A restful night’s sleep is indispensable when it comes to overall good health and wellbeing. Seven to nine hours per night is the recommended amount for feeling energised and fully rested the next day, plus providing optimal support for muscle and tissue repair, immune function, cognitive function and memory formation.
We know how important sleep is, but unfortunately falling asleep and/or staying asleep proves difficult for a lot of people. Possible solutions to insomnia and sleep problems include improved sleep hygiene, prescription medicines and natural sleep aids. An increasingly popular natural sleep aid is CBD gummies. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabis-derived compound well-known for promoting relaxation, lessening anxiety and encouraging better sleep.
Here’s all you need to know about CBD gummies, how they can help you achieve a deeper night’s sleep when to take them, side effects and safety.
What is a CBD Gummy?
A CBD gummy is a flavoured chewy sweet or gummy bear that is infused with cannabidiol oil and usually tastes delicious. CBD edibles offer a fun, discreet and convenient way of consuming CBD and reaping all the wellness benefits.
CBD is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid of the hemp plant. It is commonly extracted and enjoyed for its well-being benefits, which CBD can provide without any intoxicating effects. THC is a similar cannabinoid which can provide benefits for wellness, but it is well-known for causing psychoactive effects (a ‘high’). THC is illegal in the UK, whereas CBD is a legal substance.
Will a CBD Gummy Help Me Sleep Better?
Using CBD gummies to improve sleep and manage insomnia is becoming increasingly popular. CBD has a calming effect on the mind and body thanks to its interaction with the central nervous system when ingested, which can, in turn, reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Research carried out into the effects of cannabidiol on sleep indicates that CBD can have a positive impact. One study showed that 66.7% of patients who used CBD experienced an improvement in their sleep patterns within the first month of use. Many users also report better sleep after using CBD. However, few clinical studies of CBD on sleep exist and further scientific studies are required.
How Does a CBD Gummy Work?
To understand how CBD gummies have an impact on sleep, we must first take a look at the mechanisms of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a nerve cell signalling system that controls the function of the central nervous system and helps to maintain stability. Homeostasis is the body’s state of equilibrium in which all organs are functioning properly, keeping physiological, cognitive and emotional balance.
The ECS is largely made up of endocannabinoids (chemical compounds that act as messengers between nerve cells) and endocannabinoid receptors that bind to endocannabinoids, triggering neural activity. The two key endocannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2.
When CBD gummies are ingested and broken down during the digestion process, CBD interacts with the ECS. Exactly how it does this is still largely unknown; it was originally believed that CBD mimicked endocannabinoid activity, however we now know that CBD does not bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. One theory is that CBD stops endocannabinoids from being broken down; others believe that cannabidiol binds to an undiscovered receptor.
While the exact mechanism is unclear, CBD’s activity within the ECS causes a positive change, helping with multiple symptoms associated with different conditions. Whether CBD directly impacts sleep is also ambiguous; some believe that CBD influences sleep indirectly by reducing stress and anxiety symptoms and promoting relaxation, resulting in improved conditions for optimal, deep sleep.
Is it Safe to Take CBD Gummies?
A multitude of studies have been carried out on the safety of CBD and concluded that it is safe to use. CBD is a non-intoxicating, non-addictive compound and CBD-infused gummies are tolerated very well by most people.
How Quickly Do CBD Gummy Bears Work?
It’s difficult to give a precise answer regarding the length of time CBD gummies take to work because the timeframe depends on several variables. Whether you have recently eaten, your metabolism, your body weight and any medications you might be on can all affect the speed at which CBD edibles show their effects. Some might feel the effects after 30 minutes, whereas it might take closer to 2 hours for others. After trying CBD gummies, you’ll begin to notice the average time it takes for you to feel the effects.
How Long Before Bed Should I Take a CBD Gummy?
The time you should take a CBD gummy before going to bed depends on the period it takes for your gummy to work. As a general guide, around an hour before you go to sleep should provide enough time for the benefits to kick in, but it is worth experimenting to find the ideal time for you.
What Else Can a CBD Gummy Help With?
CBD gummies have been shown to improve a variety of conditions in addition to sleep, including:
- Stress and anxiety levels – CBD’s interaction with the ECS has an impact on cortisol, which reduces noticeable symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as improves mood.
- Concentration – CBD increases dopamine levels which heightens focus and improves concentration.
- Joint and muscle pain – Pain is a common complaint from those suffering from chronic conditions, and it is often a result of inflammation. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, working to reduce inflammation in the body which, in turn, reduces pain.
- Immune function – CBD provides support for your hardworking immune system in fighting off infection and disease. The ECS directly impacts the efficacy of the immune system in the presence of a virus or foreign body, and CBD enhances the function of the ECS, therefore impacting the immune system indirectly. Some edibles, such as Multivitamin + CBD Gummies, contain added vitamins and minerals for a greater immune system boost.
- Energy levels – Many people report an increase in energy levels when using CBD gummies. This could be a subsequent benefit of improved sleep, reduced anxiety and lifted mood.
CBD Edibles Side Effects & Safety
CBD is considered a safe, natural substance. Side effects are possible but rare. These include appetite changes, diarrhoea, nausea and drowsiness.
CBD may interfere with the efficacy of certain medicines. Always consult your doctor before using CBD if you are on prescription medication.
Studies are in the preliminary stages but preclinical research – in addition to anecdotal reports – show promising results of CBD gummies positively influencing sleep patterns and potentially improving insomnia. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to impact sleep, alongside other physiological functions such as mood, stress levels, energy levels, pain and immune function. CBD is a safe, non-addictive and non-psychoactive compound, and CBD edibles are legal in the UK as long as they are THC-free.