Cbd oil and cream for pain and insomnia
In recent years, the use of marijuana and CBD for the treatment of a variety of conditions has risen significantly. Specifically, CBD has been found to have potential health benefits for symptoms like insomnia. Here’s a little background on what CBD is and how it impacts your sleep and body.
What Are Cannabinoids and CBD?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that bind or attach to certain receptors in the central nervous system and act as chemical messengers. Depending on the specific cannabinoid, it may have varied effects on the body.
The most well-known and probably most researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We know that THC is the cannabinoid that leads to the “buzz or high” from cannabis use.
CBD differs from THC and does not cause psychoactive effects or a “high.” Because it does not cause the psychoactive effects and it might help certain conditions, such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia, CBD is gaining traction as a possible treatment for several diseases.
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How Do CBD and Cannabinoids Work?
Not everything is completely understood about how cannabinoids (including CBD) work. What we do know from research is that CBD and cannabinoids interact with proteins and cells in the brain. A relatively newly discovered system may also hold some answers.
The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
Additionally, CBD may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can both interfere with restful sleep. By reducing certain symptoms, it’s also possible that sleep may improve.
What Does the Research Say About CBD?
Although more studies need to be performed, some research supports the theory that CBD and cannabinoids may improve sleep. This study published in the journal, Medicines, involved 409 people with insomnia. Data was collected from June 2016 to May 2018. Participants rated their symptoms of insomnia on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe. Starting symptoms were rated 6.6 on average.
The participants were treated using the cannabis flower with varied combustion methods including vape, pipe, and joint. THC potency on average was 20 percent and limited to 30 percent. CBD potency was on average 5.7 percent and limited to 30 percent. After using cannabis, participants rated symptoms on average to be 2.2, which was a decrease of 4.5.
The results indicated the cannabinoids in cannabis decreased symptoms of insomnia. But the study involved using the cannabis flower, which contains several cannabinoids. It’s difficult to determine if relief from insomnia was due to CBD or another cannabinoid.
In another study published in the Permanente Journal, 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were involved. The participants completed anxiety and sleep assessments at the start of the study and at the first-month follow up. Study participants were given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form. Those that predominantly had sleep complaints took the dose in the evening. Participants that had anxiety as their predominant complaint took CBD in the morning.
After the first month, anxiety scores decreased in 79 percent of the people. Sleep scores improved in 66 percent of the participants, which indicated less trouble sleeping. The results suggest that CBD decreased sleep difficulties in many of the participants. But while the decrease in anxiety symptoms remained steady for the duration of the study, the sleep scores fluctuated over time.
Several smaller studies have also supported the use of CBD oil to improve sleep. For example, a case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. A trial of 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. An additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given via a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety. Sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over five months.
Though there is plenty of supporting evidence that shows CBD and cannabinoids can improve sleep, the results are not conclusive and more research needs to be done.
Forms of CBD
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and known as CBD oil. But it can be a little complicated. CBD may be extracted from either the marijuana or hemp plant, which are both strains of the Cannabis sativa plant. But they are harvested differently. Hemp comes from the seeds and stalks of the plant, which contains less THC than marijuana.
Because the THC content in CBD oil may vary, depending on the state it’s sold, there may be restrictions. For example, in some states, CBD oil is sold legally if all of the THC is removed. If CBD oil still contains THC or other cannabinoids, it may only be sold in states that have legalized marijuana use.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may need a doctor’s prescription for CBD oil. But laws continue to change quickly, so in the near future, it may be different.
CBD oil can be placed under the tongue. It may also be infused in different products including the following;
- Edibles: Various types of edibles infused with CBD oil are available including gummy bears, cakes, and cookies. Edibles usually list the concentration of CBD in milligrams.
- Vaporing: CBD extract can be used in a vaporizer or vape pen. As the extract heats up, it creates a vapor that is inhaled.
- Tinctures: CBD also comes in tinctures. A few drops of the liquid can be added to drinks.
CBD oil is available in different concentrations. Since research is ongoing, the exact dose to treat sleep issues may not be fully known. It might take some trial and error to determine what works best.
Because there are so many different ways to ingest CBD, there are tons of CBD products to choose from. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are the CBD products we recommend to try if you want to improve your sleep.
Overall, there is scientific research that supports the theory that there are CBD health benefits. While more research needs to be done, the use of CBD can potentially decrease your symptoms of insomnia and help you get more quality sleep. If you struggle with sleep issues, the best first step is to consult your doctor and learn more about causes and treatments.
Cbd oil and cream for pain and insomnia
Cannabidiol or CBD has shown promise in helping sufferers of insomnia, as well as other conditions, some of which can interrupt sleep. Without the psychoactive effects of marijuana, CBD has been reported to help with anxiety, depression, addiction, stress, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, Parkinson’s disease, and joint pain. There are many reputable CBD products available, but you have to be careful because the CBD industry is relatively new, unregulated, and has even been referred to as “the wild west.” In rare cases, there have been products with no CBD or those that have included harmful ingredients.
We’ve done a deep dive into CBD for sleep and insomnia and found a few winners based on several criteria.
- Soil: the hemp plant is a bioremediator, which means that it can clean the soil of toxins and other harmful chemicals. It was used in Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster to return the soil to a usable state. You don’t want to ingest hemp that has been used in unhealthy soil.
- Formula: many CBD products for sleep are combined with other sleep supplements such as melatonin or GABA to make them more effective than CBD alone.
- Extraction: CBD can be extracted in 3 ways. The first is to use CO2 (carbon dioxide) under high pressure and low temperatures to maintain the quality of the oil. The second is to use olive oil to extract hemp oil. The third method is using ethanol, which is mainly for extracting CBD for vaping. The issue with ethanol is that it destroys waxes, which have health benefits.
- Form: there are a lot of ways to take CBD, including in a supplement, tincture, gummy, liquid, vape, topicals (balms, creams, etc.) How you take it can affect how quickly you feel the effects and how the product works. As topicals are better for joint pain and vaping looks to be unsafe, we’ve chosen tinctures, gummies, and capsules as our top choices.
- 3rd party testing: to make sure there’s nothing harmful and to ensure what’s in the final product, all of our top choices have a certificate of analysis (COA). CNN did an episode on CBD and featured a vaping product called “YOLO CBD” that had no CBD in it and was sending people to the emergency room.
- Company vision and reputation: in any new industry with lots of opportunities to make money, there will always be charlatans who are there just to make fast cash. We’ve focused on companies with leaders who have a passion for helping improve people’s health through cannabinoids.
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What is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, a compound from the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has two species: hemp and marijuana. One of the most important differences between the two is that hemp has a much higher percentage of CBD, and marijuana has a much higher percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol—the compound that makes a person high). Though many CBD products contain 0.3% THC, these products don’t make anyone high. CBD doesn’t cause a high and has been shown to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Researchers still don’t understand exactly how CBD works with ECS receptors, but the ECS plays a role in many systems in the body, including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility.
In a recent study by the Journal of Cannabis Research, current and past CBD users were surveyed to understand the impact of CBD on many topics including their sleep patterns. Below are the results when users were asked about the impact CBD has on their sleep.
How does CBD affect your sleep?
Results from the study by the Journal of Cannabis Research where 522 CBD using adults were asked “how does cannabidiol affect your sleep?”
Where to Buy CBD Products for Sleep
There are a lot of CBD products, but fewer CBD products are designed specifically for sleep. Taking a product that only has CBD can help you sleep, but if it’s combined with a sleep aid such as GABA or melatonin, it will probably be more effective to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
You can’t buy products advertised as having CBD on Amazon, though they have hemp products. Don’t buy hemp products that are missing CBD on the label – you have no idea how much CBD you’re getting, if any.
You can buy CBD products from retail stores, a marijuana dispensary, or directly from a CBD company online. We recommend doing thorough research before buying—not just buying off a retail shelf without knowing what you’re getting.
Different Forms of CBD
There are many ways to take CBD, and each method has its benefits and drawbacks.
- Capsule – is a good way to take CBD as you know exactly how much you’re taking. It has to pass through your digestive system and get metabolized by your liver, so take capsules an hour or two before bed.
- Tinctures and sprays – have the fastest absorption rate of all forms of CBD. Spray or place the drops under your tongue, then wait 60-90 seconds. The CBD will be absorbed in about 20 minutes via the mucous membranes in your mouth. The only drawback of these methods is that it’s a little more difficult to get an exact dosage, and sprays and tinctures will sometimes have a taste that people don’t like.
- Gummies – have a similar absorption method to capsules. The only caution is that some brands contain a lot of added sugar, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Creams and lotions – are generally a better option for localized pain, such as pain in your knee or elbow.
- Vaping – we don’t recommend vaping due to safety concerns. Though it’s smokeless and fast-acting, manufacturers aren’t regulated, and as of February 2020, there have been 2,807 cases of vaping-related illness and 68 deaths.
The general rule for dosing CBD is to take 1-6 mg for every 10 lbs of body weight. It’s better to start small and track the amount you’re taking and the effects you’re experiencing. For more information, check out our guide to CBD dosage. We took the latest dosage recommendations and turned this into an easy-to-use CBD dosage calculator. Simply enter your weight to receive a dosage range.
Full-Spectrum vs. Isolate
Full-spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids, including THC. It will be 0.3% or less, so the chances of it showing up on a drug test are very small, and it won’t make you high, but for those who don’t want to ingest any THC, isolate is recommended. The drawback of isolates is that they don’t have the benefits of other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. Isolates are also more difficult and expensive to process.
CBD studies such as this one from Israel showed full-spectrum to be more effective than isolate. When CBD is used in conjunction with other compounds, it’s referred to as the “entourage effect.” Dr John McPartland describes cannabis as “inherently polypharmaceutical.” For those who are looking for the most benefits from CBD, full-spectrum is a good choice.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds produced by plants as well as some insects. There are over 20,000 of them, and at least 100 are produced by the cannabis plant. Terpenes often have strong odors and protect plants from insects and animals. They’re the primary constituents of essential oils. They give plants their distinct smells, flavors, and colors. They also affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Some terpenes found in plants and herbs are:
- Curcumin: from the turmeric plant, often used in Indian cooking, it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Terpinolene: found in sage and rosemary, it’s a sedative, an antioxidant, and an anti-bacterial.
- Limonene: found in citrus, it smells like lemons, elevates mood, relieves stress, is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
- Linalool: found in flowers, spices, and cannabis, it relieves stress, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-depressant. Linalool may boost the immune system and reduce lung inflammation.
- Myrcene: found in lemongrass, hops, basil, thyme, and cannabis, it can compose up to 50% of the cannabis plant’s terpenes. It’s a muscle relaxer, sedative, and anti-inflammatory.
What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients (of over 6,000) found in almost all fruits and vegetables and are responsible for vivid colors. They’re also found in grains, bark, roots, stems, and flowers.
Some flavonoids are only found in cannabis. These are called cannaflavins.
Three flavonoids found in cannabis are:
- Quercetin: antioxidant and anti-viral, also found in green tea, red wine, and berries.
- Apigenin: anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory, also found in chamomile, parsley, and celery.
- Cannaflavin A: a natural anti-inflammatory; research suggests that it could be a natural replacement for aspirin.
CBD and Insomnia Research
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two CBD-based medicines in the last few years:
- In 2014, Elixicure was the first CBD-infused over-the-counter topical pain relief cream product to have a certified registration with the FDA.
- In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first drug comprised of an active ingredient from marijuana to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years old and older: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Though neither of these are used to treat insomnia, CBD has shown promise in other areas that are related to insomnia, as insomnia may be caused by many things, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
A study from Colorado concluded that of 72 patients who suffered from poor sleep or anxiety, 79.2% experienced less anxiety, and 66.7% slept better within the first month of using 25 mg/day. The CBD was well-tolerated in all but 3 patients.
The National Institutes of Health published a study from Serbia that stated that cannabinoids and cannabis are, “old drugs but are a promising new therapeutic strategy for pain treatment.”
A lot of CBD users report falling to sleep more quickly and feeling more refreshed when they wake up. There have been a few studies, such as this one published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, where subjects who took 160 mg of CBD reported sleeping more than those taking a placebo.
As CBD users often report a sense of calm, some use it to reduce anxiety, and it may help sufferers of Parkinson’s disease who have REM behavior disorder. It’s not surprising that many people use CBD for sleep. It also shows promise in the reduction of stress, social anxiety, and depression. Researchers believe that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain.
Some manufacturers are now producing CBD products in combination with other traditional sleep aids such as melatonin.
CBD Side Effects
CBD doesn’t cause problems for most people. However, there are side effects for some people that include:
- dry mouth
- reduced appetite
- gastrointestinal issues
If you’re taking any medications, you should talk to your doctor to make sure there aren’t any interactions with any drugs that you’re taking. CBD tends to have interactions with drugs that have a grapefruit warning. There are more than 85 drugs that interact with grapefruit and a few other citrus fruits, such as pomelos and tangelos, because these fruits contain furanocomarins, which disrupt the normal function of a group of proteins called cytochrome P450 (CYPs). CYPs break down medications, and furanocomarins can interrupt their function, which can increase the levels of the 85+ drugs in the bloodstream.
The following are the types of drugs that have grapefruit warnings:
- blood thinners
- prostate and erectile dysfunction
- blood pressure
- heart rhythm
To see a list of medications that have a grapefruit warning, visit rxlist.com. If you want to understand the potential drug interactions with medicinal cannabis, check out mdpi.com.
Is CBD Legal?
There’s a lot of confusion about the legality of CBD because it’s an often-changing and complicated topic. There are state laws and there are federal laws, and you could be violating the federal law but not the state law, and vice versa. There’s also the issue of how the CBD is sourced. Right now, hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) are legal on the federal level, but state laws vary. According to Green Market Report, “F ederal laws are mostly for legislation purposes and will only override the provisions of state law in rare circumstances.”
CBD is derived from either marijuana or hemp, and most states allow CBD if it comes from hemp. Vermont allows every type of CBD, regardless of where it’s sourced. Other states with the same stance are Washington, District of Columbia, Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Maine, and Massachusetts.
States that have banned any marijuana-based CBD are Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
Some states do allow marijuana-based CBD, as long as it’s used for medical purposes. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The states that have banned both hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD are Nebraska and Idaho, unless the product has 0% THC, so in those states, the only product that’s legal is CBD isolate.
What you need to know is that if the CBD that you’re taking in one state is legal, and you travel to another state, you’ll need to research that state’s laws regarding your CBD product.
Best CBD Products for Sleep
We’ve spent many hours researching different products based on soil, formula, extraction method, form, 3rd party testing, and company vision and reputation. We’ve also contacted companies to find some of this information as it isn’t always provided on their websites.
All of our top choices are full-spectrum CBD products because they contain all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids naturally found in the plant that are stripped away in CBD isolates. We have included one non-THC isolate for those who don’t want to ingest even a small amount of THC.