Cannabis, Hemp and Sleep: What You Should Know
With the rise in states legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes and the 2019 Farm Bill legalizing hemp production throughout the United States, there is a booming industry surrounding hemp and cannabis. In such a nascent industry, it can be quite daunting to filter out the truths from the lies, but in this article we provide you with a summary of the best information available, as well as a recommendation of our favorite product that can help you with sleep.
The Endocannabinoid System
Humans have a variety of systems in our body that help perform automatic functions. Most of us are familiar with the digestive system, the nervous system, or the cardiovascular system; however, there are much fewer of us who have heard of or understand the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is technically a subsystem of the nervous system, which contains cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and body. The ECS is involved in several physiological and psychological processes, including the regulation of mood, pain, memory, sleep, and our response to physical exercise.
Notably, the ECS has been found to regulate the circadian sleep-wake cycle, and most impressively, the return to a healthy circadian rhythm after a period of non-normal sleep. This has profound implications for anyone who is interested in improving their quality and quantity of sleep.
You read that right, your body is designed for cannabinoids and they can help you sleep better.
Cannabis & Hemp
Technically speaking, hemp and cannabis are derived from the same plant. However, hemp is a term used to describe the variety of cannabis plant that has been cultivated for industrial purposes like textiles, rope, fuel, etc. As a result, the hemp variety is known for it's increasingly low percentage (often sub-1%) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound known to give the "high" associated with cannabis.
To put this into context, a typical dosage of CBD oil contains 25mg of CBD (short for cannabidiol), and it's been said that someone would need to take 1,000-2,000mg per day in order to receive a minuscule 3-6mg of THC. At that incredibly high dosage one would have an 11-23% chance of a positive urinalysis screening. At the average recommended dosage of 25-180mg CBD per day, the odds of a positive urinalysis for THC becomes increasingly low.
Essentially, hemp is a cannabis plant that had THC bred out of it over time. Hemp plants have anywhere from 1/10th, to 1/300th the amount of THC as a normal cannabis plant, so it's important to do your research and understand the laws in your state. Fortunately, we've found a product that makes this easy and hassle-free for all of us and guarantees less than 0.3% THC content. More on that later in this article.
Both hemp and cannabis contain many therapeutic compounds that have begun to attract significant attention from the medical research community. While there is still plenty of room for more research to discover the complete benefits and properties of hemp and cannabis, enough has been done to give us some insight into the chemical compounds and the potential implications for the human body.
Outside of THC, CBD is the second most known compound of the plant, however, hemp and cannabis have dozens of different compounds which all seem to work with synergy to have the maximum therapeutic effects. So let us take a look at what current research shows how these compounds relate to our sleep.
THC May Harm Your Sleep Quality
We'll discuss CBD and the many other compounds that can help improve sleep, but first let's look at THC and the potential negative implications. A few studies looking at THC and it's impact on sleep found that individuals who consume THC have a harder time entering into REM sleep, which is believed to be one of the most important stages of our sleep cycle. While the research does not look at THC dosing or administration methods and in our opinion should be repeated with more rigorous research measures, it does provide us with some insight into THC and it's possible impact on sleep.
Many sufferers of PTSD who have nightmares report that consuming cannabis (with THC), has helped their sleep because they no longer have nightmares. This seems to support the idea that REM is being blocked since this is also the stage that seems to be when dreams most often occur.
If you are using THC as a sleep aid you may not be getting REM sleep and ultimately could impair your sleep quality long-term. REM is believed to be a very important sleep stage for our brains to fully recover and perform optimally during the day.
Despite lacking more adequate research to confirm the negative impact THC can have on sleep quality, there seems to be enough evidence to suggest it's something you should avoid for sleep if you are concerned about getting good quality sleep.
CBD May Improve Your Sleep
On the other hand, research on CBD and the many other chemical compounds found in hemp or cannabis seem to show many positive benefits when it comes to sleep and general health. As a reminder, cannabinoids support the endocannabinoid system in physiological and psychological processes, including the regulation of mood, pain, memory, sleep, and our response to physical exercise.
With mood, anxiety, and pain being primary contributors to sleep quality, CBD and the many other cannabinoids that exist in hemp can provide stability and relief. Perhaps even more important than this, is the potential for CBD to restore a healthy sleep-wake cycle after a period of non-normal sleep.
These have exciting and profound implications for our sleep quality and overall health.
Enter the Myriad Wellness Solution
Due to the high concentration of THC in recreational and medical cannabis and it's potential to reduce sleep quality, we recommend using hemp derived products since less than 1% of the plant contains THC. Fortunately we have discovered several high quality, high integrity hemp CBD products produced by Myriad Wellness.
We recommend Myriad Wellness for many reasons. First and foremost, their products are derived from high-grade, industrial hemp that is cultivated in the United States by naturopathic doctors who ensure a rigorous vetting process. This includes ensuring the highest quality end product, as well as optimal growing locations in regard to organic farming practices and high-nutrient soil. This yields a superior product.
In addition, they use full-spectrum extraction to extract the CBD oil from the plant. This means their CBD oils contain all the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and chemical compounds that existed in the raw hemp plant material. Research has shown all these compounds seem to work together with something that's been called "the entourage effect", providing the maximum therapeutic benefit.
Since many other CBD companies on the market use CBD isolates, meaning they isolate CBD from all of the other beneficial compounds and only give the single molecule in their end product, we cannot recommend any of those type of products with confidence. It's important to do your research.
In addition to Myriad's full-spectrum extraction methods, their oils also are free of solvents and are carried by MCT oil from coconuts, known for it's ability to metabolize more efficiently than most oils. And they even have a variety that is made specially for your pets!
Visit Myriad Wellness and be sure to use the Code: SLEEPTOOLS15 to receive a 15% discount on your first purchase.
If you are considering using hemp CBD to help with sleep or any other health issues, we strongly encourage you to buy from Myriad Wellness. We also encourage you to bookmark this page so you can easily access this link to their store, as well as refresh yourself regularly on the information contained here about why you should be taking CBD for sleep!
A more detailed review of Myriad Wellness and their CBD products can be found in a future post. Stay tuned!
While CBD seems to have a wide array of positive health benefits, there is one potential implication that anyone who takes prescription medicines should be aware of. Some research has shown CBD can inhibit the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzyme system. CBD is not alone in this, as other items can have a similar inhibition effect on the CYP450 enzyme system, including grapefruit, watercress, St. John's Wort, and goldenseal.
The CYP450 enzyme system metabolizes certain drugs, and if inhibited, could lead to higher levels of certain medicines or drugs in your body at one time. Depending on dosage levels, one could theoretically overdose on a certain drug if they are not aware of this. We recommend you consult with your doctor before using CBD for your daily health routine, particularly if you are using prescription medicines. Your doctor may want to reduce the dosage of the medicine if you want to supplement with CBD. Or depending on the situation, they may advise against CBD altogether. Follow the links in our recommended readings to learn more.
These sources informed our writing of this article: