Many insomniacs turn to cannabis to help them sleep, with about 70 percent of young adults using the plant for this purpose[^1^]. Cannabinoids have long been coveted for their potential sleep-inducing properties, and a recent preprint study reveals even more promising results with the use of cannabidiol (CBD) combined with a specific formulation of terpenes[^3^]. These findings suggest that CBD, along with certain terpenes, could potentially promote more restful and restorative sleep[^3^].
It is important to note that the study titled “A Cannabinidiol/Terpene Formulation that Increases Sleep In Insomniacs” has some limitations. The second phase clinical trial was funded by a for-profit biotechnology company called Defined Research Inc. Additionally, the study has not yet been published or peer-reviewed[^3^].
How is CBD and sleep studied?
The placebo-controlled clinical trial focused on six insomnia patients and utilized a crossover design. This means that different patients were given individual treatments over time. During the 28-day (four-week) study period, patients self-administered 300 milligrams (mg) of CBD along with specific terpenes including linalool, myrcene, phytol, limonene, α-terpinene, α-terpineol, α-pinene, and β-caryophyllene in capsule form[^3^].
The outcomes of the study were measured by tracking the amount of time spent in slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep stages. Patients wore a sleep-tracking device on their wrists to record the data. They also filled out a survey after each four-week period to provide additional insights into their sleep mechanisms[^3^].
The significance of slow wave sleep and REM
Slow wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, is essential for waking up feeling rested. This sleep stage is considered vital for memory consolidation, growth, and immune function[^6^]. On the other hand, the REM stage is when vivid dreams occur. During this period, the brain is highly active and engaged in memory consolidation. REM sleep is crucial for brain development, particularly in newborn humans and animals[^7^].
Findings of the Study
The Sleep in Insomniacs study demonstrated that the specific CBD and terpene regimen resulted in increased restorative sleep for all participants with no reported adverse effects. Patients who received the CBD and terpene capsule experienced an average of 23.9 more minutes of time in SWS per night and an average of 27.7 more minutes in REM sleep per night. However, there was no change in the total duration of sleep[^3^].
While these results are yet to be peer-reviewed and published, they provide promising insights. Researchers suggest that conducting more robust clinical trials could greatly benefit patients seeking alternative sleep aids. With CBD and terpenes more widely available in the United States compared to THC, studies like this have the potential to expand the scope of cannabis medicine in the country[^3^].
- GreenState – Insomniacs Are Using Marijuana Over Sleep Aids In Legal States, Study Finds
- Sleep Foundation – Cannabis and Sleep
- GreenState – Best CBN Tinctures for Sleep
- ClinicalTrials.gov – Cannabidiol and Terpenes Formulation in Insomnia Patients
- Defined Research Inc.
- Sleep Foundation – Stages of Sleep: Slow Wave Sleep
- Sleep Foundation – Stages of Sleep: REM Sleep
- GreenState – Best CBD Hot Chocolate for Sleep
- GreenState – CBN Gummies for Sleep
- GreenState – CBN vs Melatonin: Which is Better for Sleep?
*Note: This content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any medical decisions.*