In this article, we discuss using CBD for insomnia, and reference a growing body of research that supports the use of cannabidiol to treat a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide.
There are few things as frustrating as a long night spent tossing and turning in your bed, unable to switch off. Whether you’re riddled with anxiety about debt or bills, or you simply can’t seem to stop your brain doing somersaults on the pillow, the impact of being unable to get a full eight hours can be hugely damaging in the long term.
Some try the classic counting sheep technique, drinking warm milk or a rambling podcasts like Sleep With Me. Others turn to prescription medication like Ambien, which in 2013 had a reported 8.6 million users in America. Given the perpetual air of anxiety and increased smartphone use, we can only imagine that that number has risen since then.
There’s an increasing pool of research into the effects of prolonged cell phone use before bed, and what the blue light—also known as short-wavelength enriched light—might be doing to our ability to get an uninterrupted eight hours.
“While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin,” writes Harvard Health Publishing, “blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).”
Indica-dominant cannabis strains and products have a well-documented history of helping patients get relief from insomnia, but the science and evidence into how CBD promotes better sleep is still relative fresh.
In the sections below we’ll frame the widespread problem of sleeping disorders and explore the existing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence that supports the use of CBD for insomnia.
Statistics About Insomnia
- 25% of Americans suffer from acute insomnia
- 4% of Americans use prescription medication to sleep
- 30 to 35% of people have brief symptoms of insomnia
- 15 to 20% have a short-term (less than three months) insomnia disorder
- 10% have what is described as chronic insomnia, which occurs at least three times per week for at least three months
Effects of Poor Sleep and Sleeping Disorders
- Weight gain
- Reduced concentration
- Reduced productivity
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
- Reduced athletic performance
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- Higher likelihood of depression
- Reduced immune system functionality
- Increased inflammation
CBD for Insomnia
“She’s 20 days seizure free. Her headaches are manageable. She is able to sleep better as well. I can’t recall how long it’s been since she has been seizure free.”
“I thought I was doing good until I tried KushyCBD, what a difference! I can breath, I can sleep, it suppresses the immune response and in turn that reduces inflammation which leads to better hydration and notable daily improvement in over all mental and physical health…it’s like a total body regulator. Thank you for such a fine product.”
The key to understanding CBD’s potential to treat insomnia lies in its effective treatment of anxiety, which is at the root of many people‘s inability to get a good night’s sleep.
“The anxiety-alleviating and sleep-prolonging qualities of CBD oil make it a good option for many people with insomnia,” writes Those who experience insomnia due to pain or discomfort may also find that using CBD oil alleviates their physical symptoms to a noticeable extent. CBD oil may also promote daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts; people with insomnia can use it as a pick-me-up if they feel excessively tired due to lack of restful sleep.”
Dr. Esther Blessing, assistant professor at NYU Langone Health, resonated that thought on WNYC’s Sci Fri podcast in December 2018.
“CBD seems to affect a lot of different receptors in the brain. Overall, it seems to reduce activity in the areas of the brain that cause anxiety, like the amygdala, reduce hyper-excitability there, and improve activity in the areas of the brain that regulate anxiety, like the prefrontal cortex,” said Dr. Blessing.
Science journal Current Psychiatry Reports published a study in 2017 into the effects of CBD on sleep. While the paper’s authors James Sottile, Danielle Morabito and Kimberly A. Babson were hesitant to draw any firm conclusions on the effectiveness of CBD for insomnia, they found the early results to be promising.
“Novel studies investigating cannabinoids and obstructive sleep apnea suggest that synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone and dronabinol may have short-term benefit for sleep apnea due to their modulatory effects on serotonin-mediated apneas. CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness, while nabilone may reduce nightmares associated with PTSD and may improve sleep among patients with chronic pain.”
Kushy CBD for Insomnia and Sleeping Disorders
“I never imagined that I would use cannabis but it has become a really effective cure for my insomnia, which I have suffered from for a long time. After I joined KushyCBD, I started using our CBD gummies before bed. And it worked. So I tried it again, and again, and again. And now I use it every night.”
KushyCBD’s chief scientist Carolina Vasquez Mitchell
Given the vast and troubling extent of the nation’s sleeping problems and our well-documented reliance on prescription medication to alleviate those problems, it’s clear that alternatives are needed.
“I understand what it is like to be struggling with problems relating to insomnia, so I feel compelled to help those people with my work and my research,” explains Carolina.
Since joining the company in 2017, Carolina has had a tremendous impact on the quality and consistency of our production. Before working with Kushy Punch, Carolina founded a consulting firm for cannabis edibles and was the Head of Research for Power Brands, America’s leading beverage consultancy firm. She got her masters in chemistry from USC, and is a founding member of the Legalization of Cannabis & Hemp Edibles division of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Her drive to find a healthy, sustainable solution to insomnia has spurred a considerable amount of Carolina’s research with KushyCBD, and addressing this problem has become something of a passion for her.
Carolina was recently featured in the prestigious Dope Magazine’s Outstanding Women in Cannabis, where she talks about her background, her favorite strains and the inspiring ethos she brings to the lab every single day. Read the article here.
About our CBD Oil
Most cannabis companies use distillate oil, which strips out everything but the desired compound, which in this case would be CBD.
KushyCBD uses something called full spectrum oil in our products. This holistic extraction process retains the vital and impactful cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC and CBG, and also maintains the terpenes, flavonoids, and healthy fibers present in the plant. This gives patients something called the “Entourage Effect”, which is the compound symphonic effect of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids coming together to bolster the impact of the CBD.
“When you’re thinking about distillates vs full spectrum oil, consider sugar. On one hand you have the dark brown natural unrefined sugar. The more that you refine the sugar, the clearer and whiter it becomes. But along the way you are losing vital and natural aspects of the sugar. Our oil is the dark brown natural sugar, not the white, super refined stuff.”
Carolina on full spectrum oil
To learn more about full spectrum oil and the Entourage Effect, check out this in-depth article.
CBN, a lesser known cannabinoid present in KushyCBD’s rich full spectrum oil, has also shown considerable promise as a naturally occuring sedative, and one which could become a lot more widely known in the coming years.
“CBD and THC are working for me, but there are a lot of people out there with more severe cases of insomnia and CBN could be the answer to this problem,” explains Carolina. She has highlighted CBN as an area of particular interest for her research, and plans to learn more about this largely untapped cannabinoid in the future.