How did you sleep last night? Did you fall asleep quickly and wake up refreshed after a full eight to nine hours of uninterrupted slumber? If not, you’re definitely not alone. According to the American Sleep Association, around 70 million adults in the United States suffer from some sort of sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders can range from the simply aggravating, like snoring, to very serious conditions including obstructive sleep apnea, which often requires patients to wear a medical device at night. For less serious issues, many people take medications before bed to help them either fall or stay asleep. And as more and more states legalize marijuana, many people are occasionally turning to cannabis and its sleep-inducing (and high-producing) ingredient THC to help them forget about the stressors of the day so they can relax and sleep throughout the night. But if you don’t want the high, there’s always CBD.
What is CBD oil?
For those who don’t have legal access to marijuana, CBD oil may be a viable — and legal — solution. CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from the cannabis plant and sold for topical (rubbed on the skin) or sublingual (applied under the tongue) application. Despite many assumptions to the contrary, all types of CBD oil are not legal in all fifty states. Because some variations of CBD oils include a small percentage of THC, or simply because CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, some states treat these products as they do marijuana, meaning that if marijuana is illegal, so is CBD oil. Although some of those states do allow epilepsy patients to purchase CBD oil with a prescription.
However, if CBD oil is legally available where you live, should you use it to alleviate sleep disorders? Unfortunately, this is not a simple “yes or no” question. Some studies show that CBD oil may very well alleviate insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other sleep disorders, with the caveat that the oil produces much better results if it includes a small amount of THC as a minor ingredient. Others report that more restful sleep is a bonus benefit for anyone whose anxiety or chronic pain is being alleviated through the use of CBD oil, since they rest much easier without constant worry or pain. Another opinion is that CBD oil in smaller doses helps to sustain daytime alertness, which leads to better sleep at night.
How do you decide?
With these sometimes-conflicting points of view, your best option will be to seek the assistance of a medical professional. Not sure what to say? Knowing exactly what sort of sleep disorder you’re experiencing would be a great start. For this answer, consider asking your physician for a referral to a sleep disorders institute near you. These facilities specialize in diagnosing and treating any disorder that relates to sleep and wakefulness, including sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more. Sleep institutes use a variety of tests to diagnose sleep disorders. You may be asked to spend the night at the facility for specialized observation while sensors attached to your body monitor your heart rate, brain waves, and movement as you sleep. If a sleep disorder is diagnosed, the staff will work with you to find the right treatment.
If CBD oil is recommended, shop online or visit a store that offers thorough information about the ingredients in its oils to be sure you’re getting a product that meets your specific needs. Some oils are specially blended with marijuana strains that have proven to be more effective for sleep, while others may list decreased insomnia as a benefit.