in 2018. The approval was given to treat two epilepsy disorders. As Cannabis comes under Schedule I controlled substances in the US, all other CBD formulations are illegal to prescribe for medical use, and it cannot be added in food items.
Use of Cannabidiol for Sleep
Cannabidiol, which is abbreviated as CBD, is derived from Cannabis plants. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system of our bodies and helps it maintain a state of stability and balance, i.e., homeostasis. As mentioned earlier, CBD is not psychoactive like THC. In simple words, you won’t get “high” on using CBD. However, we don’t know the effects of consuming both CBD and THC at the same time. Now, CBD isn’t something that gets you “high,” and therefore, it has medicinal value. CBD is sometimes used to deal with seizures in people who suffer from epilepsy, and it also helps in reducing pain caused by some medical conditions. There is also evidence that CBD can help you sleep better at night. So, let us look at how CBD helps us get a good night’s sleep. Before we get to know the ways in which CBD oil helps us sleep better, we need to understand why people are unable to sleep properly. As it is said, prevention is better than cure, so if we can get better sleep at night by changing a few habits, there won’t be a need to seek alternatives such as CBD oil.
Mayo Clinic says that the inability to sleep at night or insomnia could be a result of the following things.
- Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder are one of the leading causes of insomnia in people.
- Some medicines, such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease and contain Dopamine Agonists, are also known to disturb our sleep-wake cycle.
- Physical conditions such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome are also known to cause insomnia.
- Caffeine, if consumed at night, can also lead to insomnia.
- And environmental factors such as loud noise, uncomfortable beds, or lights could also make it difficult for us to fall asleep at night.
If your insomnia is caused by an external factor that you cannot change, then CBD oil might come in handy if you want to sleep at night. In case your sleeplessness is a result of an uncomfortable bed or excess coffee consumption, then changing the bed and probably changing your habits would be a much better solution. Even though there is hardly any evidence that strongly suggests that CBD might come in handy in treating anxiety, some researchers still believe that CBD can help in reducing anxiety.
Research published in 2019 studied if the use of CBD could help in improving the quality of sleep or reduce anxiety. Seventy-two subjects participated in this study, with 47 suffering from anxiety and 25 suffering from insomnia. The test involved giving these subjects a pill containing 25 mg of CBD each day. During the first month of the study, over 75 percent of the patients reported that their anxiety reduced to a large extent, whereas 66 percent reported that they can sleep a lot better. Sometimes, pain is also one of the common issues that lead to insomnia. So, in a 2018 review in Frontiers of Pharmacology mentioned that there is an ample amount of evidence that suggests that CBD helps in reducing pain. The authors of the review also mentioned that they believe that the use of CBD can improve sleep by soothing the pain. Another Research from 2014 looked for the effects of CBD on our sleep cycle. This research involved four patients who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. These patients were given CBD, and it was noted that their REM sleep behavior disorder showed improvement. RBD (REM sleep disorder) is a condition that makes a person act out in their dreams. A lot of doctor’s associate RBD with poor quality of sleep as well as with nightmares. Grogginess, which is also a common symptom of insomnia, might also be affected using CBD. CBD has been found to induce wakefulness in humans as well as animals. However, researchers are unable to pinpoint why or how the use of CBD was causing wakefulness in these minority of cases. So, with the research conducted over the past decade, we can say that CBD has potential when it comes to the treatment of sleep disorders. It has already been shown to help treat the causes of sleeplessness, alleviate the problems that lead to, and it also helps to deal with grogginess, a common symptom of insomnia.
How Does CBD Work?
Before we take anything that helps us sleep better, we must understand how it works. There is no conclusive study that shows the working of CBD to help us sleep better. The slew of studies mentioned above are just samples that show it works and even ask questions as to why it works. So, we need to conduct more studies to find out the actual working of CBD. So, are the studies that have been conducted fruitless? No, even though the evidence is not conclusive, we know that CBD helps us sleep better by dealing with the causes of insomnia. With further studies underway, it is only a matter of time before we crack the mystery of how CBD promotes sleep.
Various Forms of CBD that Help with Sleep Disorder
There are a variety of ways to use CBD. The various forms of CBD include vape concentrates, oils and tinctures, pills and capsules, and even edibles like gummies. Vaping is one of the most efficient ways of getting CBD in your system. But, the lack of research makes it an undesirable form as there might be risks involved, which might harm our respiratory system.
How Is CBD Oil Made and Purified?
We have learnt about CBD, its working and the various forms that it is sold in, its uses in various ailments, and the researches that show its usefulness. One of the main forms of CBD is oil. So, let us take a look at how CBD oil is made. CBD can be extracted from the Marijuana plant as well as from Hemp. However, Marijuana-based CBD oil is illegal in the US. So, we will look at how oil is extracted from Hemp. One of the most popular ways to extract oil from Hemp is through the use of Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is unique as we can have it as a gas, liquid, or solid. Closed-loop extractors use this principle to extract oil from Hemp. In Carbon Dioxide based extraction, a piece of solid CO2 is pumped in a chamber that contains Hemp. This chamber is kept at a pressure that allows CO2 to stay in a liquid form and can easily absorb the oil as well as the flavor of the plant. This CO2 and oil mixture is sent into a third chamber where the temperature and pressure are normal so that the CO2 evaporates, leaving behind the oil. Oil Infusion is another popular as well as the ancient technique to extract oil from Hemp. This method is preferred by people who grow Hemp at home and don’t have access to better technology. However, some large-scale producers also use this technique as it is one of the most straightforward methods to extract oil.
First of all, you need to decarboxylate the plant material, or you can heat it up to a certain temperature to activate the compounds. Once you have done this, you can add olive oil or any other carrier oil to the plant material and heat it to 100 degrees C for a couple of hours. As we cannot get rid of the olive oil, we need to use a lot of oil made using this technique to get the same effect that small quantities of pure CBD oil produces. Using a liquid to extract CBD oil doesn’t stop with the use of olive oil or liquid Carbon Dioxide. People also rely on ethanol, butane, hexane, and isopropyl alcohol to extract the oil. The process is quite like that of olive oil, but these methods also carry some impurities from the plant, such as chlorophyll. To increase the purity of the CBD oil obtained by these methods, you can rely on distillation and winterization. In distillation, you heat the combined oil to evaporate and condense the different components of the oil in another flask while leaving behind the impurities. In winterization, the compound oil is mixed with 200-proof alcohol and left to freeze. After some time, the frozen mixture is run through a filter that removes materials such as fats. To further purify the mixture, you could boil it until the alcohol evaporates.
CBD Oil Dosage for Sleep
One of the most common forms of consuming CBD is through oils and tinctures, and still, we need to ensure that the dosage is proper. A lot of factors go into determining the appropriate dosage of CBD oil. We need to consider the user’s weight, body chemistry along with the cause of insomnia to determine if CBD would be useful or not, and the dosage. Most studies that have been conducted until now have varied the dosage between 25 mg and 1500 mg per day. It is recommended that you start with the minimum dosage and increase it carefully until you find the right amount. However, the usage of CBD doesn’t guarantee you immediate results. Researches show that patients suffering from anxiety and insomnia take nearly one month to notice the effects of using CBD. So, don’t get impatient and increase the amount daily. It might take some time before you get the desired results. But before you start using CBD oil for dealing with your insomnia, consult your doctor. A doctor is the right person to talk to when you need any kind of medication or supplements as they could tell you the right dosage and how to use the drug better than anybody else.
Using CBD Oil for Sleep
For beginners, using CBD oil is as simple as using a dropper to take the prescribed amount of oil and putting it under your tongue. It might seem awkward, but you need to put it under your tongue and hold it there for a few seconds before swallowing. This is one of the easiest ways to get the CBD oil directly into your bloodstream. At first, it might not work as well as you expect it to. However, you should wait for some time before increasing the dosage. There are also variants of CBD oil that can be inhaled by smoking or vaping. You will find the dosage on the CBD oil container. For smoking, you can use an “oil rig,” which is similar to a water pipe. For vaping, there are a variety of vaporizer pens that can be used, and this method is somewhat better than smoking as it doesn’t give the harsh feeling of smoke.
Another method to use CBD oil is through the use of balms and tinctures that have CBD oil as an ingredient. Get to know the proper dosage with the help of your doctor and apply the necessary amount of oil onto your skin. This method is useful if you are suffering from body pains as you need to apply the oil at the affected location. Lastly, you can also add CBD oil to your food. You could add CBD oil to your pasta, just be careful of the amount you use. Alternatively, there are products available on the markets that have been infused with the oil; you can try them as well.
How CBD Oil Helps in Improving Sleep Quality?
Those who manufacture CBD oil claim that it is effective against anxiety, depression, pain, sleep disorders, inflammation as well as other ailments. The FDA has also approved Epidolex, a CBD product, to treat epilepsy. However, the researchers conducted to show the benefits of CBD oil haven’t been successful in providing enough evidence. The only conclusive results came for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Davet syndrome. The lack of proper research showing the benefits of CBD is that the laws in the US, earlier, put Hemp and marijuana together. It was only in 2015 that the FDA eased the restrictions imposed on CBD and thus allowing research to be conducted. Right now, the trials for the effect of CBD oil in treating Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety are underway. However, the position of the US government regarding CBD is unclear. All the 50 states have legalized the use of CBD, but the restrictions placed on its use is different for different states. So, only two conditions, which are different types of epilepsy, have been proven to improve with the use of CBD. However, evidence also suggests that the use of CBD oil is beneficial in treating sleep disorders, nerve-related pains, inflammatory pains, depression and anxiety, acne, and muscle-spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.
Side Effects of Using CBD
CBD is safe when taken orally. Cases have shown that people were able to take up to 300 mg of CBD orally a day for one month without any side effects. In some cases, people took up to 1500 mg of CBD daily for a month without any problem. The prescription drug, Epidiolex, to treat certain types of epilepsy is taken in quantities that are determined by body weight, up to 20 mg/kg. Even though there are no serious issues related to the consumption of CBD, it has some side effects such as dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. There is also evidence that suggests liver injuries, but the chances of this happening are extremely rare. As for the side effects of CBD oil, not much is known about it. However, CBD should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. The product could be contaminated with other substances, which might be harmful to the fetus or the infant. Children who suffer from epilepsy are usually given dosage under 10 mg/kg, and in some severe cases, it might increase to 15 mg/kg. Higher dosage than this might cause adverse effects, and the FDA has only approved the drug to be used on children older than 2 years. People who have some liver-related issues need to be careful while using CBD. They are generally told to take a dosage comparatively lower than the one taken by healthy people. There is also evidence that suggests that in some cases, a high dosage of CBD by people suffering from Parkinson’s disease might make the tremors much worse.
A Buying Guide on CBD Products for Sleep
Before buying CBD oil to help yourself sleep properly, you need to understand a few things. The quality and purity of the CBD oil is of utmost importance, and you will find the tips mentioned below to be useful while purchasing CBD in the US.
- Before you go out and buy CBD oil or, as a matter of fact, any other CBD based product, you need to understand what CBD is and whether you need it or not. Always check if the disorder, in this case, insomnia, can be cured with the product you are looking for and if there are other alternatives to CBD available that deal with the condition.
- You need to do research on how you are going to use CBD oil as it is not one of the most popular ways to consume CBD. So, consult a doctor and check the product label for additional information and usage details before using it for your sleep disorder.
- As mentioned above, a doctor is the right person to consult when you are looking for products such as CBD oil. They will not only tell you about the need for CBD oil but also help you determine the proper dosage and tell you if there is any risk of side effects from using CBD oil.
- Take a good look at the product and read its label carefully. Before getting any CBD based product, you need to check what exactly goes into it. You can go through the Patient’s Guide to CBD: 2019,” a downloadable report from Americans for Safe Access.
You should see the label for identity, which tells what exactly the CBD product is meant for. Cannabinoid content, which tells the amount of CBD in the product, and ensures that the product has CBD and THC should not be present or if present then in trace amounts only. The batch lot and Product number along with the Expiration date of the product. Choose a product which clearly specifies the instructions to use, dosage as well as warnings about the side effects and storage instructions.
- Look at FDA warning letters while selecting the brand. It has been found that a lot of CBD based products don’t contain CBD or contain it in insufficient quantity. The FDA regularly publishes a list of companies that are known to sell counterfeit products.
- You also need to look at the results of independent tests. Most doctors suggest that before buying any CBD based product, a buyer should look at the Certificate of Analysis to look at the results of the testing. You should also refrain from buying a product that doesn’t have a Certificate of Analysis. A COA is given after independent testing agencies conduct laboratory tests on the products. It tells us about the presence of contaminants, the amount of CBD and THC present in the product, and the information about the quality of the product.
- Don’t follow the hype. Some people suggest CBD products such as sprays and oils as a cure for diseases. Federal regulations strictly prohibit food items or supplements to be marketed as products that can cure or treat a disease. So, if a company says that their CBD oil can cure your insomnia, you should consider it as a red flag and steer away from it.
- Federal regulations also mention that a company should put its contact details on the product, so a customer can contact them. If the product doesn’t seem to have such information, then you should not buy it.
Companies That Sell Legitimate CBD Products for Sleep
CBD oils and other products are not something that you would find on Amazon. So, here is a list of verified companies and retailers who sell CBD products. The Huff Post has done some research before coming up with this list
- Med Terra: Med Terra produces its CBD oil from industrial Hemp that they grow on their farms every year. They claim to selectively breed their hemp plants to get the best possible results. The Med Terra products have 99% CBD.
- MedixCBD: The company uses Hemp grown in Kentucky to create one of the purest CBD oils in the US. Apart from oils, MedixCBD also sells tinctures, gummies, and sprays.
- Made by Hemp: This Michigan based company follows the rules and regulations made for the hemp products to ensure potency and quality. They also sell CBD infused chocolates and lozenges.
These are some of the most reliable companies that sell CBD oils and other products in the US. However, before purchasing CBD oil to help yourself sleep better, do proper research. Consult your doctor and look at the rules and regulations regarding Hemp based products in the state that you live in. Even though CBD products are legal in all 50 states in the US, these states have different guidelines regarding the use and sale of the products that use Hemp.
So, if you need to use Cannabidiol oil for dealing with your insomnia. You need to consult a doctor to see if there are any alternative options. In case there are other ways to cure your insomnia, then try those. If the doctor suggests you try CBD products, then get to know the proper dosage, and if possible, the type of the product as CBD has some side effects such as drowsiness, low blood pressure, and dry mouth. Buy the CBD oils and other products from legitimate sellers and check the product label for more information about the product. At last, know the local rules and regulations before purchasing any Cannabis-based product.
CBD Oil for Sleep FAQs
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a Phytocannabinoid that was found in 1940. CBD is one of the 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. An oil with CBD as its only active ingredient is called CBD oil.
What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, i.e., you won’t get high after consuming it, and therefore it has medical use.
Is It Okay to Use THC And CBD Together?
We don’t have any proper research data on the effects of using CBD and THC together, so you should refrain from using them together.
Does CBD Help Cure Insomnia?
Research shows that the use of CBD helps in dealing with the conditions that lead to insomnia. So, it can be said that it helps in the case of insomnia but doesn’t treat the condition itself.
Are CBD Products Legal in the US?
As Cannabis comes under Schedule, I controlled substance in the US. So, until 2015 all other CBD formulations, except Epidiolex, were illegal to prescribe for medical use, and it cannot be added in food items. However, CBD derived from Hemp is legal, but various states have different laws regarding its use.
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