CBD and Melatonin together?

by Apoorva Shivankar, M.D

Cannabidiol plus Melatonin- Should we? or Shouldn’t we?

Cannabidiol plus Melatonin

Are you getting enough sleep? No

Still tossing and turning in bed at night? Yes

If you match the answers, then dive in, we will take you to the dreamworld of SLEEP.

No doubt ‘Peaceful Sleep’ is the dream of one and all.

But how many of you can relish an adequate 7-8 hours of sleep on a daily basis?

Very few and if you are one of them, we envy you, just cherish it

The world today is crippled with sleeping disorders as a result of a fast-pacing, stressful lifestyle, competitive work environment, strained relationships, loneliness, and many more. Nearly 1 in every 3 people have trouble sleeping on a weekly basis. 

This lack of sleep not only exhausts you but also makes you more and more vulnerable, affecting everything right from your brain health, cognition, immunity, and even mental health. Serious medical conditions such as hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia, and even neurodegeneration are the sour fruits of sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, etc.

As sleep is the only means of rest to our ever- racing brains, finding a solution to sleep disorders is now a necessity. Yes, a decent night’s sleep has clearly graduated from being a natural free-of-cost physiological phenomenon to an invaluable commodity for which we, the humans, are ready to pay anything. True isn’t it?

Even if you don’t get the daily dose of sleep, do not worry, you are not alone

Rest assured we still have alternatives:

  1. De-stressing massage, meditation, yoga - If they work for you, nothing is better than that.
  2. If they don’t, we have the medications-

Over-the-counter or prescription medications mostly include antihistaminics, antidepressants, or sedatives to ease insomnia. Though they show satisfactory results, they come with a baggage of lingering sedative side-effects ruining the following day. Secondly, most of them possess addictive properties compelling an increase in dosage at regular intervals.

With this in the account, new natural medications like melatonin supplements and cannabidiol are becoming more and more popular as they combat sleep disorders with almost nil side-effects.

What are they exactly and how do they work?

Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin is a hormone responsible to regulate the normal sleep-wake cycle of an individual. As the sun starts setting, the pineal gland secretes greater volumes of melatonin which then informs the brain to get ready for sleep.

Once asleep, it also maintains a sound, continuous and relaxed sleep with less toss and turns in the bed and then itself fades away towards the morning. Being highly sensitive, levels of melatonin fluctuate even with the slightest change in stress levels, alcohol, light intensity, etc. which, unfortunately, are quite common in modern settings.

This impedes the entire sleep cycle and eventually the sleep process. Moreover, with age, the production of melatonin decreases due to the pineal gland calcification along with reduced sensitivity of melatonin receptors in the brain, justifying the ‘INSOMNIA of the GRAYS’.

Fortunately, synthetic melatonin is available to replace this shortage and activate the melatonin receptors in the brain bringing back the sleep cycle to a perfect circadian rhythm. Being similar to melatonin, the effect is totally physiological, mimics natural sleep, and is devoid of any disturbing adverse effects or addiction.

Apart from treating sleep disorders, melatonin is highly recommended to

  • Treat sleep disturbances in shift workers
  • Alleviate jet lag.
  • Balance sleep cycles for people suffering from complete or partial blindness.
  • Minimize wake times during sleep.
  • Reduce sleep latency.
  • Treat insomnia.
  • Improve sleep efficiency. 

Another significant addition to natural sleep-remedies is the

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, a plant CBD, is a non-psychoactive extract derived from hemp variety of cannabis plant known for its medicinal values. This cannabis bi-product is the latest addition to sleeping aids in the market. Though derived from cannabis, CBD is free from the intoxicating and addictive effects due to its minimal concentration of THC (<0.3) and hence, this hemp-derived cannabinoid is legalized in most places.

What makes CBD a drug of choice for sleep disorders despite its controversial status?

Its enchanting powers. Yes, CBD has the magic of calming you down as well as efficiently relieving your anxiety and stress, making a decent night’s sleep more achievable.

Isn’t it magic? How?

  1. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system which regulates the essential functions of the human body including sleep, stress, anxiety, mood, pain perception, appetite, and cognitive functions. etc.

  2. By simulating serotonin effectSerotonin is a “hormone of happiness”. CBD by binding and activating the 5-HT1A and other serotonin receptors, mimics serotonin and thus, alleviates anxiety and pain, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

  3. Ideally cortisol levels fall at night-time. But if you’re overly stressed, they maintain higher levels, making sleep nearly impossible. CBD oil inhibits the release of cortisol and consequently reduces the stress that was barring you from a good night’s sleep.

Having said that,

Enter the questions-

CBD or Melatonin? Which one is better?

Can we mix both? Is it a good idea to do so?

Will this combination mess up with my sleep cycle or brain?

Is there any need to combine them actually?

While struggling for a nap, we are ready to do anything to everything – even mixing medicines. Have you ever tried or thought of taking CBD and Melatonin together?

If yes, then I bet most of you wake up the next day with the above-mentioned queries in your mind – yes, an alert brain post-sleep makes you think.

Don’t be stressed? There is nothing to be worried about.

We will explain to you why and you just chill, sip in your favourite coffee and begin a fantastic day ahead.

As of now, there are not many studies to prove but a number of theories support the combination of CBD and Melatonin as a

POWERFUL SLEEP AID TO FIGHT INSOMNIA or SLEEP DISORDERS. Their justifications are

  1. Both CBD and melatonin are natural.

  2. None of them suppress your central nervous system.

  3. Proven to have nil to minimal adverse effects.
    No hangover, No withdrawal, No addictions, No serious after-effects.

  4. They have their independent mechanism of action.

  5. Their metabolic pathways too are indifferent of each other.

  6. Have synergistic effects- 

    Melatonin rectifies sleeping cycles to treat, cure, or prevent sleep disturbances or disorders whereas CBD promotes peaceful sleep by alleviating anxiety, stress, and pain.

    As the light fades, melatonin informs the body to sleep and CBD creates conditions amiable to make one fall asleep.

    Having a half-life of 6 hours, if you want to wake up early, melatonin levels won’t fall sufficiently leading to a slight hangover which can be taken over by the ‘Day-time alerting effect’ of CBD.

  7. CBD acts via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors whereas Melatonin acts via MT1 and MT2 receptors. Both are G protein-coupled receptors indicating a similar effect on body processes, which makes them natural allies in promoting better sleep.

  8. Think rational- CBD is approved by the food and drug administration for epilepsy management and also considered safe for treating anxiety, pain, appetite, etc. This means that when administered for the above-mentioned causes, it does not interact with the naturally present melatonin in the body in a negative way suggesting no harmful effect of CBD and melatonin combination.

Thus, at present, we can hardly see any drawback of the CBD-melatonin combination, rather they appear to be naturally complementing each other and blessing you with a natural much-awaited sleep.

What’s the need?

Though this CBD-melatonin combination product is not intended to prevent any disease, it definitely can be a solution to them. As stated earlier, the combination has its own additional perks of synergism over individual drugs with no demonstrable adverse effects and hence, there is no harm in trying it to get your dream sleep aid.

Is there any best way or form to take them together?

You can directly buy the products containing both CBD and melatonin like CBD gummies, capsules, or buy them separately and consume them together. You can check on different permutation – combinations between

  1. dosages of CBD-melatonin,
  2. variants of CBD products- full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate,
  3. forms of CBD products- oral, sublingual, topical, vape, etc.
  4. last but not the least personal responses.

Dosage plays the trick

  • Any drug taken in the correct dosage at the right time for the right indication can work wonders. Same is true for CBD and Melatonin. Though CBD and melatonin are effective and considered safe, one should always be careful about the dose taken.
  • Consult physician before use of any combination.
  • Always start with a minimal dose and then raise it gradually till you get the desired effects.

Melatonin

The minimum effective dose for adults starts from 0.3 mg to 0.5 mg of melatonin and may go way up to as high as 5 mg without any downsides. Above this, it may present with nausea, headache, cloudiness, and confusion.

CBD

To start with, you can take CBD in a concentration of 10 mg for adults and then work your way up may be up to a stronger dose of 100 mg of CBD or even more; 30 minutes prior to sleep. Higher doses of around 1200 – 1500 mg of CBD are also considered to be safe in adults.

Which variant is the best?

  • CBD isolate: 99% pure CBD with no other cannabinoids.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: Contains CBD with most other cannabinoids but no THC.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: CBD with all other cannabinoids wherein THC concentration is < 0.3%.

Unless contraindicated, high quality full-spectrum CBD products are preferred over CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD and as they show superior effects due to strong ‘THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT’ which hypothesizes that combination of more than one active agent maximizes the overall effect by complementing, stimulating, and enhancing each other’s action. The THC content of full-spectrum CBD makes its entourage effect superior to that of broad-spectrum CBD.

Different forms of CBD products

One can choose as per the individual’s preference, dosage. and the time interval for the desired effect.

  • Take CBD oil or gummies or capsules: 1 hour prior to bed.

take longer to show the effect as they pass through the entire digestive system before absorption.

  • Tincture -Sublingual and fast-acting. Acts within minutes.
  • Topical-Target specific and fast. Acts within minutes.
  • Smoking or vaping- Superfast. Acts within seconds but are short-acting.

All 3 (Sublingual, topical, inhalational) can be taken within 30 minutes to bed as they are directly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Tip: If you want to avoid the trouble/hassle of calculating dosage, high- quality CBD-melatonin Gummies or Capsules with predetermined doses of full-spectrum CBD and melatonin are available in the market to ease your selection process.

Gist: 

Melatonin - Regulates sleep-wake cycle
+
Cannabidiol – Creates an ambiance of calmness.
=
Perfect sleep aid for deep sound prolong sleep

 

To conclude:

A perfect blend of CBD and Melatonin can give you a solid shut-eye by complementing each other’s qualities and masking their lacunae. So, go ahead, resolve your sleep issues, by immediately add team CBD-melatonin to your shopping cart and enjoy.

FAQ’s

Can CBD oil make sleep worse?

We could not find any study suggesting sleep worsening effects of CBD oil.

Drugs to be avoided with CBD oil?

  • Antidepressants (such as fluoxetine or Prozac)
  • Medications that can cause drowsiness (antipsychotics, benzodiazepines)
  • Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin)
  • Heart medications (some calcium channel blockers)
  • Blood thinners.

Is CBD Oil Legal in the United States?

In the United States, CBD products (which contain <0.3% THC) are legal to purchase and use. However, other medical cannabis products that have THC, including marijuana, are federally illegal. Some states have legalized marijuana for medical as well as recreational use. 

Do you need a prescription to buy CBD oil?

No. It is available over the counter as a health food supplement. You can also purchase it online or in specialist stores.

References:

    1. Sonja V, et al. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules Front. Pharmacol., 13 November 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
    2. Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Front Immunol. 2018 Sep 21;9:2009. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009. PMID: 30298064; PMCID: PMC6161644.
    3. Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, Queiroz RH, Mechoulam R, Guimarães FS, Crippa JA. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Braz J Psychiatry. 2019 Jan-Feb;41(1):9-14. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015. Epub 2018 Oct 11. PMID: 30328956; PMCID: PMC6781714.
    4. José Alexandre S CrippaGuilherme Nogueira DerenussonThiago Borduqui Ferrariet al.Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. First Published September 9, 2010 Research Article Find in PubMedhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0269881110379283
    5. Murillo-Rodríguez E, Sarro-Ramírez A, Sánchez D, Mijangos-Moreno S, Tejeda-Padrón A, Poot-Aké A, Guzmán K, Pacheco-Pantoja E, Arias-Carrión O. Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2014 May;12(3):269-72. doi: 10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805. PMID: 24851090; PMCID: PMC4023456.
    6. De Gregorio D, McLaughlin RJ, Posa L, Ochoa-Sanchez R, Enns J, Lopez-Canul M, Aboud M, Maione S, Comai S, Gobbi G. Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. Pain. 2019 Jan;160(1):136-150. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001386. PMID: 30157131; PMCID: PMC6319597.
    7. Ronan PJ, Wongngamnit N, Beresford TP Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain, Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science.Volume 137, 2016, Pages 123-147 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877117315002045
    8. Bjorvatn B, Ursin R. Changes in sleep and wakefulness following 5-HT1A ligands given systemically and locally in different brain regions. Rev Neurosci. 1998;9(4):265-73. doi: 10.1515/revneuro.1998.9.4.265. PMID: 9886141.
    9. Russo EB. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No "Strain," No Gain. Front Plant Sci. 2019 Jan 9;9:1969. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01969. PMID: 30687364; PMCID: PMC6334252.
    10. Zuardi AW, Guimarães FS, Moreira AC. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1993 Feb;26(2):213-7. PMID: 8257923.

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