Sleep is something that many of us wrestle with daily. In fact, over a third of UK adults report difficulties getting to sleep at least once a week. We all know what it’s like to toss and turn all night without being able to nod off. If only there was something that could help!
CBD has quickly become one of the most revolutionary aspects of an ever-growing health and wellness industry. There is a plethora of health benefits that accompany the versatile cannabinoid and aiding sleep is one of the most prominent.
This article will seek to explain how and why CBD is great for helping you get to sleep as well as the reasons why CBD capsules are the most effective delivery method for this purpose. First, let us briefly touch on exactly what CBD is for the uninitiated.
What is CBD
We are still in the process of learning about the cannabis plant today. There are over 100 complex and unique cannabinoids that the plant consists of. As a result of misguided legislation, the illicit status of the plant in many countries across the world has inhibited clinical research over a sustained period.
There are 2 particular cannabinoids that we know more about than most others. These are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. In other words, this is responsible for the ‘high’ typically associated with cannabis use in popular culture. CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that it will not get the user high. There are three main types of CBD to be aware of when buying any CBD product:
- CBD Isolate – CBD in its purest form. It contains no other cannabinoids.
- Broad spectrum CBD – Broad spectrum contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that are responsible for flavour and various other health benefits. This does not contain THC.
- Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids mentioned above, but also contains THC. For reference, the legal THC limit in the UK is 0.2%, which means that only trace elements are allowed. This is not enough to make the user high.
What are CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are akin to any other health supplement that one may consume. There are two variations – hard CBD tablets and soft gel CBD capsules.
CBD tablets tend to be made using CBD isolate, which is compressed from powder to make a solid tablet. Soft gel CBD capsules are typically formulated with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil which aids digestion.
How do CBD Capsules help with sleep
Before assessing how CBD can help with sleep, it is important to ascertain exactly why many struggle with getting to sleep in the first place. The most common issues tend to be anxiety, chronic pain and other environmental factors such as loud noise or a bad mattress.
Scientists are still unable to accurately pinpoint exactly how CBD helps to improve sleep, but primitive research and growing anecdotal evidence paint a positive picture.
One of the major studies into CBD in recent years was conducted in 2019 by Shannon, Lewis, Lee and Hughes (Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series). They gave a 25mg CBD capsule to each of the 72 participants (47 of these suffered from anxiety, while 25 suffered from insomnia) every day for a month. At the end of the month 79.2% of participants reported reduced levels of anxiety and 66.7% reported improved sleep.
CBD is also an excellent pain reliever. Perhaps the most crucial clinical study into CBD and chronic pain was published in 2019 by Vuckovic et al (Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules). They assessed all existing research into CBD and pain that was conducted between 1975 and 2018. Based on these studies, they concluded that not only was CBD an effective reliever of pain, but also lacked negative side effects.
How to use CBD capsules
CBD capsules are among the easiest CBD products to use. Simply swallow the capsule with a glass of water, as you would any other tablet. None of the faffing around with transferring CBD oil from a tiny bottle to the capillaries beneath your dong with a temperamental dropper!
Why choose CBD capsules
CBD capsules provide a slow burn effect. While CBD oil typically takes around 30-60 minutes to take effect and CBD e liquid 2-5 minutes, CBD capsules can take anywhere between 1-3 hours.
While this is often viewed as a drawback of CBD capsules, in terms of sleep it can actually prove rather beneficial. This is because the effects last longer than any other CBD delivery method apart from patches (which usually employ a 24-hour, consistent dosage).
While CBD oil is required to be taken every 4-6 hours and CBD vapes every 2-4 hours, CBD capsules should see you through the night. This is particularly useful when it comes to combatting problematic chronic pain issues that may keep you awake.
The length of time they take to have an effect is also dependent on a multitude of individual factors, including your metabolism, lifestyle and tolerance. This means that it is important to experiment with your timing of consumption of the CBD capsule before you sleep. You want to ensure that you do not take it immediately before bed and are left waiting hours for the effects to take hold.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to CBD. I have been regularly consuming it for almost 5 years now and am still regularly switching delivery methods!
There is certainly no right or wrong CBD product – it is down to the individual user and their reasons for taking it. In relation to sleep specifically however, CBD patches and CBD capsules are great options due to the slow nature in which they work.
One must also be aware that CBD is not a quick fix for any ailment you may be trying to alleviate. Many use CBD like paracetamol, or in this case a sleeping pill. This is not how CBD is intended to be used.
CBD builds up in your endocannabinoid system over a long period of time and its effects are far more noticeable when you stop taking CBD. When trying any CBD product, you should persist with it for a minimum of 8 weeks in order to fully ascertain its efficacy.
Finally, it is always important to seek an independent Certificate of Analysis (CoA), completed by a third party, that confirms the ingredients are as advertised and there are no harmful additives within.