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You might assume that such a basic need as sleeping would be something that comes naturally to us all the time, but sadly, this is not the case. Sometimes, we need something to aid our descent into a peaceful, undisturbed slumber. These days, that somethingcomes in multiple formats; there is an endless number of therapies and supplements out there to cater to our poor sleeping patterns. One of those is cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical derivative of the cannabis plant family.
We're going to be investigating CBD and how it might make for the perfect supplement to your sleeping troubles, as well as support other aspects of your wellbeing. We'll be looking at some of the research that has been done through the years to understand how a particular kind of CBD- tinctures- may have a holistic effect on our system.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a chemical constituent of the cannabis Sativa plant species. CBD is found in the hemp plant as well as in marijuana, however, it is more abundant in hemp. As a result, hemp is the plant of choice when it comes to extracting CBD for commercial products like oils and tinctures. Though marijuana does possess CBD, it contains far more THC, a different cannabinoid. THC is responsible for causing highs. Key points to note about CBD are that 1) it will not make you high, and 2) it is non-toxic, and you cannot overdose on CBD tinctures, oils, edibles, or anything else for that matter!
Today, there is an enormous number of products containing CBD that can be found online and in various head shops. You might discover CBD in the form of oils, topicals, capsules, e-liquids, patches, suppositories, edibles, and our main focus in this article: tinctures.
What is a CBD tincture?
A CBD tincture is a particular kind of format for taking CBD. Typically, a CBD tincture will come in a small bottle with a built-in pipette to make it easier to distribute the CBD infused liquid contained in the bottle.
CBD tinctures are believed by many to be the best way to take cannabidiol. This is because the CBD is dropped underneath the tongue (sublingually) and absorbed via the sublingual gland - a delivery method that has a high bioavailability.
Tinctures can come in all different strengths, from 2.5% to 40%, with plenty of room for choice in-between. There is a vast range of these products out there on the CBD market, and most companies make their own unique CBD tincture as part of their product line.
CBD & wellbeing
CBD is believed to potentially benefit your wellbeing in a holistic manner. Ongoing research is forever unearthing more of the seemingly endless therapeutic potential benefits of CBD. In order to understand how CBD can have such an impact, it's essential to know the biological system with which it interacts - the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Made up of several components such as metabolic enzymes, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoids, the ECS is a complex system or biocommunications network. Its goal is to maintain homeostasis (a state of balance in the body). When we consume CBD in any format, it may stimulate the ECS by mimicking our endocannabinoids and helping this system carry out some of its functions and processes. While CBD does not bind directly to our CB1 or CB2 receptors as THC would, it certainly has an impact on us through its indirect engagement with the ECS.
So, in terms of the potential benefits associated with CBD, here is what the research has told us thus far:
- CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties:Inflammation is a natural and necessary response from your immune system - but sometimes the immune system goes overboard. Studies investigating how CBD interacts with all kinds of inflammation - from the skin (circa 2019) to the bowel (2016)- have invariably concluded that this cannabis derivative is extremely promising for potentially helping to manage inflammation. CBD is believed to exert this effect by interacting with our ECS, some of whose cannabinoid receptors are located around the immune system, which is responsible for activating inflammation.
- CBD is a possible antioxidant: Something that research has repeatedly emphasised is the potential for CBD to affect symptoms of oxidative stress (the imbalance of free radicals in the body) and serve as an antioxidant. This may make CBD beneficial to your skin, heart and neurological health, for example - all of which can suffer as a result of chronic oxidative stress.
- CBD may serve as an analgesic: CBD has been noted both by many scientific and anecdotal reports to have pain-relieving This comes as little surprise when you consider that it has been deemed a potential anti-inflammatory. Inflammatory pain symptoms are not the only type of pain symptoms that CBD may be useful for, however, CBD has also been connected to possible reduced neuropathic pain, according to this 2012 report.
- CBD can potentially relieve nausea: CBD has been observed as a potential antiemetic in research. This cannabis constituent is thought to manipulate the ECS, such that you may feel less nauseous and your urge to vomit could be suppressed, says one study from 2011.
- CBD can help modulate symptoms of anxiety: There are dozens of studies that attest to CBD's possible impact on symptoms of anxiety. Trials such as one randomised, placebo-controlled, comparative analysis of 37 Japanese adolescents in 2019 demonstrated that CBD intervention over a 4-week period reduced the level of symptoms in teenagers with anxiety disorders. Other similar studies have mirrored these results.
- Immunomodulatory:CBD is purported to work with the immune system to potentially help regulate various immune responses that can make us feel under the weather.
CBD & sleep
One of the main reasons that people use CBD is for its alleged ability to help us sleep. Both anecdotal and scientific reports have cited improvements in sleep when CBD is consumed regularly. How does CBD do this? It may have an impact on some of the neurochemicals involved in sleep. For instance, adenosine is a neurochemical that is thought to play a significant role in sleep; when adenosine levels rise, that's when we start to feel more tired. CBD is purported to potentially increase our adenosine levels, which causes sleepiness. As such, using CBD may potentially contribute to better sleep.
Another neurochemical that CBD may help regulate is that of cortisol. Cortisol is our primary stress hormone, and too much of it can impede a good night's sleep. Suppose poor sleep is the product of too many things playing on your mind at night. In that case, CBD could help you address this by tackling the anxiety underpinning your insomnia, as one study on CBD for sleep and anxiety examined in 2019.
Rather than relying solely on CBD, however, it is also vital to help facilitate sleep in every other way that you can. For example, it's important not to have too much caffeine during the afternoon, as this can still be in your system even hours later, as you're trying to sleep. In addition, staring into screens close to bedtime should be avoided, as these screens project blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime. If you're still struggling to sleep, it may be worth talking to your doctor about the best steps forward, or to examine any possible underlying issues.
CBD tinctures for sleep vs other methods
Many people prefer CBD tinctures to other CBD formats when it comes to sleeping. This is because of the high bioavailability of sublingual consumption. We mentioned this term earlier: bioavailability simply refers to the strength of a substance that is available for use by your body. In other words, bioavailability measures how much CBD managed to reach your bloodstream, which is the desired end destination. The bioavailability of CBD tinctures is the subject of discussion in research; however, some claim it is up to 35%. This makes sublingual consumption one of the best options out there in terms of the potency it retains after being consumed - hence why it might be the best option for symptoms of sleeping troubles.
Other popular methods that people use when taking CBD include capsules, vaping and edibles. We are going to be comparing these three delivery methods in the context of sleep.
Perks: Capsules may serve as a familiar CBD format, especially if you're used to taking vitamin or wellness supplements. They can be easily swallowed with a glass of water, and just like that, the work is done. What's more, their dose comes pre-measured, so they're certainly more fuss-free than using CBD drops, which require you to measure out your dose (not to mention much tidier, with no risk of spillages!).
Drawbacks:The biggest downfall of capsules is that their bioavailability is not as great as other formats. For sleeping purposes, you may wish to opt for a fast-acting CBD product with a stronger bioavailability in order to boost your chances of a good night's sleep. Capsules and edibles, which we will come to shortly, are estimated to have a bioavailability of between 6-20% and may take hours to have any effect.
Perks:The effects of vaping CBD are fast-acting. You may only be waiting 15-20 minutes before feeling the impact of the vapourised cannabidiol in your system. The reason for this is that the lungs are a speedy way to get CBD into the bloodstream, given how thin their lining is. Not only that, but the bioavailability of vaping is thought to be the highest of any CBD format, at an impressive 56%. As such, inhaled CBD is thought to be the most potent in your body. In summary, vaping could potentially be the fastest and most powerful way to give your body the support it needs to achieve a peaceful night's sleep.
Drawbacks:The potential effects may come fast, but they also leave pretty quickly. Vaping is believed to provide pretty short-term effects that require topping up later on. In addition, this is not a method that is suited to everyone. Despite the fact that vaping CBD is arguably one of the best ways to consume this cannabis constituent, some people may have adverse social connotations attached to vaping (though it must be stressed that vaping and smoking are two very different processes, with different risk factors).
Perks: Edibles are an easy and versatile option, and they often taste great. You can quite easily make your own CBD edibles if you don't have any infused mints, gummies, or chocolate in stock. Simply add some drops of CBD tincture to your dinner, and voila! You have a CBD edible.
Drawbacks: Edibles typically take longer to kick in when compared to other CBD formats. This is because they first need to be digested by your body before you may feel any effects. In order for a CBD edible to potentially have an impact on your sleep, then, you'd need to think about taking your CBD edible some hours before bed - perhaps infused into your dinner, or as a dessert.
The other side of CBD
When it comes to CBD, there is not really a "dark side", per se. That being said, like everything in life, there are some key things to note and be wary of.
- Adverse effects: adverse effects may occur if the dose is incorrect for your personal condition, or if the CBD has interacted with medication(s) you take and you haven't consulted with your doctor before mixing them. Some of the most commonly reported side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, changes in weight, and changes in appetite.
There are simple measures you can take in order to avoid adverse effects of CBD. You should always start with a very low dose of CBD and monitor how your body responds. Starting with quantities that are too high for you could lead to an unwanted reaction. We recommend giving yourself a fixed dose for a number of weeks before deciding whether or not you want to raise it higher. Doing this gradually means you are less likely to have a reaction. The food standards agency (FSA) recommends taking no more than 70 mg per day, which equates to around 28 drops of 5 mg CBD tincture.
- Do not take CBD to replace any medications you may need to take. Another tip on that score is to check with your doctor to see if you can take CBD supplements alongside your medication. It is pertinent to check this before beginning a CBD regime, as cannabidiol has been known to interact with certain medications.
- Manage your expectations. CBD will not cure, prevent, or treat any condition. Therefore, we urge you to manage your expectations when it comes to CBD usage. In the case of using CBD for sleep, it may take some time before your sleep improves, or it may not be enough on its own to help you with your insomnia. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and plenty of exercise, will be vital to helping the CBD help you - it cannot do all the work on its own!
- Beware of illegitimate companies and do your research.Unfortunately, the CBD world remains fairly unregulated. This means many companies sometimes get away with selling products that aren't what they say they are, because there is a lack of regulatory bodies to check the legitimacy of products.
There are agencies such as the FDA in the US and the MHRA and Food Standards Agency in England who are attempting to clamp down on the more dubious CBD companies. However, there is still a lot of room for rule-bending in spite of such agencies.
The first thing to note is that CBD products throughout the UK and many EU countries should not contain any more than 0.2% THC. Across the US, the federally-enforced THC threshold is 0.3%. You should check the products are within the legal THC limits for where you live before purchasing anything CBD-related. Additionally, check that there is a lab test certificate for the product you are interested in. This certificate, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA), is crucial for letting you know the contents of your CBD products. A COA will outline the terpene and cannabinoid profile of a product, as well as whether any heavy metals or other contaminants were detected. COAs are extremely important, as they signal a company's dedication to produce high-quality products. A company that is reluctant to provide a COA for their products is a company that should be avoided. Here at Amphora, we have our certificates of analysis available for anyone to see.
Aside from seeking lab test results, it is essential to search for reviews on trusted websites. Have a look at sites like Trustpilot to see what your fellow consumers thought about the products and service. There may also be valuable comments on social media. Your fellow customers are your best resource, so make sure you see what they have to say!
- Know what you're buying. Even things as essential as knowing the different refinements of CBD can be overlooked or deemed unimportant; it's vital to know your full spectrum from your isolate or broad-spectrum CBD refinements.
With all CBD products, watch out for artificial additives. If you are on the hunt for a CBD vape oil, for example, ensure the product is not laced with any potentially harmful additives such as PG, VG, or PEG. Do read the ingredients of any product you wish to purchase, as well as the label in general, making sure it lines up with the certificate of analysis.
- Know the legalities of CBD: The law can be confusing. Before ordering a CBD product to be shipped from afar, first, make sure that the product is actually legal in your country. Usually, a CBD product will be permitted, so long as it does not exceed a specific concentration of THC, but be sure to check this out for yourself before making any purchases.
CBD tinctures by Amphora
Here at Amphora, we have our own very special range of CBD tinctures, which come in 2 types.
Type 1: Flavoured – coming soon
With names like Lovely Lemon, Very Berry, and Fresh mint, you can be assured that our tinctures come from nature, with a fresh twist of CBD combined with MCT oil. Our flavoured tinctures come in 30 ml bottles with a handy pipette for easy dosages, and two concentrations of CBD: 500mg and 1000mg. You don't have to worry about any 'earthy' aftertaste when it comes to our vibrantly-flavoured tinctures!
Type 2: Effects
As with our line of CBD vape oils, our 'Effects’ tinctures are inspired by the potential benefits they may bring to your life. With names like Mend, Inspire, ZZZ, and Peace, you can probably guess what those possible benefits may be! With each effect supported by our personal experience and with its own specialized terpene formulation, you can’t go wrong when you incorporate one of these tinctures into your bedtime routine.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is most commonly extracted from coconut oil. It is an example of a “carrier oil” that is typically used to dilute essential oils, such as CBD oil. MCT oil has its own set of possible benefits, and is one of the more popular choices for a CBD carrier oil. Some of these potential benefits may include:
- MCT is digested and absorbed more easily by the human body and gives CBD greater bioavailability.
- It's virtually tasteless, making it perfect as an additive to food or beverages.
- MCT oil has a long shelf life and is pretty resistant to going rancid.
Other examples of carrier oils may include pomegranate seed oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, avocado oil and grapeseed oil.
What is CBD isolate?
CBD isolate is one of three main CBD refinements. Isolate products are unadulterated by other cannabis nutrients; they do not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids that you might find in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD refinements. As such, CBD isolate is literally pure and highly concentrated cannabidiol.
CBD isolate may present itself as a powder or an oil - in the case of our tinctures here at Amphora, CBD isolate comes in the form of an oil and is designed to be used sublingually. Many people opt for CBD isolate over other CBD refinements if their interest lies solely with cannabidiol and no other cannabis constituents. Moreover, CBD isolate is a guarantee that THC will be absent from the refinement, which is reassuring for those who are wary of this intoxicating cannabinoid, or those who are required to take routine drug tests as part of their work.
As we know, cannabidiol has been illuminated as hugely promising by dozens of researchers. Therefore, contrary to what some believe, CBD isolate may still be highly beneficial as a supplement for holistic health, just as with its full-spectrum and broad-spectrum counterparts.
Because of the abundant nature of cannabis, which houses so many other compounds besides CBD, the plant has undergone a great deal of extraction and refinement in order to isolate cannabidiol. This means that CBD isolate is the product of many different processes which would not have been carried out in the case of full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products.
Sleep tight with CBD
Whilst there is little research directly linking CBD tinctures to sleep, we know that CBD generally may have a significant impact on how you sleep. As a basic rule, the more potent the CBD, the more likely it is to potentially help you sleep. As such, a CBD tincture may be worth considering if you need that helping hand more nights than not.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.