People ask me about CBD all the time… and I can understand why. I know I’ve earned a bit of a “reputation” over the years. (And I’ve loved every minute of it!)
But the truth is, I really can help clear up a lot of the confusion around CBD. For instance: what about sleep? Yep, CBD can help to improve your quality of sleep, but probably not in the way that you think. See, CBD isn’t a “sedative.” It doesn’t knock you out, Instead, CBD relieves and relaxes your whole body. This relaxation can naturally lead to better sleep. Let me explain:
CBD can help support your body in a whole bunch of ways. It can ease discomfort and feelings of stress and help your body “wind down” at the end of the day.. Now, there are a lot of things that might be keeping you up at night, and CBD can’t completely change your life, but it can help ease you into a relaxed state. And if minor aches and pains are what’s keeping you awake at night… (you know, tossing and turning to find a ‘comfortable position’), then CBD can help with that too.
The thing I remind people is that “good” sleep has 2 factors: Quantity (how long you sleep each night) and Quality (how DEEP you sleep each night). Without both, you probably won’t feel very well rested. If you’re looking to improve your quality of sleep, CBD has been shown to help with both Quality AND Quantity.
But first, let me backup…
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and comes from the hemp plant. It’s similar to a neurotransmitter your body makes naturally called 2-AG. CBD oil is made by extracting the phytonutrients, fatty acids, terpenes, and antioxidants from the hemp plant. In a lot of ways, CBD oil is like the essential oil of the hemp plant. It smells like hemp (a big plus in my book, but that’s just me…) and contains all of the goodness the plant contains.
Now the name “CBD Oil” can be a little ‘deceptive’ because it can be used to describe LOTS of different things. See, CBD Oil can be full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate, and these are VERY different.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil just means that the oil contains all the different compounds that the hemp plant contains, but in oil form. That means it has other cannabinoids in it, like CBG, CBN, CBD-V and even a little THC. Legally, hemp plants have less that 0.3% THC in them. That means it’s not NEARLY enough to have any kind of “funny” effects. Because of something called the “entourage effect,” Full Spectrum tends to be considered the gold standard.
Next is Broad Spectrum. Broad Spectrum just means that the CBD contains multiple trace cannabinoids but NO THC. This sounds like a good thing, but remember that Broad Spectrum CBD Oil has to be MADE. It can’t be extracted directly from a plant. You have to extract JUST the CBD and then add back in other cannabinoids one at a time (trying to reach the ideal balance). There’s no other way to make sure that the finished product has no THC. (Sounds like a lot of trouble and not much benefit in my book…)
CBD isolate is only CBD. Everything else is removed from the plant extracts using something called winterization. Winterization is when full spectrum CBD oil is mixed with ethanol and frozen. The fatty acids in phytonutrients break away from the CBD oil, leaving behind pure CBD extract.
Now, CBD Isolate sounds like it would be the “most pure”, but in my experience, it’s also the least effective. (Your mileage may vary, as they say…). You just gotta realize that the science shows that CBD tends to be more potent when it’s used along with all the other compounds found in the hemp plant. It’s that ‘entourage effect’ we were talking about.
HOW CBD WORKS WITH THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
Have you heard of the endocannabinoid system or ECS before?
Chances are you probably have. But I wanna get real clear on what it is and what it does, ‘cause there’s lots of confusion and misinformation out there…
In short, your body’s endocannabinoid system is a series of receptors. Think of them like little “locks” all over your body. And the keys that fit into these locks are cannabinoids, like CBD and THC. These locks link to tons of processes within your body. One of them is your circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that tells your body when to sleep and when to wake up.
So, why does your body even have all these “ECS locks” or receptors all over it? Most might expect me to say something like “you were made to smoke, man!” or something like that, right?
But the real answer is actually cooler than that…
See, your body makes its own cannabinoids with the help of some of the foods that you eat. Really. Cannabinoids are made inside your brain and nervous system, just like in the hemp plant! That’s pretty cool right?
Foods like eggs and nuts that are high in natural fatty acids can help your body create these “homegrown” cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are also found in foods like kale and cinnamon. While you do get some cannabinoids from your diet and produce some cannabinoids on your own, you’re probably not making as much as you’ll get if you supplement with something like concentrated CBD.
Your Metabolism and YOU…. (sounds like a presentation in gym class, doesn’t it?)
CBD is broken down and absorbed by your body differently depending on the form that you take. CBD capsules and gummies are ingested. This means that they get broken down in your stomach (and then your liver) before they can make it to your bloodstream. By the time they finally reach your endocannabinoid system, they’re more than a little weaker than they were when they started.
But, when you take sublingual forms of CBD, where you can put it under your tongue, you’re bypassing your digestive system entirely. That means it doesn’t have to be metabolized, which makes it stronger and more potent when it hits its target…
The reason this works is that sublingual CBD is made to be water miscible, meaning it can be mixed directly with water (what your body is mostly made of) instead of fat, which has to be digested. This allows the CBD to pass directly through the receptors beneath your tongue, and enter your bloodstream right away.
When the CBD finally slips into your “ECS locks” it can help unlock and support so many aspects of your health and wellness. Part of this wellness support comes in promoting peaceful, restful sleep.
How CBD Oil Helps with Sleep
CBD does not make you sleepy in the traditional sense. There is nothing in CBD that will inspire feelings of drowsiness or grogginess. Instead, CBD targets obstacles to sleep like emotional stress or feelings of restlessness. CBD can help to soothe and relax your whole body, relieving tension to help you wind down. When your body and mind are at ease, it’s easier to achieve a higher quality of sleep.
How To Use CBD Oil for Sleep
The recommended dosage of CBD is 2.5 mg per kilogram of body weight. A kilogram is a little more than two pounds. Most CBD tinctures will tell you how many milligrams of CBD are in every dose, as well as how many drops constitute a dose. Capsules and gummies are pre-dosed.
While this saves you time and makes it a little easier to get an accurate dose, forms of CBD that you have to ingest are not as bioavailable as sublingual tinctures.
That’s why sublingual CBD is a little better for sleep. Sublingual CBD gets to work significantly faster. This means you can take it within 15 minutes of bedtime and already begin to experience benefits. Some CBD tinctures are nano emulsified. Nano CBD has smaller particles that are able to effectively penetrate the barrier tissue beneath your tongue, getting to work quickly and efficiently.
SLEEP-SPECIFIC CBD OILS
Some CBD tinctures contain melatonin, valerian root, and GABA. Melatonin is a natural hormone your body produces to signal the beginning of the sleep phase. Valerian root is a natural supplement that has been used to support sleep for hundreds of years. GABA is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain and many plants. GABA calms the nervous system, making it easier for the body to enter a relaxed state.
Wrapping it Up
Although CBD oil doesn’t make you tired, it can still do a lot to support high quality sleep. If you’ve got sleep troubles because of racing thoughts or some discomfort in your body… Like a knee that just won’t quit nagging you or a back that doesn’t feel right… A sleep specific CBD oil blend might help give your body what it needs at bedtime.
CBD oil can provide you with plenty of benefits at night time, but it can also be fantastic to help you focus during the day. Look for CBD tinctures infused with B vitamins and taurine to support your metabolism and your mind. This might give you the push you need to get through a busy morning or that afternoon slump.
Keep on keepin on,