CBD and sleep: Research shows CBD can be used safely to treat insomnia and anxiety

  • 300,000 Brits are currently using CBD
  • Anxiety and insomnia are two popular medical conditions CBD is used to treat
  • American researchers have new evidence to support the use of CBD to treat both anxiety and insomnia
  • 79.2% of patients with anxiety and 66.7% of patients with sleep issues experienced an improvement

Cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly becoming one of the most popular ‘herbal remedies’ on the British market.

An estimated 300,000 Brits are already using CBD to help treat a variety of medical conditions. Anxiety and insomnia are among the most popular conditions people are using the legal medical cannabis drug for, but does CBD really help treat these two conditions?

A new study, published in The Permanente Journal, has found strong evidence to support the claim that CBD can be used to help to treat both of these conditions.

Researchers from Colorado studied 103 adult patients with documented problems with anxiety and sleep quality, before choosing a final sample of 72 adults with primary concerns of anxiety (47) or poor sleep (25) for the investigation.

Nearly all the patients were provided with 25mg of CBD in capsule form. Patients displaying high anxiety were given doses every morning, after breakfast, while those struggling with sleep complaints were dosed every evening, after dinner.

A handful of patients were given larger doses of CBD (either 50/75mg a day or 75mg/d). One patient with a history of trauma and schizoaffective disorder was actually given a much larger dose of CBD, which was gradually increased to 175 mg/d (giving further credence to the argument that CBD can be used to treat psychosis).

The majority of the patients continued to take their pharmaceutical psychiatric medications alongside the CBD treatment. Patients treated with CBD were reviewed monthly by medical professionals.

By the second monthly follow-up, 41 patients (56.9%) remained on CBD treatment and completed assessments; 27 patients (37.5%) remained on CBD treatment at the third monthly assessment.

On average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time.

At the first monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, 79.2% (57/72) of patients with anxiety and 66.7% (48/72) of patients with sleep issues experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep.

However, 15.3% (11/72) and 25.0% (18/72) experienced worsening symptoms in anxiety and sleep, respectively.

Two months after the start of CBD treatment, 78.1% (32/41) and 56.1% (23/41) of patients reported improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively, compared with the prior monthly visit.

Again, 19.5% (8/41) and 26.8% (11/41), respectively, reported worsening problems as compared with the prior month.

Overall, there was a greater decrease in anxiety scores than in sleep scores. The sleep scores demonstrated mild improvement. The anxiety scores decreased within the first month and then remained decreased during the study duration.

The study’s authors concluded that CBD “appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications,” although further randomised and controlled trials will be needed before definitive conclusions can be made.

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