CBD and Insomnia:
How CBD is Delivering Powerful Sleep to People Worldwide
It wasn’t long ago that sleep came easily for you. Without effort. But that formerly taken-for-granted experience now seems but a dream. Today, sleep demands work. Maybe it takes forever to finally drift into la-la land. Or you wake up at 2 in the morning and toss and turn until 5, when you drift back to sleep. And then the alarm sounds 90 minutes later. You have tried nearly everything. Nothing worked. You are so tired. Please, don’t give up. Salvation has arrived.
Here’s the deal:
We have found a powerful new approach to sleep, one that (finally) will deliver the long, healthy slumbers that you deserve.
The best part?
It doesn’t require doctors’ visits, pharmacies or expensive equipment. And for the first time ever, the key to the approach is available for purchase.
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Before we explore this between-the-sheets revolution, let’s dive into sleep — how disrupted slumber is upending lives across America, fostering depression and lethargy, and sapping productivity.
You’re Not Alone: Sleepless Nights a Worldwide Problem
The numbers stagger:
Between 50 and 70 million American adults wrestle with some sort of diagnosed sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. That’s right — it’s in the tens of millions. And many more struggle mightily with sleep problems, without suffering from formal disorders like sleep apnea.
The minimum amount of recommended sleep time for people between ages 18 and 60 is seven hours, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. But as many as 40 percent of adults, according to various studies, routinely miss that mark. Bottom line? That’s nearly half of the adult population routinely having rough nights.
You’re not alone.
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Lack of Sleep Hits Your Health
Did you ever wonder if those mid-afternoon yawns affect more than just your willingness to head out for a run?
The answer is yes — much more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who average less than 7 hours of sleep a night are at higher risk for a variety of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, asthma, coronary heart disease, and more. They also are more likely to be physically inactive, and to smoke cigarettes.
Lack of Sleep Threatens Your Job
It gets worse:
While they yawn through the afternoon, tired workers threaten more than their own health. Sleep-deprived workers are drags on productivity in all manner of American business, from white-shoe law firms to hospitals to restaurants, retail shops, farms and government agencies. One major 2010 study of 4,000 employees at four American companies found that sleeplessness cost the companies $54 million a year.
Yep — it gets even worse.
Because it’s not just the corporations that suffer — bosses and human resources honchos notice workers who drag down productivity. The sleep-deprived are downsizing targets. We can’t emphasize this enough. Bad sleep disrupts your life, harms the economy and threatens your job.
You Have Tried Everything to Deal With Poor Sleep
I can’t believe this is true, but: At least a few industries actuallybenefit from the sleep nightmare.
Pills and tinctures, teas and aromatherapy products, powdered drinks and weighted sheets: the market supports a wide range of products aimed at helping people gain healthy sleep. It’s not a sluggish corner of American commercial life — the sleep industry nearly reached $30 billion during 2018.
Maybe this number doesn’t surprise you — because you already have spent a near fortune on sleep solutions, none of which worked.
Sedatives Knock You Out, Wake You Up, and Make You Feel Groggy
The strange truth is: The variety of products roams far, and for good reason — demand is high and rises every year, but in the end few products truly work.
So many of them, for example, are sedatives, products that essentially knock you out. And they often do, in fact, precipitate sleep. But for many people they also wear off hours later. That’s you, right? It didn’t work.
So you tried another product — maybe something through prescription, like Ambien; or over-the-counter in a drug store; or an herbal tea or tincture. Nope. Still didn’t work.
You keep on buying new ones, without luck. In addition to the problem with the 2 a.m. wake-up, lots of products leave people — sound familiar? — feeling groggy in the morning. So even if they did manage to sleep, they spend their days sleepwalking.
The Revolutionary Substance That Is Bringing People Back to Sleep
What would you say if we told you people around the world now are just beginning to embrace a new approach to sleep management?
It’s your new secret weapon:
What if we said this new strategy easily shepherds people into the sleep zone, keeps them there through the night, and contributes to mornings (and thus entire days) electric with vitality and energy instead of listlessness and apathy?
Here’s the deal:
The key to finally unlocking the door to a fresh world of sound sleep has arrived.
And you probably have heard of it: CBD.
The compound now is finding its way into drinks, pills, lotions, candies and much more. And people are using it to achieve a variety of results, from diminished anxiety to softened pain. One of it’s most promising applications revolves around sleep, and we will delve into the hows and whys regarding CBD and sleep.
But first, let’s explore CBD. What is it, and how does it work?
A Brief History of CBD and Hemp
Until now, fear of jail time persuaded researchers from staying away from CBD. Scientists have been excited about the compound’s medical promises for decades, but few were able to devote research agendas towards it.
Why? Because it is derived from two related plants: cannabis and hemp. And until recently, few could buy either plant without facing arrest. Cannabis was illegal for decades until the 1990s, when California became the first state to legalize it for medical patients. And then, in 2014, Colorado permitted the sale of marijuana for recreational uses. Now, 10 states permit sales of cannabis to anybody 21 or older and another 22 allow it for medical purposes.
Cannabis contains THC, the compound that makes people high. The plant also hosts CBD, but CBD does not contain THC. Meanwhile, hemp, which is related to cannabis, was also banned in the United States for a long time. People could buy products made from hemp, like t-shirts and protein powders.
But the the hemp itself could not be grown in the United States, nor could the products be manufactured in the country. As with marijuana, state laws recently began evolving favorably towards hemp.
How Changes in Law Will Put CBD in Your Pocket
This might be a good time to begin celebrating.
At the end of last year the 2018 Farm Bill became law. The bill legalized regulated hemp farming and manufacturing — huge news for the hemp and CBD industries. Unlike cannabis, hemp does not get people high. While it sometimes contains trace amounts of THC, people would have to consume absurd amounts of hemp to experience any sort of psychoactive effects. And as with CBD derived from cannabis, CBD from hemp contains no THC whatsoever.
Why is CBD SO Special? It’s a Power Player in the Endocannabinoid System
Why does this matter? Cannabidinol, which is CBD’s official name, stands apart from so many other plant-based substances in large part because it is a cannabinoid, which means it is one of a variety of unique compounds, all called cannabinoids, found in cannabis and hemp. Cannabidinol was only discovered in the 1940s, and little research was performed on it due to its relationship with marijuana.
It gets better: In the 1980s, researchers found cell membrane receptors in the body called cannabinoid receptors, and importantly they figured out that cannabinoids like CBD interacted with these novel receptors.
And here’s the best part: By the mid-1990s, things started to fall into place. Researchers discovered these things already in the human body called endocannabinoids, and they also unearthed something they called the endocannabinoid system, which regulates things like pain, memory, temperature regulation, immune function, digestion — and sleep.
But how does all of this directly relate to sleep? Good question.
During the ‘90s they first began to understand that relationships between cannabinoids, like CBD, cannabinoid receptors, and the body’s own endocannabinoids are key to maintaining the health of the vital endocannabinoid system.
Cannabinoids play important many roles in the system; receptors help incorporate the cannabinoids into the system; and the body’s native endocannabinoids work in concert with the cannabinoids being introduced to the system to achieve healthy balance.
The best part? All of this works together to shepherd you into la-la land. It beats counting sheep — has that worked for anybody? We know you tried it. Didn’t work, did it?
How CBD Works in Your Body to Improve Your Life
If you take away one thing, let it be this:
Cannabidiol doesn’t just help with sleep — it improves your life, too.
Each cannabinoid — scientists so far have found at least 80 of them in the cannabis and hemp plants — plays a role within the endocannabinoid system.
This is crazy: While research remains in its infancy, one thing is clear: Among the cannabinoids, CBD has emerged as an especially valuable compound, one that among other things helps to keep the endocannabinoid system operating optimally.
Picture it: Think of CBD as the conductor of an orchestra. When all of the players are hitting their notes at the right times, Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 flows like a lush dream. It is gorgeous. But enough misplaced blasts on the French horn, missed notes by the cellist and wrong keys by the pianist and it loses its lustre. What do we all desire? We want the inner workings of our bodies — our nervous and endocrine systems, for example — to flow like Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (trust us on this one). For most of us, it rarely happens. The introduction of the conductor CBD can help bring the bodies disparate systems together into something harmonic and powerfully beautiful.
Bad Sleep? Blame Your Endocannabinoid System
Why does this matter? Poor sleeps are a sure sign of an endocannabinoid system that is out of whack — the orchestra is having an off night, and the symphony is clunky. Nobody is happy. When the body is high-functioning, we sink into rejuvenating slumbers for at least 7 hours. The body recovers from the day of mental and physical activity, and recharges for the next day. The endocannabinoid system hums. It is an essential process.
Here’s the kicker: When things are off, it can turn into a vicious cycle — the off-kilter endocannabinoid system contributes towards a bad sleep, which interferes with the system’s ability to bounce back the next day. The endocannabinoid system suffers — again, and again, and again.
Bottom line? Things will not improve until the endocannabinoid system falls back into its ideal groove.
Is CBD Just Another Sedative?
All of this new sleep-salvaging research seems thrilling — and it is. But the question remains: How do CBD and a robust endocannabinoid system improve sleep? Is CBD some sort of sedative? We have good news for you in a bit. Even more, you may have read that CBD is also good for boosting energy.
You might be wondering: How could the same substance both help people power through long runs (CBD is popular among ultra-runners, people who engage in foot races, often in mountains, of 50 miles or more), and also come to their aid when it’s time to go nighty-night?
First of all, let’s address the sedative question. Cannabidiol is far from a sedative, those drugs that bonk you over the head, forcing you unnaturally into sleep. Sedatives wear off, you open your eyes at [2:43] a.m. and there goes another night of rest.
Now, stick with us here. We can’t emphasize this enough. Cannabidiol’s approach towards sleep management is truly revolutionary. Instead of knocking you out, CBD relieves you of the many factors that keep you awake.
Here’s the key takeaway: As CBD is not a sedative, it doesn’t force sleepiness upon people. Instead, it deals with root problems — ones that disrupt sleep, as well as ones that interfere with energy. There — your question about how one substance can simultaneously elevate energy and improve sleep? Answered.
Are You Always Anxious?
Indeed — And It’s Messing With Your Sleep
Now: It’s time to scrutinize the manifold ways in which the CBD revolution utterly transforms how we ensure healthy sleeping.
Let’s start with one of the principal barriers between you and sleep, one that CBD helps surmount: anxiety. Nobody tosses and turns all night because they are pondering beautiful art, or dwelling on the pleasures of last week’s mountain hike or long day on the beach. People stare at the ceiling at [3:24] a.m. because they are beset with worries. Bills. Health. Threats of layoffs. Aging parents’ mounting problems. The list, of course, approaches infinity. People lay awake dwelling on things like the perceived happiness of their pet hedgehogs. An estimated 40 million people, or 18 percent of the United States population, have diagnosed anxiety disorders.
Here’s the kicker: Millions more aren’t diagnosed, or don’t suffer from life-crippling anxiety but do experience rough sleeps due to anxiety. You read that right. One in every five people tosses and turns all night because they are fretting.
How Stress Leads to Anxiety and Terrible Sleeps
Before we look more closely at anxiety and CBD, let’s first quickly examine anxiety’s root, a powerful phenomenon that influences things like depression, digestion, heart disease and more, in addition to anxiety: stress.
Here’s the history: Stress make us anxious, and for sensible reasons. During 2 million years of hominid evolution, the vast majority of which involved daily life-threatening events (weather, attacks by giant short-faced bears, broken ankles that amounted to death sentences), stress constantly interrupted our lives, forcing us to act or die. Fight-or-flight was a way of life, and stress saved our lives.
On top of all of that: We no longer find ourselves surrounded by packs of 225-pound cave hyenas. Instead, most stress is comparatively minor. Bad traffic. An annoying server in a restaurant. Your 9th grader’s C on a math test. The stress may not force you to contemplate death, but fight-or-flight remains in our genes and we respond to parades of minor stresses as if being poked with an electric prod* throughout the day.
*Pro tip: zaps by electric prods are not conducive to restful sleeps.
Stress and Anxiety: Two Peas in a (Sleepless) Pod
You might be wondering: What is wrong with stress? Everything. It nurtures a host of health problems. And to return to anxiety, no other condition is as tightly bound with stress as anxiety. The two — stress and anxiety — are like two halves of a circle. Stress begets anxiety (for example, the difficult conversation with the boss introduced stress to your life, and you responded with nagging anxiety), which then precipitates the blossoming of more stress.
And so on.
Turn to CBD to Manage All Of That Terrible Stress
All of this brings us back to CBD, and the powerful endocannabinoid system. We know that stress-induced anxiety detracts from sleep quality worldwide — as we discussed, it’s the anxiety that often keeps people awake.
So how does CBD mitigate anxiety? How can you actually use this? Scientists are investing increasingly more of research budgets to CBD, and the results are promising. One recent paper reviewed 32 separate published studies about CBD and anxiety, and found that 31 of them found at least something beneficial about CBD and anxiety.
The Keys to Whacking Anxiety and Boosting Sleep
The avenues of research are diverse, but so far much of the work revolves around three things: Endocannabinoids, serotonin and neural regeneration.
Say what? Don’t worry. We will look closely at this trio of anxiety-busting CBD partners.
Building Endocannabinoids With CBD
Now: We already understand the importance of endocannabinoids — the human body’s homegrown cannabinoids, which are central to the endocannabinoid system.
Research indicates that CBD helps sort of massage those receptors we discussed earlier (receptors help introduce cannabinoids like CBD to the system) in such a way that the body’s ability to produce its own endcannabinoids is improved.
CBD and Serotonin: A Match Made in Happy
That’s not all: Many of us are familiar with serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is key for human happiness. Serotonin imbalances often lead to depression; it’s no surprise that so many prescription anti-depression drugs, like Prozac, go by the acronym SSRI, which means Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.
Why does this matter? It turns out CBD binds to one of 14 receptors that are tied to serotonin, and that receptor, called 5-HT1A, is powerfully involved with anxiety, according to research. Experiments on rats — to date, most CBD research has involved only rodents — demonstrated diminished anxiety after CBD, and steadying serotonin levels seems to be part of the reason for the anxiety relief.
Build Your Big Brain with CBD
This is crazy: The human brain is not a static organ — things like anxiety constantly damage neurons and diminish brain size, just as the brain works to regenerate itself back to stasis.
The best part? Some of this regeneration takes place in the hippocampus, which is deeply involved with stress and anxiety.
The kicker? A variety of studies show that CBD optimizes neural regeneration, thus helping the brain repair the damage that arrives through stress and other factors. This important work is yet another CBD-based anxiety-busting activity. As scientists research CBD and human health, its effectiveness in mitigating anxiety, while still somewhat mysterious, holds enormous promise.
Your Sleeplessness Stems from Pain? CBD Is On It.
It’s not just anxiety that keeps you awake, right? In fact, you may be one of those lucky people who rarely dwells on the past (in particular, potentially upsetting things from the past) or wastes time imagining the future (one, to anxiety sufferers, that is full of dread).
What keeps you awake? Pain. Everything from a throbbing knee to a crushing headache. We can’t emphasize this enough: If pain is your sleep buster, CBD comes to the rescue, just as it did for those wrestling with anxiety.
Science Here to Help You with CBD and Pain
One 2017 review of science regarding cannabis — including work specifically about the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD — summed up its finding bluntly: “There is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”
Among the studies, findings included:
- A 2012 study of CBD and chronic pain found that “cannabinoids may represent a movel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases…”
- A 2016 study of CBD and arthritis found that “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.
- Research shows that CBD interferes with the body’s ability to absorb anandamide, which is a compound involved with regulating pain and inflammation as well as promoting happiness. By blocking absorption, CBD is making more of it available to the body and thus playing a role in controlling pain.
Endurance Jocks Live in a World of Pain —
And Use CBD to Help
Here’s the issue: The places where CBD and pain intersect are busy areas of research, and much of it is promising. On an anecdotal level, CBD products have become enormously popular with endurance athletes, who swear by CBD’s pain- and inflammation-fighting powers. These are people who run 100 miles (without stopping), among other pursuits. Managing pain and its primary root case for these jocks — inflammation — is of extreme importance.
And increasingly, CBD is becoming a big part of their strategy. And it’s not just specifically about treating pain for them — it’s also about promoting sleep.
Nobody with an aching body enjoys a sound sleep. And sleep, during which the body recovers from the day’s exertions, is absolutely vital for endurance athletes.
You Struggle With Depression, and Your Sleep Suffers
What’s the bottom line? Anxiety and pain stand as significant barriers to sleep. But they aren’t alone.
Another primary reason — depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMN), about 16 million people had at least one major depressive episode during 2016 — that’s close to 7 percent of the population. And one of depression’s prominent symptoms is difficulty achieving long, restful sleeps. As with sleep and pain, the commercial marketplace is flooded with substances to combat depression.
In the case of depression, clearly some of the prescription drugs are solutions for many people, and by no means would we suggest ditching prescriptions from doctors in exchange for CBD. Close consultations with physicians about any change in medications is paramount.
Research Shows CBD Can Manage Depression
What does this tell us? More and more research is pointing towards CBD as a depression alleviator.
One recent study, for example, found that a single dose of CBD in rats suffering from depression was highly effective at mitigating effects; in fact, symptoms began diminishing on the same day as the administration of CBD.
Commercial antidepressants, on the other hand, normally require between two and four weeks of use to have a significant effect.
Endocannabinoid System and CBD Defeat Depression
If you’re wondering: To understand cannabidiol’s role in alleviating depression, we once again (as always), return to the all-important endocannabinoid system.
As we know, this powerful system plays roles in a wide variety of bodily functions, and that includes mental health.
CBD Boosts Your Serotonin and Manages Depression
How does CBD help? We already have touched on some of the reasons. Cannabidiol’s role in managing serotonin is certainly one of them.
The entire mental-health slice of the pharmaceutical pie revolves in part around serotonin, and as we already discussed CBD helps ensure that the body maintains healthy levels of serotonin.
The Bliss Molecule Gets An Assist From CBD
Here’s the science behind it:
Anandamide*, reviewed in the pain chapter, is another in-the-body compound that is vital for mental health, and which CBD helps optimize by making more of it available to the body.
*Pro tip: Anandamide is commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule,” due to its integral role in promoting happiness.
CBD’s Brain-Building Work Fights Depression
There’s More: Even CBD’s role in fostering neural regeneration helps fight depression. The brain’s hippocampus is heavily involved in mood formation, and research shows a link between shrinking hippocampuses and depression. By helping to promote neuron growth in the brain, cannabidiol helps strengthen the hippocampus, making it larger.
Let’s break it down: The research into CBD and depression, still in its infancy, has already shown immense promise.
One 2016 study involving rats and CBD, for example, concluded that “CBD may be beneficial for the treatment of clinical depression and other states with prominent anhedonia” (anhedonia means inability to feel pleasure).
One more thing: Lack of sleep can cause depression, just as depression interferes with sleep. So even as CBD helps mitigate depression, and thus promotes sleep, it also manages depression by encouraging long, restful sleeps.
This falls into the classic “win-win” situation: Take CBD to ease depression (and pave the way for better sleeping patterns), and take CBD to deliver solid sleep (and along the way ratchet-down depression).
Your Solution to Sleepless Nights —
Join the CBD Revolution
It’s not your fault, here’s why: You have spent far too many hours awake, hunting for that cool spot on the pillow and working hard to get back to sleep. But sleep should not require work — you do enough of that all day. Sleep should come easily, and it should persist for at least seven hours, and preferably eight. You have bought every kind of product on the market — herbs, OTC drugs, blankets designed to promote sleep, apps that play white noise or the soothing sounds of an ocean or river.
Yet still, sleep remains elusive. But now you understand the thrilling advantages that CBD can bring to sleep-strugglers. How can you actually use this?
Listen: If you have problems merging with slumber, the issue does not require a sedative, which will knock you out and wear off in the middle of the night. Sedatives merely address symptoms, and they do so ineffectively. Nor do you need to buy weighted blankets, or invest in a parade of aromatherapy gambits — does lavender really put you to sleep? We didn’t think so.
This is important: The key to finally achieving healthy sleeps revolves around managing the root problems, things like stress, anxiety, pain and depression. And as more and more research is showing, CBD attacks the root problems that interrupt sleep. It’s time to join the CBD revolution, and (finally) have a good night’s sleep for the rest of your life.