The Companion

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Things South Africans Need To Know About Insomnia and CBD

Insomnia is an issue that ruins countless South African lives. According to a study conducted by Charles King, an MBA student at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), adults in his test group (658) who had an average of fewer than seven hours sleep a night increased their risk of developing major depression by 22%. 

There were loads of extra downsides to lack of sleep, with the strongest and most alarming statistic in the USB study being “insufficient sleep has been directly linked with seven of the 15 leading causes of death… Sorry, a bit of a buzz kill.   

Anyway… 

What causes Insomnia varies widely, with some pointing at the new “Always On” culture (social media, email on phones etc.) and ultimately stress. That’s where CBD wiggles its way into the conversation. 

CBD’s Traits 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the main 100 cannabinoids in the Cannabis Sativa plant. 

These compounds, including CBD, affect your endocannabinoid system in ways that are still being researched, however current research says it is responsible for regulating physiological and cognitive processes. 

It’s early days for CBD studies, so far there is good research that suggests CBD benefits include anti-anxiety properties and pain relief. These studies also point to the fact that CBD can address some of the main difficulties of getting a good night’s sleep. 

Insomnia can be caused by a wide range of triggers yet many people are reporting startling improvements in their symptoms after using CBD. And when you scratch the surface there’s a debate about how many milligrams you need to take at any given time. But that’s a topic for another blog. So, how does CBD help with insomnia? By addressing some of the symptoms, that’s how.  

CBS Addresses The Symptoms 

As mentioned, there are many reasons for a bad night’s sleep, let’s talk about some of these reasons and how CBD can treat them: 

CBD And Anxiety

Those suffering from an Anxiety Disorder are between 50% - 70% more likely to report issues with sleeping, according to the South African Society of Sleep Medicine (SASSM).  

Early CBD research found that it can address anxiety, as it acts on receptors in the endocannabinoid system including serotonin receptors. Within the brain, CBD can mimic serotonin by binding and activating your body's 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. Low serotonin levels are likely connected to depression and anxiety and although CBD doesn’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, it may positively affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system.

CBD And Pain

It should go without saying that CBD has been shown to reduce pain. One important review on the topic was called, “Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules” by the researchers (we’ll give them a slow clap for that name, later).  

The review also found evidence that CBD can soothe the pain. Some research also suggests that CBD is effective even for treating chronic pain. 

CBD And Sleep Patterns

While the study was very small and involved individuals with Parkinson’s disease, these individuals were experiencing “a parasomnia characterised by a loss of muscle atonia during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep…” 

In plain English, their eyes weren’t moving when they were in deep sleep, which the authors from Department of Neuroscience and Behavior, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, said is associated with nightmares. 

This condition is called REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and once treated with CBD, to quote the report, 

“Patients... had [a] prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of RBD-related events without side effects.”  

This is a once-off, but because of its properties, we can be sure there will be a revisit to this treatment. What matters is that CBD is being studied more closely than ever before, with new benefits being discovered daily. 

If you struggle with insomnia or other sleep-related ailments, you should consider giving our 1000mg Organic CBD Oil a try - getting a good night’s rest has never been easier to achieve.