Can CBD Really Reduce Anxiety And Improve Sleep?

In the world of social distancing and self-isolation the effects of these phenomena on human health may go beyond what can be remedied by just food and exercise.

It honestly came as little surprise to me when a local media outlet  reported Canadians are reporting significantly increased rates of anxiety during this challenging time.

I’m certainly no exception, having experienced severe decreases in sleep quality and an unpleasant increase in anxiousness in the first month of the pandemic.

I know that many of you were in the same boat.

In our country:

1 in 10 Canadian adults suffer from a mood/anxiety disorder and

1 in 4 Canadian adults don’t sleep sufficiently, with chronic stress and mental health concerns significant contributors.

Certainly, the current COVID-19 crisis isn’t helping the numbers in either of these categories.

This leads me to the topic of today’s article, and something I personally have benefited from during this tough time, CBD.

So What The Heck Is CBD?

Also known as Cannabidiol, CBD is one of over 200 compounds known as phytocannabinoids that occur naturally in different varieties of the Cannabis plant, including hemp which tends to contain notably high levels of CBD.

Hemp, for those that may not know, is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC and will not get you “high”, which is a common source of confusion.

In the United States, despite more complex laws around cannabis, CBD that is sourced from hemp is legal at THC concentrations of .3% or less.

The use of CBD has been popularized as a non-prescription approach to the management of sleep and anxiety issues and, truth be told, I’ve been waiting for an excuse to research and explore the validity of those claims after experiencing positive benefits from its use during COVID-19.

Fortunately a collaboration with American CBD brand Eaton Hemp gave me that opportunity to do just that.

Eaton Hemp  X Andy The RD Collaboration

Based out of upstate New York, Eaton Hemp is a farmer-owned hemp company that specializes in USDA Certified Organic Hemp products – the most popular being their unfiltered CBD Oil.

More details on their products to follow, but first we have to answer the two questions I know you will be most intrigued by:

  1. Is it safe?
  2. Does it work?

Let’s find out!

#1 – Is CBD Safe?

I’m sure that some of you reading today’s article are on the fence about what CBD can offer, and safety may be a concern if it represents something you are unfamiliar with.

According to a World Health Organization report, CBD:

There exists no record of health issues associated with the use of CBD and the data from clinical trials overwhelmingly suggest that CBD is well tolerated with very few accounts of adverse effects.

With that being said, it is almost always the case in the world of healthcare that it is best to check with your personal provider if you have lingering concerns or uncertainties.

#2 Can CBD Actually Help With Sleep & Anxiety?

Now we get to the good stuff.

Anecdotally, you can’t hep but be aware of the number of people who claim to benefit from the use of CBD.

I put myself in that category, having used it to great effect at the beginning of the pandemic.

For myself personally, it greatly improved my sleep quality – but I was so eager to know if these types of results were confirmed by the scientific literature.

Here’s a sampling of the conclusions I found:

2010 Journal Of Psychopharmacology

CBD has the potential to resolve the symptoms of clinically significant anxiety and has advantages over conventional medications due to a lack of side effects and quicker onset of effect.

2012 Pharmaceuticals Journal

Oral CBD ( 150-600 mg/day) may assist with social anxiety disorder and insomnia.

2015 Neurotherapeutics Journal

Current evidence suggests that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.

2019 Permanent Journal

Sleep scores improved and anxiety scores decreased over a period of several months in CBD users.

20202 Journal Of The American Pharmaceutical Association

CBD has a promising role to play as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders.

While there is no question that further research will be required before definitive conclusions can be drawn in this subject area, an undeniable and growing body of scientific evidence points to the meaningful positive effect to be gained from CBD use in certain contexts.

It does appear to represent an accessible, low risk and potentially high reward pathway for the right person.

Why Eaton Hemp For Your CBD Needs?

While I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in the world of CBD, today’s collaboration with Eaton Hemp certainly helped.

Their most popular product, Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, is pictured below.

 

You will notice that it does indeed say Full Spectrum on the product packaging.

Now obviously being quite new to the world of CBD, I was immediately curious as to what Full Spectrum meant.

So essentially there are over 100 potentially beneficial phytochemical compounds in hemp that are known to act synergistically in what is referred to as the entourage effect.

A Full Spectrum oil will contain them all and offer a more authentic and complete CBD experience.

Still find CBD a bit confusing?

Check out Eaton Hemp’s Hemp Hub to learn more about the world of hemp and CBD.

Final Thoughts

While it may not be for everyone, I can’t deny that CBD has become a topic of personal and professional fascination.

Although more and better research will be required to draw firm conclusions, I can’t deny that there is something there when it comes to CBD as a clinically effective relaxation tool with what appears to be very little downside.

Those who already use it, myself included, will require no further convincing but I do hope to have opened up the eyes of any skeptics who may yet be missing out on meaningful improvements to their quality of life through the use of CBD.

Certainly something to consider.

Until next time,

Andy De Santis RD MPH