Both CBD and melatonin are known for their relaxing effects on the body and mind and are used separately to treat various sleep disorders, including insomnia. But wait! What if you could combine them and get a synergistic effect? Is this a really good idea? Or, is it okay to just let them do their job on their own? Let’s find out the answers to these questions.
What Is Melatonin, and How Does It Help?
Melatonin is a kind of hormone that the pineal gland of the brain produces. It helps in regulating the sleep–wake cycle of the body. The body releases the highest amounts of melatonin at night, compared to the day. These fluctuations in the natural melatonin levels govern your sleeping cycle, also called the circadian rhythm.
People resort to synthetic melatonin for combating their insomnia when their natural secretions of melatonin are not enough. This synthetic melatonin works on the receptors in your brain called the MT1 and MT2 receptors. These are special receptors to help you sleep. Synthetic melatonin does not get you intoxicated like those other sleep medications. It just helps tell your body that it is time to hit the hay.
Since the hormone melatonin is naturally produced in your body, using synthetic melatonin for the treatment of insomnia is called the melatonin replacement therapy. This therapy can come to your aid in several ways:
- treating insomnia,
- decreasing latency of sleep,
- decreasing jet lag,
- decreasing wake-up time after sleep sets in,
- increasing efficiency of sleep,
- eliminating dependence on narcotic medications,
- adjusting sleeping cycles for the individuals with partial or complete blindness.
How Does CBD Help in Sleeping?
CBD oil (Cannabidiol oil) is the extract derived from the cannabis plant that comes with multiple health benefits. CBD is a kind of cannabinoid, which is the group of compounds interacting with the cannabinoid receptors spread all through the body. The receptors form an important part of the regulatory system of the body called the ECS (endocannabinoid system). The reason why ECS is so important is because its main functions pertain to helping the body to relax, forget, protect, eat, and sleep. So, think of this as the system that keeps your body balanced and keeps the natural bodily rhythms going, with the regulation of things like:
- sleeping cycles,
- metabolism and digestion,
- inflammation and pain,
- body temperature.
According to studies, CBD can influence your sleep behavior based on the dosage you take. For instance, low dosage of CBD can stimulate, while increasing the dosage by a slight bit will induce sedation. The 2017 study has also found that CBD may help in the treatment of REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
So, CBD helps sleep better and healthy endocannabinoid system is a must for your body.
What Is Common between Melatonin and CBD?
The endocannabinoid system helps your body in regulating the sleep patterns through the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors). The CB1 and CB2 receptors are basically GCPR (G protein-coupled receptors). Remember those MT1 and MT2 receptors discussed earlier? These are the G protein-coupled receptors too. Thus, there are similarities in the basic structure of melatonin and CBD receptors, which makes them natural allies in keeping insomnia at bay.
Moreover, studies revealed to the ability of CBD to interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. The neurotransmitter serotonin derived from the amino acid tryptophan is a precursor to melatonin. It regulates sleep, memory, mood, social behavior, and appetite. Although CBD doesn’t necessarily increase serotonin levels, it can mimic its effects by binding and activating the 5-HT1A and other serotonin receptors.
Can You Take CBD and Melatonin Together?
The answer to that question is a big yes! CBD and melatonin act as natural complements of one another. They work great on the GCPRs and act in the similar fashion. And, when they come together, they can be the effective and safe methods to alleviate your insomnia.
The best part is that, unlike the benzodiazepines, these two will not end up causing:
- withdrawal symptoms,
- other serious side effects.
So, CBD with melatonin is perfect for insomnia. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to get the dose right. A good idea would be to use 0.3-0.5 milligram of melatonin, and ten milligrams of CBD oil, which are the usual dosages taken by most adults. You can also use CBD products for sleep, which already include right dosages.
There are ways to boost the efficiency of sleep supplements. They are as follows:
- Use dim red lights before sleep. Studies show that blue light suppresses melatonin, whereas red light does not have such effect and even bosts natural melatonin secretion.
- Lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, that acts opposite to melatonin. Lowering your cortisol levels will increase the effect of products containing CBD and melatonin. Try meditation, gentle exercise, outdoor walking and eating healthy carbs before going to a bed (such as brown rice, sweet potato squash, or quinoa).