CBD to Treat U.S. Veteran Insomnia

CBD to treat Veteran Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in falling asleep. It is a psychiatric and medical condition. Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, depressed mood and irritability. About 30-40% of people in the US are suffering from insomnia. There are medications available to treat insomnia, but the natural remedy includes the use of cannabinoids.

Cannabidiol is the main cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It helps maintain your body in the state of homeostasis. CBD is not psychoactive, that means it won’t make you high. It has numerous health benefits that include treatment of epileptic seizures and reduction in certain types of inflammations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can also help you combat insomnia issues.

 

CBD and Sleep

Before taking a step forward on how CBD helps with sleep issues, we will highlight the facts that are responsible for poor sleep. Some of them are as follows:

  • Depression, Anxiety and PTSD.
  • Certain types of medications.
  • Overconsumption of caffeine.
  • Environmental factors.

According to Pubmed Central, a review was published in “Frontiers in Pharmacology”; it was stated that,

“There is numerous evidence that supports the claim that CBD helps ease chronic pain. Therefore, by reducing chronic pain, it also helps you improve sleep.”

  

CBD - Your ultimate Savior

Sleep deficiency can have an adverse effect on your overall mental and physical health. After all, getting restful sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. CBD is used to treat numerous health conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and seizures.[1]

 

Veterans and Insomnia

Getting good quality sleep is not easy, especially for our veterans. Statistics show that over 74% of veterans and current service members have been reported to have symptoms of insomnia. This sleep dysfunctioning can often lead to cardiovascular and cognitive problems. Thus veterans and current service members are at a higher risk of getting affected by insomnia. [2]

 

Factors that lead to insomnia in Veterans

It is hard to discern what factors lead to sleep problems. Some of the factors that are common in veterans are as follows:

 

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is a severe condition, and usually, veterans and other service members are prone to it. According to the Department of Veterans Affair, the statistics of veterans affected by PTSD are as follows [2]:

  • Around 15% of veterans who served in the Vietnam war had PTSD.
  • In the United States, about 7-8% of the population is affected by PTSD.
  • About 11-20% of those who served in Iraqi Freedom Operation.
  • About 12% of who served in the Gulf War.

 

  1. Disrupted Sleeping Schedules

In the military, sleeping schedules change frequently, and because of this, some veterans find it difficult to adjust their sleeping schedules when they finish service.

 

How can CBD oil improve your sleep 

CBD oil helps to ease the symptoms of insomnia and promotes restful sleep. The oil works by:

  • Decreasing anxiety-related issues such as irritability, shakiness and mood swings.
  • Healing your pain and in return, providing you with restful sleep.
  • Sharpening your memory and improving overall cognitive functions. [2]

 

How to use CBD for sleep

CBD comes in different forms. There are numerous ways of using CBD oil. Some of them are as follows:

  • CBD is available in the form of oil, you may use it for massage like any other oil.
  • Through vaping, CBD is directly injected into the bloodstream through this method.
  • CBD is available in the form of capsules for your direct consumption. But first, you need to consult your physician regarding the dosage.
  • An alternative way to use CBD Oil for sleep - CBD Sleep Cocktail:

Gabriel Aly, a CBD expert and writer, drinks CBD sleep cocktail every night for a restful sleep. You can also make this cocktail with the help of the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1/2 dropper valerian root tincture
  • A preferred dose of CBD oil

Mix all the ingredients well. Drink it before sleeping for a restful sleep. [1]

 

Clinical trials

During most of the clinical trials, as stated by Healthline, patients who were suffering from insomnia were given dosage between 25 mg to 1500 mg of CBD per day. Gradually, the dosage was reduced according to the improvements, thus it was proved that this dosage was beneficial and helped with insomnia. [1]

 

San Diego VA study testing cannabidiol

In this VA funded study, 136 veterans were enrolled from all service departments. According to Dr Mallory Loflin, a research scientist with VA and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, it was stated that CBD helps with over-arousal and insomnia.

Veterans with PTSD were given capsules of CBD along with psychotherapy. The CBD capsules had positive effects, and it was further said that it would boost veterans engagement and retention in treatment. [3]

 

Consumer Reports Survey on CBD

About 10% of the respondents are using CBD as a sleep aid. The evidence is anecdotal, and the majority of them were satisfied with the results. But there are also some complicating factors, and it’s hard to know whether CBD is honestly acting alone to induce sleep [4].

 

High CBD strains

High CBD strains often contain myrcene. Myrcene has sedative effects and has been used as a human sleep aid for over centuries. Most of the people prefer using concentrated CBD over vaporizing CBD. In 2017, Cannabis, “Cannabinoids, and Sleep”: a Review of the Literature, it was stated that CBD and THC are cited as sleep-inducing cannabinoids [4].

 

CBD is non-intoxicating

According to Dr Dustin Sulak, DO, the founder of Healer.com and Integr8 Health, it was stated that CBD reduces the symptoms of anxiety. This allows you to relax, and your regular sleep mechanism is regulated.

Colorado Research Team conducted a study on psychiatric patients. Patients were given CBD to help them cope with sleep issues and anxiety. Within 30 days of CBD use, in about 80% of patients, the symptoms of anxiety were reduced. And the overall sleep score was improved by 70%. Moreover, there were no side effects and all the patients had tolerated CBD well. [4]

 

Conclusion

CBD has been used to improve sleep issues and has a calming effect. It helps with sleep anomalies. A lot of empirical evidence is available that shows the positive impact of CBD in helping out veterans with medical problems. It helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, depression, insomnia and chronic pain, etc. Thus, it is becoming a popular choice for veterans around the world to combat several health issues. On a side note, you should first consult your physician, especially if you are taking other medications.

 

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/CBD-recipe-for-sleep#3
  2. https://va.org/cbd-oil-can-improve-your-quality-of-sleep/
  3. https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0219-San-Diego-VA-study-testing-cannabidiol.cfm
  4. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/how-to-use-cbd-marijuana-for-sleep