Sleep Better: What the Research Says about Melatonin and Full-Spectrum CBD Solutions
In this post –
- Importance of sleep
- Why so many people struggle to sleep
- Sleep research on CBD, THC, and melatonin
- Dosages and products for sleep
We all need food and water to survive, but sleep is equally essential to our health. Sleep represents a third of our lives, and quality shut-eye significantly impacts how we function during waking hours. The CDC says sleep deprivation is a public health epidemic that manifests in numerous risks, such as falling asleep at the wheel, high blood pressure, or unexplained weight gain. Sleep aids that help solve this escalating crisis include everything from specialty mattresses to pharmaceuticals to natural supplements.
Here we look at how melatonin and full-spectrum CBD solutions can naturally improve sleep without’ harmful or addictive side effects.
The importance of sleep for our health
Physically, sleep is when our bodies repair and heal, affecting how everything from blood vessels to the immune system functions. Ongoing sleep deficiency exponentially increases the risk for many health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Ability to fight common infections
Mentally, sleep is when our brains form new pathways that help us learn and remember information, enabling our minds to focus and function properly. A lack of Z’s can make it harder to think and leads to many serious issues, such as:
- Trouble making decisions and solving problems
- Losing control over emotions and behavior
- Irritation and anxiety
- Depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the average person should aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. However, the CDC reports that a third of American adults don’t sleep this long regularly. This problem has only grown in recent years as the lines between work and home continue blurring, and late-night technology use has skyrocketed.
Why do so many people struggle to sleep?
In addition to blue light technology exposure, unhealthy habits like drinking a cappuccino before bed and social media addictions affect our sleep quality. Medications and underlying conditions can also contribute to the sleep struggle.
- Lifestyle: Drinking alcohol or eating within a few hours of bedtime, napping too much, and consuming too much caffeine (even in the morning) can contribute to issues falling asleep.
- Medications: Some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, cold remedies containing alcohol, and corticosteroids to treat inflammation or asthma have side effects that cause nighttime waking.
- Underlying conditions: Issues with anxiety or depression, chronic pain, tingling nerves, and sleep apnea can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
What research says about CBD, THC, and melatonin for sleep
Studies show that CBD and THC, the two most prominent and studied cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, offer benefits for many health ailments, from stroke and seizures to nausea and vomiting. Their health benefits also help ease some chronic conditions that interfere with sleep.
CBD for sleep
CBD does not have any psychoactive properties and helps contribute to a sense of calm and relaxation. Studies show that CBD can improve sleep by decreasing anxiety-related disorders. Preliminary research also suggests CBD can directly help with several sleep disorders, including insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
THC for sleep
Cannabis’ main psychoactive compound, THC, is increasingly used for nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, and chronic pain. A 2020 review of existing research suggested that THC also helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. In the process, THC appears to decrease REM sleep, the stage where dreams happen. Long-term REM suppression is not ideal for learning and memory, but short-term THC use can help people find immediate relief from sleep deprivation. It also helps reduce PTSD-related nightmares.
Melatonin for sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that our brain naturally releases at night, which helps regulate our internal clocks. Research shows melatonin has promise in treating insomnia among adults, which has made it an increasingly popular natural sleep aid. Many people also use melatonin to readjust sleep rhythms resulting from jet lag or overnight shifts.
Natural sleep aids like CBD, THC, and melatonin are generally safe and help people avoid more potent drugs, such as opioids. Natural supplements appear to reduce insomnia without substantial side effects and a limited risk of dependency, abuse, and overdose. They work even better when combined with healthy lifestyle practices, such as:
- Going to bed and waking up on a regular schedule
- Removing televisions from the bedroom
- Limiting blue-light exposure from TV screens, cellphones, and computers before bed
- Exercising regularly
Dosages and products for sleep
CBD & Melatonin sleep products
Research shows that CBD promotes alertness at lower doses and enhances sleepiness at higher doses. However, everyone is different, so the best way to find your CBD sleep dosage is to experiment and adjust over time.
CBD products can have even stronger sleep effects when combined with melatonin to balance your circadian rhythm, as well as naturally occurring terpenes. The best complementary terpenes are anti-anxiety or sedative compounds, such as caryophyllene, myrcene, and linalool.
- With melatonin added, CBD Gummies from Charlotte’s Web are well-reviewed for relaxation and sleep by over 1,200 customers.
- Medterra’s Sleep Tight CBD Gummies combine CBD, melatonin, chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm to help people relax into their deepest sleep. 98% of 114 customers said the product made a difference.
THC sleep products
THC typically acts as a sedative, although it can be stimulating at higher doses or for those new to cannabis. To select the best THC products for sleep, look for full-spectrum extracts with high CBD content and relaxing terpenes. Additionally, consider pharmaceutical THC options:
- Dronabinol, a synthetic medical cannabis extract, has been shown to help treat sleep apnea in THC dosages from 2.5 mg to 10 mg an hour before sleep.
- Sativex, a pain-relieving mouth spray containing almost equal amounts of CBD and THC, improved sleep in people with pain-related sleep disturbances. Up to 50% of subjects reported excellent or excellent sleep quality.
Melatonin sleep products
Melatonin supplements come in many forms, including tablets, liquids, patches, gummies, and sprays. While there is no official recommended melatonin dosage for adults, 0.5 mg to 5 mg taken about one hour before bed appears safe and effective.
- Olly Sleep, a tart and tasty black blackberry-flavored gummy, receives an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 44,000 customers.
- Users also report that MidNite Sleep Health, a chewable tablet, helps them fall asleep without feeling groggy.
The bottom line
CBD, THC, and melatonin all support deeper sleep on their own. However, products that combine melatonin with CBD, minor cannabinoids, and a little bit of THC can offer the most sleep-enhancing benefits. These natural sleep aids can alleviate multiple sleep deprivation causes without the risks of addiction and overdoses associated with over-the-counter and subscription pills when used alongside lifestyle alterations.
At ACS Laboratory, we have just developed a Melatonin Test Panel in response to market demand.
We now test for three supplements: melatonin, theanine, and caffeine.