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Hemp Extract for Sleep: What You Need to Know

Hemp extract has become one of the hottest new supplements on the market today. It has only been legal for three years, but current market estimates project that sales of hemp extract products will continue to soar and could exceed $19 billion by the end of 2025. Use of hemp extract has gone mainstream as a survey a year ago found that one in three Americans have tried hemp extract.

Hemp extract’s popularity is driven by many things, including its purported ability to address a variety of emotional and physical problems. One ailment that hemp extract may be helpful at addressing is the inability to get a good night of sleep. Indeed, preliminary research shows that hemp extract may be helpful at addressing a variety of sleeping problems, including insomnia. Furthermore, many people feel hemp extract helps them get a better night’s sleep by addressing some of the causes of our sleeplessness, such as pain, stress and anxiety.

Here’s everything you need to know about how hemp extract may be able to help you sleep better.

How Hemp Extract Works

Hemp extract is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating compound that is predominantly found in the flowers of the hemp plant. Unlike THC, which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis or marijuana, hemp extract is not psychoactive and will not lead to any sort of intoxication.

Hemp extract benefits appear to be tied to how it helps your body’s Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, regulate the body’s various systems including learning and memory, mood and anxiety, perception, modulation of pain and cardiovascular functions. All of us have an ECS, which consists of multiple parts. These components include:

  • Internally produced cannabinoids.
  • Cannabinoid receptors that can be found throughout your entire body. Specifically, researchers have identified two such receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids attach to these receptors, causing the ECS to trigger a response throughout the body.
  • Enzymes that break down cannabinoids upon the completion of a reaction.

In a nutshell, cannabinoids produced by your body and from hemp extract, bind with your cannabinoid receptors, causing a variety of physiological reactions. One of the bodily functions affected by this process appears to be sleep. Studies suggest that hemp extract produces a calming effect and may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sleep and Anxiety

As noted by the Sleep Foundation, there is a strong connection between pain, anxiety and a lack of sleep. Given that difficulty sleeping is often tied to other issues such as pain or anxiety, many research studies have focused on these root causes of sleep deprivation. Addressing these secondary causes – which it appears hemp extract may be able to do – can help people sleep better.

For insomnia sufferers, there is good news: Some research shows that hemp extract can help you sleep better.

For example, a 2019 study examined 72 patients and whether or not hemp extract helped them get a better night’s sleep. On average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time. In fact, the showed that nearly 80% of patients reported lower anxiety levels, which may have contributed to the improvement in sleep.

Interestingly, another study examined whether or not hemp extract could can improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with REM Behavioral Disorder, or RBD. RBD is a common sleep disorder among people who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease in which the sufferers thrash around violently in their sleep, as their bodies fail to lock their muscles and limbs accordingly. One small study found that hemp extract can help people who suffer from RBD get a better night’s sleep by reducing their RBD symptoms.

Sleep and Pain

Several studies indicate that cannabinoids may contribute to pain relief through an anti-inflammatory action that helps to reduce pain. For example, a 2018 review examined the available research and the theoretical underpinnings behind the belief that hemp extract can help relieve pain and found that there is evidence that cannabinoids act to suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

Additional studies have made similar conclusions, noting that hemp extract specifically targets certain receptors that are responsible for causing pain.

To be sure, more study is needed, but the results of many of these initial studies are encouraging.

Hemp Extract and Adaptogens

There is evidence to suggest that hemp extract may be useful at improving sleep, reducing pain and limiting anxiety. However, there also appears to be great potential in combining hemp extract with other well-known plant produced compounds in order to provide additional therapeutic benefit. One such example is by adding adaptogens to hemp extract.

Adaptogens can best be described as a type of natural compound found in plants that can reduce the impact of stress in the body. They work by helping to keep our body in a state of homeostasis and reducing our normal stress response. Indeed, there are many herbs that work as adaptogens.

At First Crop, we have developed proprietary formulas that combine our USDA certified organic hemp extract with adaptogens enhancing the ability of our hemp extract products to help you feel well and stay well. Our SLEEP line of products, for example, combines hemp extract with organic hops, lavender and valerian to help relax the mind and body and promote a good night’s sleep.

Final Thoughts and Precautions

Although more research needs to be done, one of the many pieces of good news about hemp extract is that research has found it to be safe to use. For example, a World Health Organization report on the topic found that hemp extract is safe, generally well-tolerated by humans and non-addictive. That being said, as with any supplement, it is always important to speak with your doctor before trying hemp extract, to make sure there are no possible concerns about interactions with other medications or supplements you may be taking.

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