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The Truth About Using CBD for Sleep to Promote Melatonin

By - Milo

Blogger. Researcher. Enthusiast.

Introducing CBD for Sleep and How We Can Optimize Our Circadian Rhythm to Improve our Health

The simple truth is CBD is only a piece of the puzzle for alleviating insomnia like symptoms related to disorders like anxiety and depression. Cannabidiol or “CBD” is a cannabinoid that is respected for its therapeutic neuroregulatory capabilities and how these biological interactions behave as part of our human physiology.

Americans are increasing their use of CBD, looking for relief for a variety of symptoms related to sleep and pain. CBD has the potential to help the body regulate many of the biochemical interactions occurring between our cells and organs, promoting and inhibiting processes related to oxidative and inflammatory stress. These processes are responsible for producing potent hormones such as melatonin which in term promotes the production of glutathione, our first defense towards oxidative stress!

Simply put, when we take CBD our body can remedy the lack of our naturally produced endocannabinoids (anandamide & 2-AG) to regulate processes in the body, if the therapeutic potential is met and we get better sleep we now begin to produce melatonin which then activates our Nrf-2 system that activates the enzymes responsible to synthesize glutathione.

As the research shows, CBD shows promise to help you get a better quality of sleep if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, sleep apnea or other related ailments. However, there are many other things to consider that are part of our genetics that make a stronger impact towards our long term health! But as we will discover, CBD and some select terpenes can help steer our ship in the right direction.

In this article we’re going to look into the science of sleep, CBD, melatonin, oxidative stress and what we can do to improve our health. And it all starts by getting a good nights rest.

Adults who are short sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) were more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep (7 or more hours per 24-hour period) – CDC.gov

Sleep and melatonin production are deeply nestled within our daily circadian rhythm from the predominant blue spectrum of morning light keeping us awake to the red spectrum we receive at sunset signaling our bodies for rest. 

Studies show the importance of getting adequate sleep to regulate our hormones, produce antioxidants, repair cells and tissue and regulate energy balance. CBD and some associated terpenes have also been an area of focus which show promising capabilities to assist with conditions that have a negative effect on sleep such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, chronic pain, Post-Traumatic-Syndrome-Disorder (PTSD) and sleep apnea.

Cannabinoids derived from cannabis and hemp (the female and male plants of Cannabis sativa) are highly sought after by Americans facing sleep-related disorders. Scientifically speaking, it’s the mechanisms of which the body utilizes cannabinoids and terpenes for sleep by taking up these compounds through the lipid neuromodulatory receptors of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) throughout the body which makes them so highly prized. The reception of these neurological signals help the body regulate a number of processes crucial to our sleep and overall well-being. 

 

Read more about the Endocannabinoid System – Click Here

 

Cannabidiol or “CBD” is one of the main non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids (plant based) that are received predominantly by our CB2 receptors in the ECS. The ECS is correlated to our circadian sleep-rhythmic cycle. If our sleep is inconsistent or of “poor” quality, our ECS is disrupted as a result which can require the need for “Endocannabinoid Deficiency Therapy”.

CBD has been reported to reduce anxiolytic effects from anxiety, depression and PTSD which could improve the quality of sleep an individual receives. Allowing for other components of our sleep cycle to work effectively such as the hypothalamus and pineal gland production of melatonin.


Read more about Endocannabinoid Deficiency Therapy – Click Here

 

Melatonin is another crucial hormone produced when we effectively get regular quality sleep. However, similar to the ECS, the system that regulates the production of melatonin can be dysregulated when disruptions of our circadian sleep cycle occur. 

Melatonin is a regulatory hormonal compound that is directly linked to many of the cell-repair functions by enabling anti-oxidant enzymes to regulate and remove oxygen free radicals within our body. 

The importance to note here, is that oxygen free radicals are oxygen atoms that can freely bind with other molecules to form harmful chemical compounds that are related to metabolic dysfunction and autoimmune disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, diabetes and cancer.

Evidence from a number of recent studies shows how CBD could be effective for sleep for the elderly suffering from sleep disruption that comes with old age. Since CBD is well known for its neuroregulatory effects, as mentioned above, our bodies need to work effectively in a state of homeostasis (steady-state) to allow for many other systems to work properly. 

Since CBD regulates systems that are responsible for many of our immune functions and maintaining our mental health, people of any age could potentially benefit from using terpene rich CBD products more regularly.

So, using CBD for sleep can help us obtain a higher quality of rest to support the other systems that play crucial roles in all the other maintenance processes our bodies undergo when resting. If CBD successfully helps reduce the symptoms related to disorders that prevent sleep, our hypothalamus can step in and ensure that the pineal gland serves its hormonal function by producing melatonin. And the melatonin production in term, serves as a crucial instigator to make our immune cells to work effectively, enabling enzymes responsible for producing antioxidants such as glutathione and eliminating oxygen free radicals.

CBD and some specifically associated terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene or terpinolene can be used effectively to reduce oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and promote neurological regulation. Using the right CBD product that is high in other associated cannabinoids and terpenes will maximize the therapeutic benefits of using CBD for sleep related disorders.

Let’s get into it.

The Importance of Sleep, How CBD Can Support Melatonin Production

Our history of rising and resting by the sun has given us the physiological tools to thrive. The sun gives a variety of light spectrums that react with our eyes, our eyes let light in sending signals to our brains to begin doing the work required to take care of some necessary “housekeeping”.

The signals we receive from the shift of light in the evenings stem from our pupils dilating, sending a message to the hypothalamus in the brain to allow the pineal gland to produce melatonin. 

Melatonin is a lipid based hormone responsible for a variety of maintenance processes in the body such as addressing oxidative stress and removing oxygen free radicals to prevent damage to our genetic DNA. Melatonin acting as a lipid based metabolite through our endocrine system is received by melatonin type 1 & 2 receptors. 

The signals received by these receptors via melatonin decreases onset sleep latency and acts to prevent oxidative stress caused by oxygen free radicals. Additionally, melatonin acts as a barrier to reduce proinflammatory cytokines transcribing inflammatory responses.

Read more about Inflammatory Cytokines and CBD – Click Here

CBD is being used by many for its promising effects on improving our quality of sleep. CBD is another lipid based compound that is received by cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) in the Endocrine System (ECS) throughout the body such as the brain, pancreas and other organs. Similar to melatonin, CBD and some specific terpenes can be effective to reduce the impact of proinflammatory cytokines that increase when our cells and tissue undergo some degree of stress. 

CBD supports immune functions that can help suppress symptoms related to sleep disorders which in term, can open up the production of melatonin prompted by our circadian rhythmic cycle by the pineal gland. Reducing the dysfunctional regulation of our bodies homeostatic states could be instigated by consuming CBD and certain associated terpenes which can decrease onset sleep latency and promote all the therapeutic benefits of melatonin production.

Understanding how CBD is used by the body, brain and endocannabinoid system starts with understanding oxidative stress. 

Our bodies undergo oxidative stress when certain environmental and chemical factors induce stress on our internal systems. 

For example, when we exercise, our muscle fibers and the cells that make up those fibers become damaged from use and begin repair through myogenesis. Through myogenesis our cells have been signaled by immune cells to produce cytokines. Cytokines signal inflammatory response and if it is too persistent, our muscles cannot recover and the process of myogenesis can be halted.

So it’s apparent why managing inflammation is so important. Muscle fibers are just one example, but our cells are constantly attempting to mitigate damage caused by oxygen free radicals. Oxidative stress is a threat to our cellular organelles and DNA, when cells take too much damage at their genomic level they can behave differently causing a variety of metabolic dysfunction such as diabetes, anxiety or depression.

CBD and Terpenes associated with Sleep, Antioxidation and Melatonin Production

CBD works scientifically by transmitting lipid based signals received by our CB1 & CB2 receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system and terpenes support these interactions through the entourage effect. 

Specifically speaking, when we supplement with CBD formulas rich in natural terpenes extracted from cannabis and hemp. Our bodies respond by regulating the processes our immune cells have on a varying degree actions they’re responsible for. This includes the production of enzymes that create antioxidants that cells use to protect themselves from oxygen free radicals which can threaten our cellular matrix such as cell membranes, mitochondrial & cellular DNA.

Since CBD has shown evidence to support our homeostatic state (operating at our metabolic baseline), it lays the ground network for other systems in our bodies such as our immune and endocrine system to produce other potent compounds that support our health. 

If we regulate our sleep cycles, eat a nutritious diet and exercise, we can optimally utilize CBD for sleep aid because it’s what happens when we get quality sleep that brings us to the next tier of “optimal health”. Our brain goes through several states over the course of 7-8 hours of rest that directly correlate with our energy levels, mental clarity, sex drive, oxidative stress & inflammatory response networks. I hope you’re beginning to make the connections here.

CBD —> reach our bodies optimal metabolic state —> Get higher quality of sleep —> Our biological network working properly produces melatonin —> Melatonin inhibits enzymes to their job and produce glutathione—>Glutathione is our most potent and reliable naturally produced antioxidant—>Antioxidants that prevent and protect our cells and DNA from damage = Overall disease prevention and reaching optimal levels of metabolic health

It’s important to always examine the chemical nature of our diet and supplements to understand fully why they can be effective aids to our health.

Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic organic compounds produced by a variety of plants you’re probably familiar with. An extensive array of terpenes are found in the flower of cannabis and hemp. The one’s largely researched for their potential benefits to aid in the reduction of anxiolytic symptoms, insomnia, PTSD, sleep apnea and other sleep related dysfunction are:

  • Myrcene – Most common terpene, a potent sedative & muscle relaxant, also found in hops
  • Linalool – Very potent sedative/calming effect reducing anxiety in mice in some studies, found in lavender 
  • Nerolidol – An uncommon terpene but known sedative found in oranges

Other terpenes have strong analgesic effects (pain killing) and antioxidative/inflammatory properties such

  • Terpinolene – documented having synergistic effects to promote enzymatic activation producing antioxidants (found in sage)
  • Limonene – potent immunostimulant upon inhalation, reduces anxiolytic effects (found in citrus fruit i.e. lemon)
  • Beta-Caryophyllene – potent antioxidant potential with efficacy as a CB2 agonist inducing pain relief and anti inflammatory effects (found it pepper)
  • Alpha-Pinene – promising synergistic effects of promoting anti-inflammatory effects as well as bronchodilation in the lungs (found in pine needles)

As outlined above, terpenes have a variety of synergistic antioxidative activity alongside cannabinoids being transferred through the ECS. Terpene antioxidants are well documented in animal studies with mice and rats, as they are largely available from plants such as fruits and herbs. 

Terpene antioxidants work scientifically by eliciting reactions between chemicals and enzymes found within the cellular matrix. Terpinolene being a typical terpene sought after for it’s antioxidative properties, can potentially help reduce oxidative stress and promote sleep aid. Linalool has expressed a lot of promise in the reviewed literature for its calming effects on mice and myrcene for it’s potent ability to increase pain tolerance in the form of an analgesic. 

So it’s obvious that these wonderful smelling aromatic terpenes are so desirable and attainable from well grown hemp and cannabis.

Using CBD & Terpenes Therapeutically to Relieve Symptoms of Insomnia and Sleep Related Dysfunction

 

“1 in 4 Americans develop some form of insomnia every year” – SleepFoundation.Org

 

And many Americans are looking for aids to assist in getting a better night’s rest. 

The lack of sleep and insomnia like symptoms are associated with Chronic Diseases such as:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Depression

And most of these are “metabolic diseases” where the body cannot metabolize the biochemical interactions between cells and organs effectively causing the disease. Additionally, CBD and these terpenes are being closely scrutinized by the science community for their application to alleviate symptoms related to these diseases.

How CBD  for Sleep Disorders works: Insomnia related to Anxiety/Depression & PTSD

Insomnia & CBD

In a large case study in 2019 by Shannon and her colleagues (2019) to review the efficacy of CBDs ability to reduce insomnia like symptoms in participants and improve their quality of sleep. 59 of 72 adult participants who used CBD expressed a 79% reduction in anxiety and 48 patients expressed improved quality of sleep in the first month.

Many patients of this larger observational clinical study reflected improved relief of their anxiolytic symptoms. Some of the patients reported minor side effects such as fatigue but most remained on treatment to experiment with a natural alternative in lieu of other psychiatric medicines. 

There are many clinical studies but more interventional studies need to be done to explore the true potential or limits of CBD to alleviate anxiety related symptoms attached to depression, sleep, PTSD and schizophrenia. CBD shows observational promise to improve the quality of sleep for individuals who suffer from insomnia type symptoms who have poor onset sleep latency (time taken to fall asleep) and duration of sleep.

Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a psychoactive disorder where the individual suffers from recurring cognitive dysfunction in relation to anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation. Cannabinoids have increasingly been used, especially by veterans, to help mitigate their symptoms of PTSD. 

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa that has shown some potential in the therapeutic application of treatment for PTSD. 

CBD has expressed some therapeutic benefits by supporting the inhibition of uptake or enzymic degradation of endocannabinoids naturally produced in the body. One of the core benefits that some studies identify with the use of CBD is that in higher doses it does not increase anxiolytic symptoms. THC has beneficial reactions with CB1 receptors, increased intake can heighten anxiety which turns into a good-with-the-bad scenario (biphasic effect). The common belief in the current literature is that CBD is safe with prolonged use and is a natural low-consequence side effect inducing therapy compared to other pharmaceutical anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs.

With memory related to trauma it is difficult to treat with common prescriptions because they do not react with memory induced neurological functions. PTSD stems from our fear-conditioning programming of survival, and it’s how we build these neurological networks determines how our bodies behave through particular stimulus. 

Many Americans are looking for natural sleep aids and ways to reduce their intake of prescribed drugs due to some adverse side effects. 

CBD gummies for sleep are a convenient way to get your intake of CBD daily without having to take oily tinctures and the like. CBD gummies for sleep are the same gummies that could benefit you in all regards of consuming cannabinoids from any full or broad spectrum product. Some products offer inclusive melatonin or the other supplementary compounds but the evidence showing any improved sleep is foggy at best.

Keep it simple, try using CBD in any form, if gummies is your preferred method and it’s working for you, then carry on!

We offer a variety of vegan based CBD gummies in both full and broad spectrum with no foreign supplements outside the pure extract from organically grown hemp. We also have vegan based formulas to abide by dietary restrictions!

 

Looking for Some CBD Gummies for Sleep?

Full & Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies made with no animal products – Click Here

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