As medical cannabis becomes exceedingly popular, more people use it to treat a variety of disorders, including pain, inflammation, and other medical conditions. Snoring is no exception.
Snoring can be a sign of an underlying medical problem, so it is important for individuals who snore to see a doctor to either rule out or treat a more serious condition. While CBD oil cannot cure snoring, it can help some of the problems that are associated with it. Thus, it is important to understand what can cause snoring.
What Causes Snoring?
Several conditions and problems can cause snoring. Common causes of it may include colds, nasal congestion, or allergies. People who drink alcohol, smoke, or use muscle relaxants are more likely to snore. While snoring itself is not unhealthy, there are a few sleep conditions that can cause an individual to snore.
This sleep condition happens when an individual stops and starts breathing during the night. This often happens many times and can cause some serious health problems. There are three main types of this condition:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This sleep condition, which is the most common of the three, happens when the muscles in the individual’s throat relax. This obstructs the airway. People who are overweight or who have a large neck circumference are most likely to snore.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This sleep condition happens when the brain is unable to send the right signals to the breathing muscles, resulting in sleep that starts and stops.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Individuals who suffer from both conditions have this syndrome, where the throat muscles relax, and the brain cannot control the breathing muscles.
There are several symptoms of this sleep condition, and they can sometimes overlap, making it difficult for the individual to determine what type of disorder he or she has.
- Daytime Sleepiness: Because the individual is not getting enough sleep during the night, he or she will most likely feel sleepier during the day. Feeling tired in the afternoon every now and then is normal but feeling sleepy during the day every day could be a sign of this sleep condition.
- Headache: Often, not getting enough sleep can lead to a headache when the individual wakes up in the morning.
- Not Breathing at Night: If the patient shares a room with another person at night, the other person may notice that the patient has episodes of starting and stopping breathing at night. This is one of the main symptoms of this sleep disorder.
- Loud Snoring: This is another symptom of this sleep disorder. Snoring happens when the tissues in the throat relax and vibrate as the individual breathes in and out. However, it is important to note that not everyone will have this symptom.
- Dry Mouth: One study found that over 31 percent of individuals who have this sleep condition have a dry mouth when they wake up, while only 3 percent of people without the sleep disorder have a dry mouth in the morning. This is most often caused by sleeping with the mouth open during the night.
In sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of the throat relax, obstructing the airway. This means the individual cannot get enough air in every breath he or she takes. This results in a lower amount of oxygen in the blood.
The brain detects that the body is not getting enough oxygen and so it rouses the individual from sleep. This usually is short enough that the individual does not remember it in the morning. However, it is enough to disturb REM sleep, the deepest stage of sleep.
When the brain wakes up the body, the individual may snore, gasp for air, or even choke. This may happen five to 30 times per hour throughout the night.
While this is the most common cause of this sleep disorder, a less common form of the disorder can happen when the brain does not send signals to the body that it needs to breathe. This means the individual is not breathing at all for a short period. He or she may wake up gasping for air and struggle to get back to sleep.
If left untreated, this sleeping condition can cause serious health problems.
- Heart Problems: Because the levels of oxygen in the individual’s body keep dropping, the heart and cardiovascular systems may become strained. This strain can lead to problems such as heart attacks, strokes, or atrial fibrillation. It can also lead to high blood pressure in some people.
- Exhaustion During the Day: Because the individual is not getting enough sleep at night, this sleeping condition can lead to constant fatigue during the day. Individuals may be more irritable during the day or have difficulty concentrating. They may also feel drowsy while doing normal activities such as watching TV or even driving.
- Diabetes: Having this sleep condition can even raise an individual’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another problem with this sleep condition is that roommates or significant others who share a room will have trouble sleeping because of the individual’s loud snoring. When this happens night after night, it can lead to a strained relationship.
For obstructive sleep apnea, one treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP). People wear this mask over their nose and mouth, and it gently blows air into the airway while the individual is sleeping. This keeps the airway open throughout the night. There are a few other treatments a doctor may recommend:
- Dental Appliances: These appliances work to reposition the tongue and lower jaw so the airway will remain open.
- Losing Weight: Being overweight can cause the airway to become blocked during the night because the individual’s neck is large.
- Quitting Smoking: Cigarettes can cause the tissue in the upper airway to swell, making it more likely to become blocked during the night.
- Avoiding Alcohol: Alcohol is another cause of this condition because it can also cause the upper airway to swell.
- Laying on the Side: Sometimes, it can be helpful for individuals to lay on their sides at night instead of on their backs.
- Surgery: In severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue in the airway.
While it is important to treat the underlying condition, CBD oil can help relieve some of the problems that sleep disorders can cause.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant that has been mixed with a carrier oil, most often hemp seed oil. This product can be sold as it is, or it can be added to other products such as gummies, topicals, and edibles. The CBD and other cannabinoids form the active ingredients.
Many people associate cannabis products with getting high. However, this is not always the case. The chemical compound tetrahydrocannabinol is what causes a psychoactive effect on users. However, many CBD products on the market today contain only CBD oil. Even full-spectrum products, which contain many cannabinoids from the plant, can legally only have 0.3 percent of THC in them. This small amount is not enough to make a user high.
CBD Oil and the Body
CBD oil works on the body by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system produces cannabinoids which communicate with other systems in the body to regulate functions such as the digestive system, sleep, pain, and inflammation. CBD helps the ECS create more cannabinoids so it can better communicate with the other systems in the body. This helps the body maintain homeostasis or a sense of balance.
Some new research has found that CBD oil may even help the brain produce new cells. It can also help reduce inflammation and pain, making it a useful, natural alternative to stronger prescription medications. It also offers several other health benefits.
Research shows that CBD oil can help reduce inflammation in individuals. It does this by affecting the TRPV1 receptors, which mediate inflammation, the body’s temperature, and pain. CBD oil desensitizes these receptors when it binds to them.
People suffering from chronic pain often use CBD oil to help lessen their pain. Many studies have been done that show that CBD can help change the pain signals that the body sends to the brain. CBD oil can also affect the way the brain processes pain, helping the individual feel reduced pain. It does this by binding to the TRPV1 receptors and desensitizing them.
How CBD Oil Can Help With Sleep Disorders
There is some preliminary research that shows that CBD oil may be helpful for people who suffer from sleeping disorders. A 2002 study from the University of Illinois looked at the breathing patterns of mice during sleep.
This study focused on how two cannabinoids that are found in the marijuana plant, THC and oleamide, affected sleep. The researchers concluded that the more of these cannabinoids the mice received, the more the respiration of the mice was stabilized during sleep.
After this study, the lead researcher performed another trial on humans using cannabis medication Dronabinol. This medication contains similar cannabinoids to the ones the mice received. In this clinical trial, there was a 32 percent decrease in sleep apnea overall. This study concluded that patients who received higher doses of this medication experienced greater relief from symptoms.
While Dronabinol is currently sold for relief from nausea and vomiting, in the future, it may also be sold for sleeping disorders.
Other Ways CBD Can Help
There are other ways that CBD oil can help reduce the symptoms of sleeping disorders. Research has found that CBD can help people with Parkinson’s disease as it reduces REM behavior disorder. This disorder disrupts the REM sleep cycle and causes people to act out their dreams instead of being paralyzed in sleep. While more research is needed on the effects of CBD on deep sleep, this discovery may be helpful for people whose deep sleep cycle is disrupted at night. Other research has found that CBD can help increase this deep sleep in people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD oil can also be used as a sleep aid to help individuals fall asleep faster and to promote deeper sleep. This can be a better alternative to sleeping pills, which can become addictive and cause problems such as dizziness and sleepiness during the day.
Another benefit of CBD oil is that it can help people feel more alert during the daytime because it helps to reduce drowsiness. This is helpful for people who are sleepy during the day because of a sleeping disorder. Increasing one’s alertness during the daytime will also help them fall asleep faster and get a deeper night’s rest.
CBD oil can also help treat mood disorders that may result from sleeping problems. Anxiety and depression are both common problems resulting from these sleeping issues. Many studies show that CBD can help people feel less stressed and depressed.
How to Take CBD
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is by using a tincture. This is an especially popular way for people who are new to taking CBD. Tinctures are made when cannabis flowers are steeped in grain alcohol and heated at a low temperature. The active parts of the cannabis plants become infused into this alcohol.
This allows CBD users to experience the effects of the cannabis plants without having to smoke it, which comes with its own set of health problems. Sometimes a manufacturer will add oil or another flavor to improve the taste of this tincture.
Users should take tinctures in small amounts because they are very concentrated. They will usually come with a dropper to allow for accurate measurements.
Users can take the CBD in a variety of ways. Many will mix the tincture with food or add it to a beverage, such as a cup of tea. However, research has shown that the most effective way to take a CBD tincture is to place it under the tongue for about 20 seconds to a minute before swallowing it. This allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly so users can feel the effects.
Dose of CBD
The right dose of CBD for an individual will depend on many factors, including the individual’s weight, medical conditions, and how much CBD is in the product. Because the FDA has not approved CBD oil, there are no official recommendations on how much CBD to take. An individual’s doctor can help determine the right dose of CBD and how often to take that dose.
It is always best to start with a small dose and gradually work up when starting CBD for the first time. It takes some time for the CBD to build up in the body, so it is generally best to increase the dose of CBD gradually. Usually, an individual can increase the dose by about 5mg per week.
Bottles of CBD oil will generally tell the user how much CBD is in each drop. The user can then use that information to determine the correct number of drops to take.
Side Effects of CBD
While there are many benefits to using cannabidiol, patients should also be aware of a few potential side effects.
- Reduced appetite
- Dry mouth
Another potential side effect that CBD users should be aware of is the possibility of liver toxicity. One 2019 study looked at the effects of cannabidiol on mice and found that mice that were given higher doses of the cannabinoid experienced signs of liver damage in less than 24 hours after the dose had been given. Within a few days, 75 percent of the mice who had received such high levels of CBD had either died or were about to die from liver toxicity.
Individuals who are taking prescription medications may also be affected. Because CBD can affect the way the liver works, it can also affect the way the body metabolizes medications. This is because the liver is responsible for breaking down the medications that enter the body. When a patient is taking CBD, the liver may break down these medications slower. This means the medications stay in the body longer than they were intended, which is the same as if the patient had taken a stronger dose.
People who are interested in using CBD should always consult their doctors before they decide to use it. This is especially true for those who are using prescription or even over-the-counter medications.
Snoring can be a sign of a more serious sleep condition. The good news is that people who use CBD may be able to improve their sleep quality, as it helps to reduce their snoring. CBD oil can also help these individuals reduce mood disorders and drowsiness during the day.