How To Incorporate Hemp Into Your Night Routine For Better Sleep

Rountree considers the ECS to be “one of the greatest discoveries in modern neuropsychology.” “We have this whole system, this whole body of receptors, that are in our brain, our central nervous system, our peripheral nerves, our gut. These cannabinoid receptors are everywhere,” he told Wachob. This expansive system of receptors is also referred to as the “master regulatory system,” as it helps the entire body maintain balance and homeostasis. So why don’t we learn more about it in health class?

Well, for a while, the ECS was most closely associated with THC—a cannabinoid in marijuana that causes people to feel high because of how it activates ECS receptors in the brain. But the more we’re learning about the ECS, the more we’re realizing that other compounds can interact with it, too—including ones that are non-psychoactive and legal in all 50 states.

“In studying all the different compounds in marijuana, [researchers] discovered this whole family of CBD-like compounds, which you get in hemp oil without THC,” Rountree explained. Instead of engaging with ECS receptors in the brain, these legal compounds seem to calm down receptors in the nervous system—home of the body’s relaxation response.* There’s still a lot we don’t know about the ECS and the compounds that affect it, but the system is largely considered an exciting next frontier in mind-body medicine.

CBD and the other cannabinoids in hemp might also be well-suited to bedtime because of the way they impact hormones.* “From very preliminary studies, we think that it potentially helps wind down the amount of cortisol that’s being pumped out,” double board-certified medical doctor Dani Gordon, M.D., previously told mbg of CBD. “If you lower the stress hormone levels, it has this kind of cascade effect for sleep,” he says. “It indirectly can help us sleep—especially because most run-of-the-mill insomnia is related to stress.”

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