Since the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp, more and more people have added the hemp-derived cannabinoid CBD into their daily wellness routines.
Preliminary research suggests that CBD has tons of potential benefits, including possibly being an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical sleep aids. But can CBD actually help you get to a good night’s rest? Does CBD make you sleepy, and if so, does that mean it’s a sedative? Keep reading to find out.
What’s A Sedative?
First, let’s start by explaining what exactly sedatives are.
When we talk about sedatives, we’re talking about a class of prescription drugs designed to slow down brain activity to varying degrees. These include common drugs like benzodiazepines and hypnotics like Ambien. General anesthetics, like the kind used to render a patient unconscious before surgery, are also considered sedatives. Typically, sedatives work by increasing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) efficacy, which reduces neuronal excitability. In layman's terms, sedatives quiet down your brain. While CBD may have some sedating effects, the natural compound doesn’t fall into this category.
In almost all cases, sedatives will need to be prescribed or administered by a health professional due to the high potential for abuse and dangerous side effects that come along with these kinds of medications.
Sedation Side Effects
While sedatives have potential medicinal benefits, including in the treatment of sleep disorders, this class of pharmaceuticals presents certain health risks and dangers. In addition to the risk of addiction, sedatives have several intrusive side effects. These include:
Slowed heart rate
Impaired motor skills
Increased fall risks
Risk of death from unintentional overdose
What Is CBD?
Now that we know what sedatives are, let's learn more about CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) belongs to a class of compounds called cannabinoids. These psychoactive compounds come from the cannabis plant and have myriad different effects. Unlike the other popular cannabinoid THC, CBD doesn’t make users feel high or intoxicated. However, that doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t have any practical applications.
How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?
If CBD doesn’t make you feel high, does it make you feel anything?
Anecdotally, CBD users report experiencing increased feelings of calm and relaxation after consuming the cannabinoid. Commonly, people take CBD at night as a natural sleep aid, but does CBD make you sleepy? According to the Sleep Foundation, CBD may help manage several different sleep disorders.
According to some research, CBD’s sedative-like effects may depend on the dose. Current studies indicate that low doses of CBD could be stimulating, while higher doses may have a sedating effect. However, we need more clinical evidence to confirm if these findings are accurate.
Like with all cannabinoids, not everyone’s CBD experience will be the same. Things like weight, gender, frame of mind, tolerance, and age can all impact how a person will react to CBD.
Benefits Of CBD
The longer we study CBD, the more potential medicinal benefits we discover.
After numerous studies and clinical trials, we’ve confirmed the cannabinoid can help reduce seizure frequency in patients with certain types of epilepsy.
Additionally, research suggests that CBD could help chronic pain sufferers manage traditionally difficult-to-treat pain. This includes conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBD may also benefit mental health. In 2015 Nora D. Volkow, the institute’s director, stated to a Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety. In addition, CBD has shown efficacy in small human laboratory and clinical trials. CBD reduced anxiety in patients with social anxiety subjected to a stressful public speaking task.”
As stated earlier, CBD may help treat several sleep disorders, including insomnia, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, and Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Disorder. Because the CBD side effects are significantly more mild than prescription sedatives, patients with chronic sleep issues may find natural remedies like CBD and melatonin a more practical long-term treatment option. If you are someone looking to test out a natural CBD and melatonin remedie, Rest by Vitaldiol could be the solution for you.
While all this early research is incredibly promising, we still need more clinical trials to confirm these initial findings.