Posted by Joshua Standifer & Luis N. Pacheco, MD, FAAFP on 3rd Dec 2019

Let's talk about sleep. 

Not that amazingly restful kind that has you launching from bed like a rocket--I’m talking about the groggy, lackluster, up three times a night kind of sleep. We’ve all been there and tried to change it. Stripping back the caffeine, stopping any liquid consumption past a certain time, drinking herbal teas, and still no dice. This is because poor sleep can come from other causes.

Can CBD help with depression?

How do you deal with stress?

In your body, stress results in chemical outpourings to accelerate your respiratory function, shut off reproductive drives, stall digestion, and prepare you to save your own life. There’s just one problem: that report due next week isn’t going to kill you. The future five years from now isn’t lying in wait like a predator. But your body doesn’t care. Your thoughts cause the same chemical threat reactions that cave bears or sabertooth tigers once caused in our ancestors. To put it simply:

Stress causes poor sleep. The more you stress, the less you sleep.

Is CBD safe?

How do I sleep better?

Stress less, of course. But that’s not always easy. The stress-response in the brain is fueled, along with other things, by FAAH, a chemical your body creates naturally. When you stress, you produce more FAAH. Your stress response then uses this newly created FAAH like fuel to stress even more, which produces more FAAH. In neuroscience this called a biofeedback loop. And they’re very hard to break unless you interrupt them.

Stress = Poor Sleep = Low Energy = More Stress

Does CBD help Stress?

The consumer opinion speaks for itself. CBD seems to calm people down. Science is still attempting to nail down the how and why, but in animal models CBD seems to reduce the production of FAAH, which could explain why people experience less stress and better sleep. This in turn seems to help the Endocannabinoid System stabilize homeostasis within the body. FAAH also has one damaging side-effect: the destruction of your body’s cannabinoids. That’s right! Your body already creates cannabinoids like those found in CBD. FAAH eats cannabinoids, which makes reducing FAAH overproduction even more important.

can cbd help with sleep?

Does CBD help Sleep?

Your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) supports the sleep cycle. It uses cannabinoids strategically for the sole purpose of balancing the body until homeostasis is reached. If you’re swollen, or tired, or you’ve eaten a big meal that needs to be digested, or your nerves are extra sensitive, the Endocannabinoid System kicks into gear. It is connected to anything and everything that has to do with balance. When something is out of whack, your ECS is the mechanic of your body. It distributes cannabinoids in order to help adjust the problem. And yes, this includes your sleep cycle.

How does CBD work?

What if you don’t have enough cannabinoids in your body, or your stress levels (physical or emotional) are higher than normal? Some people like to take CBD. You see, CBD seems to induce a reaction in the Endocannabinoid System. CBD comes from plants but is so structurally similar to cannabinoid neurotransmitters that it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid shortages resulting in increased stress and poor sleep could see a lift!

can cbd help with stress?

How do I reduce stress? Is there more I could be doing?

Mindfulness and meditation have shown under lab conditions to reduce stress, and there are great free apps you can download and thousands of guided meditations on YouTube. Exercise likewise helps burn the extra mental energy you might be using negatively against yourself. Awareness of your negative thought patterns is a great place to start, and it only requires a tiny bit of self-awareness. Why are you so upset? Is it really as bad as you think it is? Says who?

Positivity is a learned trait. With practice, patience, and self-compassion, we can slowly rewire our impulses and find happier, more fulfilling lives. CBD seems to be the choice of thousands for a natural health alternative. I take it daily and continue to enjoy the results.