Jet lag can result in sleep problems, muscle aches, digestive issues, and cognitive fuzziness. This ailment is the most unpleasant aspect of traveling for many people. Could CBD research point to a cure for this all-too-common ailment?
CBD has been proposed as a versatile cannabinoid by ongoing scientific studies as one of the main chemical constituents in cannabis. In terms of jet lag, does research indicate that CBD has the potential to alleviate this common traveler’s ailment?
Scientists have identified cannabis as a potential remedy for various medical conditions. If you’re seeking relief from jet lag in Houston, obtaining a medical marijuana card is essential for legal access to medicinal cannabis. You can easily apply for your medical marijuana card online from the comfort of your home.
Jet lag is a set of symptoms that occur when you travel across time zones and disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a biological process that allows living things to align their internal systems with the planet’s day/night cycles. Circadian rhythms in animals play critical roles in regulating brain waves, core body temperature, hormonal activity, and cellular health. Melatonin and cortisol are important regulators of our circadian rhythms in humans.
When you travel across time zones, the wires in your body become entangled. Your circadian rhythm is telling you one thing, but your senses are telling you something else.
Jet lag frequently causes sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality. Travelers from west to east may experience insomnia, while those traveling from east to west may experience early awakening or difficulty staying asleep. Jet lag can impair cognitive performance, cause irritability, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. It can also lead to gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, constipation, and a loss of appetite. Travel fatigue, which are symptoms unrelated to jet lag caused by travel conditions such as cramped limbs, dehydration, loss of sleep, and time spent in a low-oxygen environment, can exacerbate jet lag.
Many people do not experience jet lag unless they travel across more than three one-hour time zones. However, some travelers experience jet lag after crossing a single time zone. One “rule of thumb” is that it takes a day to recover for each one-hour time zone crossed; crossing three time zones will take three days. However, because jet lag affects everyone differently, claims like this should be taken with a grain of salt.
When traveling from west to east, jet lag is more severe than when traveling from east to west. You may become more susceptible to jet lag as you age.
There are a few things you can do to avoid or reduce jet lag. In the days leading up to your flight, try to adjust your sleep schedule to match the time zone of your destination. Caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes should be avoided before and during your trip because they are all known to disrupt your circadian rhythm. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and stretch your muscles while traveling. When you arrive at your destination, spend as much time as possible outside and in the sun to “jolt” your body into the new routine.
Even if you follow the advice above, you may experience jet lag, especially if you travel across a large time difference. If this is the case, it may be worthwhile to consider what the studies below suggest about CBD’s effect on jet lag symptoms.
We’ll go through each experiment one at a time to see how CBD fared.
Some jet lag sufferers try to treat the condition by taking sleeping pills such as benzodiazepines. These are highly addictive and cause a slew of side effects such as weakness, depression, irritability, and headaches. Others may want to experiment with exogenous melatonin to help regulate their sleep cycle. Melatonin can be effective for many people, but it does not work for everyone and can be tolerant for a minority. With these side effects in mind, many people are looking for alternatives.
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology discovered that CBD has a calming (but not sedative) effect when administered to a rodent model. Surprisingly, CBD reduced daytime sleepiness, keeping male rats alert during the day. A second study confirmed these findings, concluding that “CBD increases alertness.”
Jet lag can also cause anxiety and irritability because it disrupts cortisol levels in the brain. A 2011 study on CBD and generalized social anxiety disorder used a simulated public speaking test to assess performance-related anxiety in this domain. A 400mg dose of CBD or a placebo was given to 24 participants with SAD as part of a double-blind procedure. “Relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety,” the researchers discovered.
If you or a loved one is experiencing jet lag and considering the use of medical marijuana for treatment, reaching out to a medical marijuana doctor can provide guidance on its safe usage and inform you about cannabis laws in your state.
CBD research on pain and inflammation is mostly preclinical. According to one study, which was first reported by the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, CBD, “a major non psychoactive component of marijuana… significantly suppress [es] chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents without causing apparent analgesic tolerance.”
Further research is being conducted to investigate CBD’s potential in the treatment of gastrointestinal issues such as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. This is due, in part, to the recently discovered presence of CB1 receptors throughout the GI tract, which has led researchers to speculate about the role of the endocannabinoid system in digestive system mediation. CBD has been shown in the examples above to affect gastrointestinal motility, which refers to contractions or dysregulation of the gut muscles.
Those who work while traveling may be particularly frustrated by the cognitive impairment caused by jet lag. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research on the short-term effects of CBD on cognition, but there is evidence that the compound may reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to impair cognition and may be linked to jet lag. CBD has been shown in rats to reduce oxidative stress and reverse associated cognitive deficits. The study used a rodent model to replicate mortality and administered CBD in 2.5, 5, and 10mg doses over a nine-day period.
The most serious potential side effect of CBD is not medical: it is legal.
If you’re thinking about using CBD oil, make sure it’s legal in your destination state and you have a medical marijuana card to use it legally for medicinal purposes. CBD is not permitted in many transportation agencies. If you show up at the airport with your tincture bottle, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find your CBD confiscated or facing legal charges. Proceed with caution at all times.