Sleep is a vital and essential part of life, it has a significant impact on both the physical and mental health. Sadly, most people are disadvantaged and don’t have the luxury of getting a good night’s sleep.
The search for a solution to sleep disorders like insomnia has led to the introduction of cannabinoids like delta-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) for efficient sleep.
But how exactly do these cannabinoids work to give a more restful sleep?
How do cannabinoids affect sleep?
Sleep is an essential physiologic function that alternates with wakefulness. The structural organization of normal sleep is broadly organized into two alternating phases: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).REM sleep is regulated by neurons present in the pons and hypothalamus while NREM sleep is regulated by neurons in the preoptic areas.
These sleep-promoting regions are primarily regulated by inhibitory neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or galanin. REM sleep is also promoted and maintained by cholinergic neurons located in the dorsolateral pons.
CBD and THC act on the endocannabinoid system, the endocannabinoid system is primarily composed of endogenous lipid ligands and cannabinoid receptors. Endogenous ligands include 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), eicosanoids, and anandamide
(N-arachidonoylethanolamide). These act on two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily central and present in the thalamus, hypothalamus, cortex, hippocampi, limbic system, and basal ganglia.
The CB1 receptors located in the pons and basal forebrain may be involved in sleep induction, these receptors activate cholinergic neurons located in the basal forebrain and pons and therefore aid in sleep induction. The CB1 receptors have been shown to enhance the activation of the serotonergic system yielding a potential regulatory role in the sleep-wake cycle. DEPRESSION and CANNABIS USE
Activation of CB1 produces juxtacrine intracellular signals mainly through presynaptic actions on neurotransmitter release, as the receptors are expressed almost exclusively on neuronal axon terminals. The interaction between these compounds and eCB actions at CB1 is also important in sleep alterations.
The serotonergic transmitter system located in the dorsal raphe nucleus of the brainstem is also involved in the modulation of the sleep-wake cycle. These serotonergic neurons receive afferent inputs from arousal systems including orexin/hypocretin, histamine, and noradrenaline systems.
When Cannabidiol (CBD) is introduced into the lateral hypothalamus (LH), a brain region that contains both awake-promoting orexin neurons and sleep-promoting melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons it activates neurons placed into nucleus accumbens (AcbC) leading to an enhancement in the dopamine (DA) contents as well as an increase in wakefulness. Further studies will be needed to address this putative neurobiological mechanism of action of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle.
Monoamines (eg, serotonin [5-HT], norepinephrine [NE], histamine [HA]), and acetylcholine (ACh) modulate wakefulness and slow-wave and REM sleep. Inhibition of wake-promoting ACh and HA neurons by extracellular accumulation of adenosine, and the forebrain ventrolateral preoptic area, are critical for initiating sleep. The recently discovered neuropeptide hypocretin is important in maintaining wakefulness because it excites each of the above neurotransmitters containing cell groups.
The interactions between diurnal fluctuations in AEA and CB1R levels in this brain stem region may contribute to transitions in or maintenance of sleep-wake states. In the hypothalamus, AEA levels are highest during the light phase. In the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus, structures associated with limbic and sensorimotor system functions such as learning and memory and action control, 2-AG and AEA show inverse diurnal rhythms, with the former higher during the light phase and the latter higher during the dark-phase. The diurnal fluctuation of eCB levels in limbic and sensorimotor structures may reflect their complex role in awake behavior.
How CBD sets up the circadian rhythm to aid in sleep.
When using cannabis for sleep the circadian rhythms are the internal diurnal rhythms that are coordinated by the brain. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus is known as the brain’s internal clock.
CBD entrains biological rhythms to facilitate daily sleep periods and thus may serve as a chronobiotic therapeutic compound for individuals with disrupted circadian function. It helps circadian entrainment in which the CB1 agonists alter the SCN’s ability to entrain to environmental light cues by limiting GABA release in presynaptic axon terminals of the SCN.
THC consumption disorients the perception of time thus inhibiting light-induced phase shifts in rhythm. A phase shift indicates that the rhythm is advanced or delayed which indicates that the bedtime and wake time occur earlier or later in the 24-hour cycle.
As we have seen these cannabinoids THC and CBD, interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is involved in regulating sleep. THC has been found to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and increase deep sleep, while CBD has been shown to improve the overall quality of sleep.
Overall, cannabinoids show promise as a potential treatment for sleep disorders, but more studies are needed to fully understand their mechanisms of action and potential side effects.
So if you are struggling with a good night’s sleep, it may be wise to consider incorporating CBD into your routine. However, it is important to notify your doctor before CBD consumption because different people tend to react differently to the consumption of cannabinoids. It is important to note that the effects of cannabinoids on sleep may depend on several factors, such as the individual’s genetics, the dose and duration of use, and the type of sleep disorder intended to curb. Overall, CBD is a safe and natural way to promote good sleep and improve one’s health.
Searching to find the right CBD to ensure efficient sleep? Well, look no further than Ott Coffee! Ott coffee is a cannabinoid-infused coffee that is greatly influenced by the high-quality organic coffee beans that come directly from Colombia. The company also produces other cannabinoid products that aid in the provision of a good night’s sleep to ensure sufficient rest and optimum energy when you wake. Don’t be alarmed about the caffeine in the CBD-infused coffee, the result of a restful sleep is still its endgame.