The once taboo drug named Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has developed massive support as it has been praised for many of its health benefits. As the science and media surrounding CBD has become increasingly positive, consumers find themselves interested in the specific benefits and drawbacks of the, now common, substance. In this article we will be focusing on some of those benefits and drawbacks as it pertains to sleep. Specifically, does CBD make you tired?
What is it?
The most common issue with CBD is the passing of misinformation from media. Since CBD is a compound found in marijuana, there is often an association with psychoactive effects. CBD is in fact one of 113 identified cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and makes up 40% of the volume of the substance. However, CBD has no psychoactive component meaning that it does not give the body a “high” as would be experienced when intaking cannabis. A study by the World Health Organization corroborates this claim and explains that there are no components of CBD that can lead to abuse or dependency.
What can it be used for?
Recent studies on the effects of CBD have shown it to be tremendously effective in various types of childhood epileptic conditions. In controlled studies it has shown to decrease the frequency of strokes and limit the effects of other mental conditions such as autism. While some research surrounding CBD an anxiety, insomnia, and depression, is in its infancy, some preliminary data suggest that CBD could help with these conditions. CBD has also been found to help with inflammation and injury recovery which is why it has been used by mixed martial artists for some time. The bottom line is that CBD clearly has its benefits for certain conditions that affect a large percentage of people.
CBD and the Brain
So, what does CBD do to your brain? While CBD is not a psychoactive component of cannabis, it still has effects on the brain and its reaction to certain stimuli. CBD interacts with what is called our endocannabinoid system or ECS for short. The ECS is primarily tasked with helping your body maintain a state of balance by constantly altering brain chemicals based on stimuli and environment. Pretty neat right? Well CBD directly effects that system and can have positive effects if there is an imbalance that someone is struggling with.
CBD has an effect on a key neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine is one of the chemicals in the brain that promotes sleepiness. As the sun sets, our brain realizes that it is the end of the day and releases adenosine into the brain to help wind us down in time for sleep. You might not know it, but most Americans alter their adenosine levels on a daily basis with Coffee. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors that prevent sleepiness and increases our will to not quit our day job (hah). In small doses, CBD can help relax the adenosine receptors and give us a more natural transition into sleep.
CBD also effects the brain through what is called Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid or GABA for short. GABA is a neurotransmitter best known for its ability to reduce the typical brain response to stress. GABA is responsible for calming you after a fight or flight scenario and can help induce calmness and relaxation if released properly. Finally, CBD can also affect our serotonin and dopamine levels. This can help alleviate anxiety, depression, and many other common mental ailments that normally inhibit a quality sleep.
Does CBD Make You Tired?
Now to the million-dollar question: does CBD make you tired? Well, the short answer is no but it is a little more complicated than that. A study by the Sleep Foundation found that nearly 30% of Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. This includes insomnia, anxiety, and a plethora of other potential conditions. Most medications for these conditions lead to daytime drowsiness or dependency as time progresses which leaves the consumer wondering why they started the medication in the first place.
Interestingly, CBD does not actually have and sedative effects. CBD targets the causes that produce a poor night’s sleep. This means that CBD is effective as an organic alternative to sleep medications because it targets the underlying conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, or stress. Because of this, CBD is found to promote wakefulness during the day. This is not because of some psychoactive component of CBD but simply the fact that you are getting a more restful and higher quality sleep which allows for a more upbeat day. Some research suggests that taking higher amounts of CBD in the daytime might promote sleepiness, but lower doses can promote alertness. So, does CBD make you tired? Not directly, but its use in above prescription amounts could lead to drowsiness during the day.
The old saying, “too much of anything is a bad thing.” Really rings true when it comes to CBD. While CBD can have a lot of positive effects, it should be taken in consultation with your primary care doctor. When taking CBD be sure to consult with a doctor to make sure it is the right fit for you and stay safe!