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CBD Pillow: What Is It and Should You Try It?

CBD-infused products like the CBD pillow are getting increasingly popular. Manufacturers claim that using it can give you better and more relaxing sleep. But will sleeping with this pillow really help you sleep better?

Key takeaways:

What is a CBD pillow?

A CBD pillow is a pillow that is infused with CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant, known for its potential therapeutic effects, such as relaxation and stress relief, which can aid in sleep.

How does it work?

The technology used in CBD-infused pillows can vary between manufacturers. Some CBD-infused pillows contain CBD oil microcapsules. These microcapsules are tiny spheres in which manufacturers encapsulate CBD oil. Unlike CBD topicals or edibles, this method allows a slow substance release over time.

The microcapsules are typically embedded within the pillow's fabric or filling. When you lie down and shift your head during sleep, these microcapsules burst open, gradually releasing small amounts of CBD. As you rest, the CBD released from the microcapsules comes into contact with your hair follicles and skin. The CBD can then potentially interact with your endocannabinoid system, which regulates various physiological functions, including sleep, mood, and pain perception.

Other companies may use different methods to infuse CBD into their pillows. For example, they may incorporate CBD particles or oil into the foam or fabric during manufacturing. This allows the CBD to be evenly distributed through the material, ensuring consistent contact with the user’s body.

When a person uses a CBD-infused foam product, their body heat and pressure during sleep facilitate the gradual release of CBD.

Potential benefits of CBD pillows

To date, no research has specifically evaluated the effectiveness of CBD-infused pillows. The concept behind these pillows is that they slowly release CBD while you sleep throughout the night. Once CBD gets in touch with your hair and skin, it's thought that it exerts its therapeutic benefits via the body's endocannabinoid system. This system consists of chemical messengers called endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids.

CBD influences the activity of cannabinoid receptors, which are abundant in various tissues, including the brain, heart, adipose tissue, and immune system. CBD also affects other receptors in the body, like dopamine and serotonin receptors. These receptors play crucial roles in regulating mood, anxiety, and sleep patterns.

Evidence suggests that CBD may offer several benefits, including:

  • Pain relief. CBD oil may help alleviate pain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating pain perception.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be useful in managing conditions with inflammatory components, such as diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Better mental health. CBD may have mental-health-boosting effects, potentially benefiting those with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues.
  • Improvement in nausea and vomiting. CBD can have an antiemetic effect, which can benefit individuals receiving chemotherapy treatment.
  • Sleep improvement. Some people report improved sleep quality after using CBD oil, suggesting a potential role in sleep disorders.

These effects have not been specifically in connection with CBD-infused pillows. While the potential benefits of CBD are promising, our understanding of its effects remains limited. More studies are needed to fully understand its mechanism of action, determine appropriate dosages, and assess the long-term impacts on the human body. Also, CBD may interact with other medicines. So, you should always check with your healthcare provider before using a new CBD product.

Effects of CBD pillows on sleep

There are no scientific studies focusing specifically on CBD pillows and their effects on sleep. However, some people report improvements in their sleep quality after using CBD-containing preparations, such as oils, tinctures, or edibles, which could also translate to potential benefits from CBD-infused pillows.

CBD may increase the concentrations of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) by inhibiting the enzymes that degrade it. A study in rats demonstrated that microinjections of AEA increased adenosine levels in the basal forebrain, inducing sleep. The basal forebrain is thought to be responsible for crucial functions related to wakefulness, memory, attention, and learning.

CBD may also interact with GABA-A receptors, indirectly affecting the release and uptake of GABA. This neurotransmitter slows down certain brain activities, producing calming effects that can promote sleep.

Some researchers theorize that CBD may improve sleep by alleviating anxiety symptoms. A study conducted in New Zealand looked at 400 patients who were prescribed CBD oil for various health conditions. The study found that CBD treatment improved self-reported quality of life measures in patients with pain and symptoms related to mental health conditions. After three weeks of treatment, approximately 12% of the 253 patients who participated in the follow-up questionnaire reported improved sleep.

A comprehensive analysis of the literature indicated that CBD alone or in combination with equal amounts of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid, could potentially enhance sleep quality for individuals experiencing insomnia.

Additionally, evidence suggests that an extract containing CBD and THC may help improve sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance caused by sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.

CBD can be delivered through oral, transdermal, or inhalation methods. Oral CBD includes oil, edibles, capsules, and other formulations that are ingested. Transdermal delivery typically involves applying CBB-infused creams or patches directly to the skin. Inhalation involves vaporizing or inhaling CBD.

It is worth highlighting that most studies investigating the effects of CBD on sleep use oral dosing, whereas the pillow involves inhalation or transdermal absorption of CBD through the skin. Since the CBD pillow is still a new product, there isn't enough scientific data to know for sure how effective it is or how much CBD the body absorbs when using it.

How to sleep better with any pillow

Some people report improved sleep with CBD, but the effectiveness of CBD pillows is still unknown.

Whether if your pillow is infused with CBD or not, you can achieve better sleep with simple lifestyle adjustments. These include:

  • Have a cozy sleep environment. This includes a comfortable mattress and pillows and clean bedding.
  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid stimulants. Limit alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals near bedtime. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
  • Exercise daily. Have regular physical activity and enjoy some time outside in the sun.

With the growing popularity of cannabis, many products containing CBD have hit the market. CBD pillows are one of them. While some studies suggest that CBD could help improve sleep, the evidence is still limited. Also, it's not clear if CBD pillows really work to enhance sleep.

Getting better sleep isn't just about the pillow you use (it should be comfortable, of course). Practicing good sleep habits can make a big difference in how well you rest at night. If you're still experiencing sleep issues after implementing better habits, consult a healthcare professional.

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