A writer for Shape says when she learned nearly 60 percent of people taking CBD are doing it to help with sleep, she was intrigued.
Though it’s derived from marijuana, CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive elements like pot. “What CBD does is help balance our endocannabinoid system, the main job of which is to keep our body in homeostasis,” says Aimée Gould Shunney, a licensed naturopathic doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine.
In addition to affecting the receptors in our brain that impact our stress response, mood, inflammation, and pain, Shunney says, “it also prevents our major endocannabinoid, which is called anandamide, from being broken down—and when we have plenty of our own endocannabinoids circulating, not only are we not going to respond as much to a stress, but we’re going to return to baseline faster, so it’s like a recovery system.”
That’s why it’s being increasingly used as a sleep aid, she says. “The major reason why most people don’t sleep is because they’re stressed out, they’re anxious, they can’t shut their brain off,” she explains. “What CBD does is calm down your body’s stress response and bring those cortisol and adrenaline levels back to baseline.”