Melatonin, magnesium, or prescription pills not doing the trick with your insomnia? Here, a cannabis expert explains how to use CBD oil for sleep. Cannabidiol's sleep-inducing properties are very well-known. But did you know that applying CBD oil on your feet can help you sleep better? Click here for the full breakdown.
Think You’ve Tried Everything for Your Sleep Issues? Enter CBD…
As editor-in-chief and co-founder of Miss Grass , an elevated lifestyle shop and publication for women and cannabis, Anna Duckworth has tried cannabis for everything from sex to cooking. And now, she’s sharing her cannabis knowledge with Well+Good. Today, she takes on a topic we’re all more than a little bit obsessed with over here: how to get a better sleep.
We are an exhausted nation: Roughly 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. And, considering lack of sleep can lead to mood and personality changes, we’re a cranky one, too. To put it simply, we’re tired of being tired and we’re looking for solutions.
Cannabis—CBD (cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis that’s cropping up in everything from lotions to lattes) in particular—is a tantalizing alternative to the typical Ambien prescription or medicine cabinet full of melatonin that, according to Elizabeth Cramer Ernst, nurse practitioner and owner of the medical marijuana clinic Hamptons Medi Spa, could provide significant relief for insomniacs. In recent studies, CBD has shown promising signs of being both an effective and safe way to get more zzz’s, although much more research needs to be done before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Through the fog that comes with pulling unintended all-nighters night after night, however, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that difficulty sleeping is very rarely just that. It’s almost certainly the result of an underlying condition. For many people, a lack of sleep comes down to anxiety—which, as we know, can be attributed to any number of external or internal factors from PTSD to financial strain. For others, sleepless nights are rooted in something physical, like chronic pain or restless leg syndrome. That’s why there’s truly no one-size-fits-all solution for sleep problems—including cannabis.
To find the best way for you to use cannabis or CBD oil for sleep, follow these three steps. And remember, it’s important to speak with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine.
1. Get to know your options
Cannabis remains illegal for recreational and/or medical use in many states. The good news for the canna-curious who live in a state that’s still under prohibition is that the passing of the Farm Bill in late 2018 federally legalized hemp, the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). And that means you can now legally access a whole range of hemp-derived cannabis products no matter where you live.
If you’re experienced with products that contain THC, know that some amount of the high-inducing compound can be effective in treating sleep disorders. But if you’re new to the cannabis party, it’s recommended to start with non-intoxicating cannabis products. These contain a high concentration of other active compounds—like the ever popular CBD (cannabidiol) or the lesser known but powerful sedative CBN (cannabinol)—that work by activating a network of receptors in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. Ultimately, your job is to test and try different products to find the dose just right for you.
2. Identify your main sleep issues
Everybody and every body is different. When you’re deciding on a course of treatment for sleep issues, first ask yourself this question: Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both?
According to Cramer Ernst, when using cannabis or CBD oil for sleep, there are a range of products from short-acting ones that can help you fall asleep fast to long-acting ones that can help you stay asleep, so you want to make sure you pick the one that addresses your particular ailment.
A vaporizer like the Her Highness Sleeping Beauty Vape Pen is considered short-acting because it takes effect in less than 10 minutes and is great for people who need help falling asleep. A tincture under the tongue, like Mineral’s Robyn for Sleep, is considered medium-acting because it takes 20 minutes to kick in and lasts between four and five hours. And then there are the edibles or capsules, like Plant People’s Be Calm Caps, which can take up to two hours to take effect but typically last between six and eight hours. (These long-acting ones are a great bet for people who can nod off easily but need help staying asleep.)
3. Integrate CBD into your sleep hygiene routine
So many of us stay up late working or scrolling through Instagram and don’t shut off our screens until it’s way too late (guilty!). Blue light from the screens has been proven to interrupt sleep dramatically and, experts say, should be avoided for up to four hours before bedtime. That’s not realistic for a lot of us, but even putting your phone down and turning off the TV an hour before you snuggle between the sheets can make a difference. It also helps to keep a regular sleep schedule so your body can start to anticipate the routine and begin shutting down without you having to force it.
One easy way to ease off the tech and begin regularizing your sleep habits is to create a bedtime ritual for yourself (with or without CBD—but, me being me, I vote for “with”). Practice meditation if that’s your jam, spritz your skin and bed with a soothing lavender spray, dim the lights, and give yourself a little massage with something like Apothecanna’s Calming Body Oil. One of my favorite tricks is to take a CBD bath with Vertly CBD Bath Salts or the CBD Bliss Bath Bomb, which Cramer Ernst says works by being absorbed into your skin. The mood-boosting power of a good soak plus CBD could be just the ticket to Dreamland you’ve been after.
CBD Oil on Feet for Sleep
Though we are just at the beginning when it comes to understanding their full potential, cannabinoids have already proven immensely powerful in applications related to wellness, physical therapy, and alternative medicine.
Day by day, we learn more and more about the hidden benefits and secret superpowers of the cannabis plant’s many active compounds – CBD ranking chiefly as the most well-studied of them all.
A powerful analgesic, CBD has long been considered one of the safest and most effective natural supplements to promote pain relief.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps not a big surprise that many have been experimenting with unique and innovative therapeutic applications for CBD.
One of these is as a sleeping aid. Especially for those suffering from chronic pains and conditions like restless leg syndrome, IBS , or arthritis , as well as those recovering from serious injury , getting enough healthy sleep every night can be a real, debilitating challenge.
CBD looks like a perfect candidate for treatment – but how exactly does it work? And what is behind the current trend of applying CBD oil topically to the soles of the feet?
Scroll down to find out!
CBD oil for foot pain
Research shows that despite foot pain being one of the most common pain-related health issues worldwide, it is rarely treated. Most choose to either use over-the-counter drugs to manage the symptoms of their foot pain or leave it alone.
When the problem is only minor, that might be just about enough. But apparently benign cases of foot pain may and often do develop into more serious, chronic conditions that can seriously impair your quality of life!
One of nature’s most revered analgesics, it has been used to fight pains and physical discomfort for centuries – so you can rest assured it’s got a reliable, positive track record.
It achieves this feat by contacting our brains’ endocannabinoid system, or ECS. When triggered, the ECS contains countless receptors that work to release chemicals that may improve our moods, provide pain relief, and more.
Can CBD oil help foot neuropathy?
One of the more widespread causes of serious foot pain is neuropathy. This is when our nerve receptors get damaged and stop sending the right signals to our brain – resulting in both constant and intermittent kinds of sharp pain that can be very stubborn.
The exact causes of foot neuropathy can vary, and some remain poorly studied.
For example, we know that most of those suffering from foot neuropathy have diabetes, but precisely how diabetes can be responsible for nerve damage is unclear.
However, CBD’s ability to calm the nerves shows plenty of promise. There is also some evidence to suggest that it might be more helpful for many patients than traditional medications used to treat neuropathy. This includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as opioid painkillers.
One of the most potent CBD extracts is natural CBD oil. This is gained directly from the resin of the cannabis plant and is 100% organic, usually lacking any artificial additives whatsoever.
But can CBD oil actually help in complex and hard-to-treat cases such as foot neuropathy?
Research shows plenty of potential for CBD oil, and the evidence only keeps piling up in its favor. Unlike opioids and similar drugs, CBD does not lead to any kind of addiction or physical dependency and is also free of toxins.
Furthermore, it reduces the sensation of pain and provides a whole host of other complex health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.
Can CBD oil help with foot pain?
Not all cases of foot pain stem from neuropathy.
While CBD’s long-term treatment potential, especially in the face of ineffective and dangerous alternatives, is getting a lot of attention when it comes to that particular condition, what about other instances of foot pain?
Often, foot pain is caused by specific types of injuries. This can be the case with Achilles tendonitis, where the Achilles tendon tears, often during strenuous exercise.
In cases like this, you will need medical attention, including surgery, for the affected part to heal properly. But CBD may still help to lessen the pain and inflammation that the condition can cause, easing recovery.
CBD oil on soles of feet for sleep
Taken in most common forms, CBD acts upon the whole body all at once, providing a relaxing kind of physical stimulation that may reduce pain and inflammation quickly and more reliably than many prescription drugs.
Among them, CBD oils and tinctures are some of the most versatile. They can be added as a dietary ingredient to different kinds of recipes – and since CBD practically blends in with almost any taste, your imagination is the only real limit.
But you can also use CBD oil topically, applying it to your skin.
This provides stronger, more localized effects, which sound particularly promising to those suffering from conditions such as foot pain.
In the end, the rest of your system will still benefit from all the health-promoting effects that CBD has to offer, but you’ll feel them more around the area where you applied the oil.
Using CBD in this way, you can hit two birds with one stone. Not only can you treat issues such as foot pain directly at the root of the problem, but you will also reap the benefits of countless other small but noticeable effects.
This includes the proven benefits of CBD for promoting healthier sleep, which we will go further into below!
Benefits of CBD oil for sleep
CBD is not just being studies for its anxiety and pain relieveing properties. There’s a long list of health benefits attributed to CBD, and many of them have medical uses that are far more promising than what prescription alternatives can currently provide.
Cannabinoids, especially CBD, have been used in sleep research for many decades.
Studies show that CBD oil may physically relax and relieve you of pains and aches while at the same time stimulating the brain to induce a calmer mental state. All this contributes to much better sleep quality over the long term.
However, one thing that remains unclear is CBD’s exact role in those effects.
Due to something called the entourage effect, cannabinoids and their effects often combine in hard-to-predict ways – simply testing a compound in isolation is no good indicator of how it performs “in the wild.”
While supplemental CBD does not contain THC, the infamous psychoactive cannabinoid, it can and often does contain many other minor cannabinoids that contribute to its benefits thanks to the entourage effect.
Because of this, it is hard to measure just to what extent CBD’s benefits for sleep quality can be traced back to its own chemical structure and not that of one of its relatives.
Thankfully, full spectrum CBD products, which retain not just the raw CBD from the hemp plant but also all of its minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients, are becoming increasingly popular and are widely available in many areas.
When to take CBD oil for sleep
While we know that CBD oil can and often does work to improve sleep patterns, the question remains how exactly to apply it for best results.
If you’ve taken prescription medication for sleep issues in the past, you’ll know how many drugs rely on precise timing to work right. Take them too soon, and they’ll make you wake up in the middle of the night.
On the flip side, the effects might also kick in too late, putting you at risk of throwing your circadian rhythm out of whack. With time, that could lead to severe oversleeping and constant fatigue.
Thankfully, CBD is much less inconsistent than some of its prescription-only contemporaries.
As long as you take a full dose about half an hour to an hour before heading to bed, you should be able to experience a calm, peaceful night of rest.
How to take CBD oil for foot pain
One thing that is unfortunately discussed too little when examining the benefits of CBD for pain relief is its so-called biphasic nature.
This is another way of saying that CBD acts on the body quite differently depending on the dosage.
At lower to moderate doses, CBD is an excellent mental stimulant and works similarly to green tea. In other words, it increases focus, helps get rid of fogginess, and allows you to concentrate and divert energy to important tasks more easily.
Research also indicates that consistent low doses of CBD in the mornings and noons can help to positively adjust your body’s internal clock – a valuable benefit for those recovering from insomnia symptoms.
At higher doses, CBD’s effects pattern starkly changes. Instead of causing you to be more alert, it basically does the opposite. It slows down your thoughts, draping a thick blanket of physical relaxation over your body.
CBD is not potent as a sedative except in extremely high doses, but it does work well as a pain reliever and as a relaxant.
While everyone has a range that suits them personally and safe experimentation is ultimately the only real way to success, most people who report improved sleep quality from using CBD do so through the help of larger doses.
Pre-packaged supplement solutions that are dosed generously but not excessively are a great, beginner-friendly choice that is easy to use. Take our Premium CBD Drops for instance.
Using only minimal ingredients, these drops will help you find your focus again while enjoying your favorite activities and feeling well-rested and energized. They combine natural hemp-based broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD with organic MCT oil, an extract gained from coconut that has been shown to improve mental acuity and cardiovascular health.
Pick from any of our vibrant flavors, such as mint and strawberry lemonade – or keep it all natural if you prefer a purer, more understated extract!
If you’re looking specifically for CBD that’ll help you sleep, we’ve got a tailor-made solution for that as well. Our Sleep Drops combine organic CBD and MCT oils with natural lavender and stevia extracts. To top it off, we added CBN – a potent but often overlooked minor cannabinoid that has an excellent track record in promoting a relaxed, well-rested body.
For localized pain relief, topical solutions are key – and as we covered in the above guide, CBD reigns king among those. Our CBD-based Relief Cream serves to underline that fact, working to soothe and gently rejuvenate damaged areas of the body while lessening pains and inflammation as far as possible.
Regularly applying the cream reliably keeps the skin and underlying tissue protected against further damage, speeding up and bolstering the healing process.
In addition to fresh hemp-based CBD, the Relief Cream contains additional helpful ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter, menthol, and eucalyptus leaf oil – all of which have been proven to possess significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.