The Science of How CBD Can Help You Sleep Better

At least seven hours of sleep is widely regarded by scientists as vital for a healthy life, but a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that a full third of American adults don’t get that much. Stress, overwork, excessive screen time and more can all contribute to an inability to fall asleep.

The adverse effects of sleep deprivation include impaired memory, irritability and short attention spans. In the long term, research indicates that regularly not getting enough sleep can be a risk factor for diabetes, heart conditions and strokes. Lack of sleep is also connected to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause weight gain, acne, fatigue and headaches.

Obviously something is preventing us from getting the sleep we need, but how can we overcome it? A variety of artificial aids are on the market that promise better rest, but many pharmaceutical solutions have unpleasant side effects. In the long term, they can cause daytime drowsiness, depression and impaired motor skills.

It’s not surprising that people would seek a more natural solution for better rest. One non-­prescription substance on the market now is Cannabidiol, a chemical compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa L plant. Although cultivation of that plant was criminalized in the United States with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, recent years have seen a reappraisal of the benefits of cannabis and legalization in many states, as well as scientific inquiry into the plant’s many unique qualities.

The Cannabis sativa L plant is a remarkably complex organism that creates over 400 unique chemical entities. The most prevalent and most studied are THC and CBD. THC is the primary compound in marijuana that gets you “high” and boasts a number of psychoactive effects. CBD, as far as analysts can determine, does not.. Instead, the effects of CBD on its own appear to include reduction of temporary anxiety as well as increased relaxation.

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