Could Delta 8 Be the Next Answer for Certain Sleeping Disorders?
Delta 8 THC and Sleeping Disorders
About 1 in 4 Americans report disturbed sleep on a semi-frequent basis, and a large number of those Americans find themselves relying on prescription drugs during particularly sleepless nights. But, over the last few years, we’ve been finding more and more that hemp may have properties that aid in sleep through a totally natural means.
For years, we’ve been reading about CBD’s effects on sleep. Cannabidiol is the dominant compound in hemp, and therefore it’s the compound that has been most widely studied. Being a cannabinoid, CBD binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system to regulate processes including sleep and mood.
But there’s another hemp cannabinoid making a strong impact called, “delta 8”, which is changing our conception of that in which the hemp plant can offer. And, now delta 8 is being touted as another potential option for those struggling to get their shuteye. But, just how effective is it, and is it worth incorporating into one’s routine for enhancing sleep each night?
Sleep Disorders and the Science of Sleep
First, we need to understand the science behind sleep disorders, and what processes are involved in the sleeping process, in order to grasp what cannabinoids may be able to do for this particularly common complaint.
Sleep is a complex bodily process that involves a balance of neurotransmitters, which are hormones that determine our mood and our sleep cycle. These include serotonin, cortisol, and melatonin.
- Cortisol levels are supposed to ebb and flow throughout the day, peaking in the early hours and tapering off in the evening in order to promote a feeling of relaxation. [Source]
- Serotonin is the “happy” hormone, and when a person is deficient in serotonin, they may struggle to sleep soundly at night. [Source]
- Melatonin is a neurochemical that directly affects our sleep cycle, as it’s supposed to be secreted abundantly at nighttime. Without serotonin, we can’t produce melatonin effectively enough to maintain a healthy sleep routine, and cortisol is an antagonist to melatonin, which is why chronic stress can directly interfere with our ability to sleep. [Source]
Many prescription sleep medications, as well as natural ones, aim to correct a neurotransmitter imbalance behind poor sleep.
For instance, benzodiazepines given to insomniacs reduce cortisol so that melatonin can peak as it’s supposed to at night. People are now looking for a natural and more sustainable means for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Hence, this is where cannabis enters the picture.
Cannabis for Sleep
Cannabis has been used as a natural sleep aid for hundreds of years, and we are only now discovering why. Again, we have seen numerous studies on CBD’s effects on sleep as well as anxiety, and it’s known for being a particularly calming plant compound. But it’s not the only cannabinoid that may offer these effects. As more findings are beginning to show, delta 8 may offer particularly promising results.
Delta 8: Can it Aid in Sleep?
CBD has been a commercial success for more than a decade, which has allowed researchers to study it intensively. This is why we have access to so many studies on cannabidiol for sleep. Delta 8 is new to the scene, and so there simply isn’t as much research on it yet.
Research that has been done shows signs that delta 8 THC may be useful for sleep. One particular study found that it may be able to regulate sleep cycle and help a person experience a sense of calm that is conducive to resting. Delta 8’s also psychoactive, unlike CBD, and so the mild high it’s known to produce may be particularly useful for those struggling to sleep, as it can get the mind to a calmer state by altering one’s mood in a more potent manner.
Also, delta 8 has the distinction of binding twice with cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, with these receptors playing a role in sleep by calming down processes like breath, heart rate and even mental activity. Binding twice with these receptors means that the effects of delta 8 may be uniquely strong compared to those of many other cannabinoids.
Using Delta 8 for Sleep: Tips for More Success
Let’s go over the things that you should know when starting a delta 8 routine specifically for sleep.
#1: Time Your Dosage
Of course, you’ll want to time your dosage to make sure that the effects of delta 8 peak when you want them to, which is around bedtime.
#2: Choose the Right Delivery Method
Each delivery method has its own onset time and length of time during which the effects are active in the system. For instance, a vape may help you sleep more quickly because its effects come on quickly. A gummy takes longer to take effect, but may offer effects for several hours, which may be more ideal for those who wake up periodically during the night.
#3: Go with the Right Strength
Like CBD, delta 8 products come in a variety of milligram strengths. Choose the milligram strength that reflects how potent you want the delta 8 to be.
#4: Combine Delta 8 with Other Cannabinoids
We know that THC and CBD seem to have a unique synergistic relationship that maximizes the potential of each individually, when taken together. This seems to be the case with a combination of delta 8 and CBN as well, with CBN being particularly known for its relaxing qualities. Therefore, consider taking a delta 8 formula that blends this cannabinoid with other naturally occurring cannabinoids.
#5: Combine Delta 8 with Other Natural Active Ingredients
We’re starting to see companies formulate delta 8 products with plant-based compounds known to promote relaxation and sleep, including delta 8 products infused with lavender and melatonin. These formulas may be more useful for bedtime use.
A Goodnight’s Sleep You Been Looking For
Delta 8 THC is still new to the market, but already, we’re finding that it may offer specific properties that have the potential to help with sleep. It behaves a lot like CBD, THC and other known cannabinoids in terms of its effects on mood and its potential to relax the body and mind. If you wish to give delta8 a try, choose a high-quality formula and try taking it before bedtime to see if it can help you get more shuteye.