You Snooze, You Win: Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Sleep

by PP Health Admin / Jun 27, 2021

A good night's sleep is inarguably the key to maintaining overall health and wellness. However, going to sleep without tossing and turning for a few minutes (if not hours) may seem almost impossible for roughly 36% of the UK's adult population, who struggle to get enough sleep on a regular basis.

Fortunately, there are many newly-developed natural supplements that may be reasonably potent when it comes to inducing sleep without leaving you feeling dull and groggy throughout the following day, and that come without the risk of any possible dependence on substance use.

Enter CBD! Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has been widely considered as a natural supplement that might potentially support and encourage more sound sleep. This wellness ingredient is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracted from one of the cannabis plant subspecies known as industrial hemp. Right now, we are witnessing a rapid increase in CBD's popularity. This makes finding the correct formulation and level of strength to possibly fit your needs be a little overwhelming, especially with all the choice out there. The market is flooded with many different types and formulations of CBD, from oils to softgels and even gummies. However, some of these CBD supplements are poorly regulated- which may not provide you with the results that you look forward to. In this article, we'll talk about full-spectrum CBD oil: what it is, how it works, and why most experts consider this formulation to be both the strongest and potentially the most beneficial when it comes to sleep improvement.

What is full-spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD oil bottles against a yellow background with hemp leaves

When people talk about CBD oils, the only thing that's often recognised is the presence of CBD itself. Therefore, very little attention is being given to other 100+ cannabinoids and essential compounds found within the plant. In actuality, cannabis plants are not just rich in CBD. Rather, they are composed of various natural properties- which, when all combined, may offer a holistic and versatile set of potential health benefits.

As you search the market for CBD products, you will likely come across a wide selection of different CBD strengths and formulations to choose from. One of the many reasons CBD comes in various forms (such as oils, edibles, topicals, vapes, and more!) as well as categories (such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate) is to allow users to essentially experience CBD in many different ways in order to figure out their individual tastes and needs.

The term "full-spectrum" is used to acknowledge all of the active ingredients that are present in the plant. Aside from CBD, all the other essential cannabinoids are included in full-spectrum CBD products, such as cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, also known as the primary intoxicating cannabinoid that induces a "high" sensation when consumed).

Most of the CBD products that are categorised as full-spectrum may only contain a regulated amount of not more than 0.2% THC in order to be considered legal in many parts of Europe. With such a minimal amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD products, it is not sufficient to produce any euphoric effects upon consumption (provided that the proper dosage is applied). As a matter of fact, some studies believe that CBD may help neutralise some of the adverse effects of THC, including intoxication.

Full-spectrum CBD may also include some valuable compounds, such as terpenes (the aromatic compounds that create the distinctive scent of various plants), flavonoids (nutrients that give plants their natural colour), waxes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and much more. This quality of full-spectrum CBD is something many users would usually find more appealing than its counterparts, such as isolate (which contains pure CBD and nothing else) and broad-spectrum (which preserves almost all of the plant's essential compounds except for THC).

Entourage Effect: How CBD and Other Cannabinoids May Work Together

Some existing research has suggested that taking CBD and THC together, along with the other natural compounds found in hemp, might work more effectively than taking CBD or THC alone. This proposition is due to the purported positive interactions between cannabinoids and other hemp-derived compounds known as "the entourage effect".

The entourage effect is used to describe the supposed synergistic effects of all the active ingredients that work hand in hand in one full-spectrum CBD product in order to create a much more robust profile when it comes to potency, as compared to broad-spectrum and CBD-isolate products.

Each cannabinoid has its own unique set of potential effects on our minds and bodies. If there's one thing that makes cannabinoids similar to one another, it is their intriguing relationship with our endocannabinoid system (also known as our ECS), a specialised network of cell receptors that work together to maintain our body's overall balance known as homeostasis. All these cannabinoids, with CBD being the chief non-intoxicating compound found in hemp, are thought to interact with the cannabinoid receptors (such as CB1 and CB2 receptors) of the ECS, allowing them to enter several pathways in the body and reach their targeted areas through the bloodstream.

Our body uses the ECS to govern a variety of biological functions, including pain sensation, immune function, metabolism, and mood- all of which may affect the quality of sleep in some people. In order to do so, the ECS provides feedback to the body after a nerve signal is delivered to the brain by the cell receptors located throughout the body. CBD is thought to have a unique potential effect in the regulation of many bodily processes by having an indirect impact on the cannabinoid receptors that send information between the cells located in the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems.

Full-spectrum CBD has the edge of holding a variety of cannabinoids interfacing with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS; hence, it is much more likely to deliver its highest level of potential effects to a broader health reach inside the body.

Full-spectrum CBD and Sleep

While we have some basic understanding of how full-spectrum CBD may work inside us, there's still much to learn when it comes to its possible beneficial impact on our sleep quality. As far as how the active ingredients in full-spectrum CBD may affect sleep, some preliminary research has indicated that high doses of cannabinoids (like CBD) might help improve sleep quality and duration by impacting specific cell receptors that regulate the sleep/wake cycle.

Insomnia (the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and fall back into sleeping) is one of the most debilitating (yet familiar) sleep conditions experienced by millions of people worldwide. This condition can be caused by a number of underlying health issues, including stress, anxiety, and physical pain due to inflammation. CBD has long shown promise in supplementing such conditions that may be associated with a variety of sleep problems, which explains how CBD might help sufferers sleep better. By managing the potential root causes of insomnia, sleep is most likely to improve as well. Here's what research has to say:

CBD for Pain Management

Some people may lack the ability to fall asleep quickly when a sensation of pain tries to interfere with their restful sleep. While it's still too early to confirm CBD's full therapeutic potential, there is a growing body of evidence to support the potential benefits of less refined full-spectrum CBD extracts, with more of the cannabinoids and natural compounds preserved in them.

For instance, a study published in 2018 has shown that the combination of CBD and THC, alongside other essential cannabinoids and natural components (such as terpenes and flavonoids), might show a promising entourage effect on various pain-related symptoms. Researchers went on to suggest that full-spectrum CBD might have the ability to supplement neuropathic pain (a type of pain caused by specific issues in the somatosensory nervous system, which is concerned with our conscious perception of touch, pressure, and pain- all of which arise from the joints and muscles). Inflammatory pain (which can be related to arthritis, headaches, and cramps) is related to neuropathic pain, thereby reacting to the potential effects of full-spectrum CBD and other hemp-derived components attached to it.

CBD for Stress and Anxiety

Sleep, stress, and anxiety can all intervene in one another. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has reported that daily stress and anxiety might interfere with our lives at least moderately. Hence, there is no doubt that some of this stress and anxiety often stems from our daily activities, causing us to hold tension in our minds and bodies- which, in turn, affects our sleep quality. Likewise, excessive sleepless nights can make our mornings even more stressful, with a lack of focus and concentration, which in turn leads to more stress and lower sleep quality.

CBD has been reported to break this vicious cycle by potentially managing various anxiety symptoms during the day while helping improve sleep quality at night. To support this idea, a 2017 review paper has shown a direct interaction between CBD and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. These receptors are considered the "brake pedal" of the brain, responsible for slowing down our actions to bring our body back to its normal, relaxed state- more like preparing our body to switch off and sleep at night. With lower levels of GABA receptors in the brain, you are more likely to experience bouts of stress, anxiety, or insomnia. What CBD potentially does is that it helps improve the ability of GABA receptors to regulate our sleep/wake cycle.

In a separate study, both CBD and THC have been touted to interact with some of the essential hormones involved with the regulation of our mood and mental state, including serotonin (also known as the happiness hormone), dopamine (also called the feel-good hormone), and oxytocin (the love hormone). Similar to GABA receptors, imbalances with our mood hormones can also lead to stress and anxiety. With an entourage effect of full-spectrum CBD supplementing a more comprehensive reach of essential receptors that affect our mood and sleep, the result is a possible decrease in anxiety levels, as well as other potential benefits, such as muscle relaxation and improved sleep quality.

What Happens When We Don't Get Enough Sleep?

Most of us are probably aware of just how much an adequate amount of sleep can help us function to our best ability during the daytime. If you're a fan of meeting work deadlines by staying awake the night before, then you must know how fragile your body is whenever it fails to achieve the optimum amount and quality of rest. Sleep deprivation has multiple adverse effects on your overall health and well-being as a potential result of chronic poor sleep. Some symptoms may only be mild, sometimes disappearing in a few days, while others may only worsen after a sustained period of severe sleeplessness. A few of these symptoms of insomnia may include the following:

  • Increase in negative moods (such as anger, irritability, frustration, or sadness)
  • Lack of energy to perform physical activities
  • Lower libido or sex drive
  • Problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making
  • Weakened immunity
  • Weight gain
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Risk of developing more severe health issues

How to Sleep Better at Night

Science has always linked a healthy sleep pattern to everything from a higher-functioning immune system to lower stress and anxiety levels, which can all result in enhanced productivity.

However, many people are still not getting the kind of sleep quality that leads to those health advantages for many reasons- it could be due to a sleep disorder and its underlying causes, an upcoming deadline, or perhaps some good films are simply more worthy of binge-watching overnight! Whatever the case may be, it's time to break the bad habit of depriving yourself of restful sleep! When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, good sleep habits should never be overlooked. Here are a few sleep tips to possibly catch your best-quality ZZZs tonight:

  • Create an attainable sleep/wake schedule (and stick to it). Adults are recommended to get at least somewhere between seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. Take note: it's not just your sleep duration that's crucial. The regularity of your sleep/wake patterns also plays an important role when it comes to improving your long-term sleep quality. Try to get yourself in the habit of going to bed and waking up at similar times, every day (even weekends), making sure you get the suggested amount of sleep for adults.
  • Turn your bedroom into a more inviting sleep sanctuary. Start by keeping your sleeping space as dark as possible in order to prevent any light from disrupting your body's natural sleep rhythm. Suppose you have a night-shift job that requires you to sleep in the morning- in that case, you may use some blackout curtains to limit the sun rays that pass through your windows from the outside. You can also optimise your sleep environment by investing in quality pillows and mattresses in order to fully support your body during your sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a peaceful, relaxing, and clean place that will get you in the mood for sleep.
  • Consider incorporating full-spectrum CBD oil into your daily diet. Many studies outlined above have shown CBD's promise in supplementing the treatments for various sleep conditions in order to promote better sleep. Alongside a well-balanced diet, taking our classic CBD oil regularly might just give you a quick dose of all the active ingredients found in full-spectrum CBD, working together to potentially enhance your wakefulness during the day and improve your sleep quality at night. If you're new to CBD, we strongly suggest that you start with a low dose and then increase your intake gradually (if needed) while monitoring how you feel as you go. Just place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, hold it there for a few seconds before swallowing, and you're ready to roll!
  • Practise mindfulness and physical fitness. A regular exercise routine is beneficial in achieving a good night's sleep. Physical activities tend to tire your muscles out, thereby forcing your GABA levels to spike early in the morning and drop more easily at night to help you fall asleep. Nevertheless, avoid performing vigorous exercises too close to your bedtime, as this can leave you with unwanted results, making you feel more alert than sleepy during the night.

The Bottom Line

CBD seems unstoppable, as it keeps on surprising the market with its broad spectrum of potential health benefits. To date, however, there is a lack of clinical research on human subjects that specifically analyse the purported effects of CBD on a number of symptoms associated with various sleep disorders. If all goes well, future studies will help develop our understanding of CBD and its potential role in sleep management. In the meantime, while waiting for much more significant discoveries, beginning your journey with CBD (alongside consulting health professionals, using traditional treatments, and lifestyle changes) might just be an excellent place to start when it comes to promoting healthy sleep and setting yourself up for a brighter tomorrow.