approximately 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety. CBD can be of great help in reducing anxiety, as well as sleeping problems and burnout. But did you know that some CBD products also contain an amino acid called L-theanine, which is mainly found in green and black teas?
In this article, you'll find the outcome of a conversation with some experts to shed light on how L-theanine can reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and increase mental clarity.
How CBD and L-theanine can reduce anxiety
The pharmacological effects of L-theanine on mood may be related to the endocannabinoid system via the GABA system, that works to regulate the body's responses to stress and stressful situations, according to a statement by Dr. Junella Chin, Chief of the Medical Advisory Board. at askCMD, God's Greenery and Miraculous as well as Michael Klein, CEO of Miraculo, askCMD and God's Greenery.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that sends messages to and from the brain and nervous system with the ultimate goal of controlling fear and anxiety. GABA receptors live on nerve cells and receive messages from GABA neurotransmitters that help control nerve impulses.
Both CBD and L-theanine reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. L-theanine increases relaxed brain waves (alpha-EEG waves) and also increases GABA levels. GABA also instructs the body to shut down and tell our body that we are safe. It helps reduce anxiety, calms the nervous system, promotes sleep and relaxes muscles. Cannabis creates an excess of GABA in the brain, which creates a soothing and calming effect.
Indeed, research shows that CBD and CBD rich cannabis strains can ease anxiety in most people, so taking CBD and L-theanine together is essentially a double dose of calm.
How CBD and L-theanine Can Improve Sleep
A wealth of research suggests that CBD can help people fall asleep and stay asleep longer, mainly by reducing anxiety symptoms that typically keep people awake. While L-theanine doesn't actually cause drowsiness, but anxiety is a common factor in insomnia, L-theanine and CBD can be helpful in treating insomnia - as both compounds reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
A study from 2008 tracked electrical activity in the brains of healthy, young participants who received 50 mg of L-theanine while resting with their eyes closed. Later, the test was performed again while the participants were engaged in a passive activity.
In both cases, L-theanine was found to increase alpha brain waves, promoting 'deep relaxation' and clearing the mind of unwanted thoughts or distractions. This helps reduce sleep latency, the amount of time it takes you to go from fully awake to sleep, Chin said.
De increased GABA levels of L-theanine can also reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
How CBD and L-theanine Can Boost Mental Clarity and Focus
While most research on L-theanine and increased mental clarity and focus focuses on the powers of caffeine and L-theanine, L-theanine on its own reportedly blocks glutamate receptors, which are responsible for feelings of restlessness, stress and anxiety.
With or without caffeine, shows this 2016 study indicates that L-theanine reduces stress and anxiety without causing drowsiness, making it easier to focus on difficult tasks.
It is also true that some CBD products and CBD dominant strains can also help increase focus, making CBD and L-theanine a great combination for study and work.
According to Chin, the influence of L-theanine on sleep quality also plays a role. Quality REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep are crucial for mental clarity and focus. Nighttime REM-rich sleep benefits cognitive functions such as decision making, and REM sleep dreams fuel creativity.
By improving sleep, both L-theanine and CBD can help improve mental clarity and focus during awake hours.
“REM-rich sleep allows us to make more intelligent decisions and actions. Emotional IQ depends on getting enough REM sleep night after night, ”said Chin.
NREM sleep helps transfer and secure newly learned information to long-term storage sites of the brain, Chin said, referring to an investigation in which a GABA / L-theanine mixture was found to significantly increase NREM sleep in mice.
“During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and repairs tissues, builds bones and muscles, and strengthens the immune system. As a result of all this, CBD and L-theanine can help restore clarity, sharpen memory and improve focus throughout the day, ”she said.
Extra explanation about correct dosages and possible risks
When it comes to CBD, full spectrum CBD is widely considered to be more therapeutic, and it is safest to buy CBD products from companies that participate in third-party lab testing.
While it is important to note that supplements are not regulated in the same way by, say, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as other foods and medications, L-theanine has received a GRAS - widely recognized as safe - with FDA notice in the United States.
Many L-theanine-infused CBD products currently available contain 50-100 mg of L-theanine, but Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who is a member of the advisory board for Fitter Living, recommends even higher doses.
"The benefits of L-theanine were seen with supplementation of 200 mg per day for four weeks," she said, referring to a 2019 double-blind study. She also points to a 2019 systematic review stating that effective supplementation of L- theanine is 200-400 mg per day, but longer and larger studies are needed.
"It is important to note that some studies on L-theanine may also have used green tea or green tea products [ie, containing caffeine], which could confuse the results."
Dr. Chin said L-theanine is best taken as a standardized extract in capsules, and she suggests taking 400-600 mg half an hour before bed.
It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before introducing a new supplement into your daily routine, but similar to CBD, your best approach with L-theanine is probably to start with a low dose and build up slowly. Also keep in mind that both L-theanines can lower blood pressure.
This article is for informational purposes and is in no way intended to encourage you to try a particular supplement without being comfortable with it or obtaining sufficient information about it. When in doubt, it goes without saying that consult your doctor first.