In the never-ending search for a better night’s sleep, a growing number of Americans are choosing CBD over conventional sleep aids like melatonin. Trendiness aside, there’s a significant amount of scientific evidence that suggests CBD might actually help you sleep better — but there’s also a fair amount of confusion about the most effective way to use it. Should insomniacs opt for CBD capsules? Vape pens? Or … infused bed sheets?
You might think that last option sounds ridiculous (and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong), but it’s official: CBD bed sheets could soon be coming to a store near you. And while there’s little indication that they have anything to offer consumers besides a mildly amusing anecdote to share at cocktail parties, they could be the new normal for a CBD industry that seems closer to jumping the shark with each passing day.
The company responsible for this latest innovation, leading U.S. bed and bath product importer Royal Heritage Home, is honest about chasing the trend with its new CBD SLEEP brand. The company’s CEO Jeffrey Tauber told Home Textiles Today, “Since the team became aware of the explosive growth in CBD products, including oils, edibles, and supplements, we have been attempting to develop home textile related products. In partnership with an unnamed global chemical supplier, our product development group has been able to conquer this challenging task.”
The sheets are made of organic cotton 200-count percale, available in 12 colors, and treated to last up to 30 washings. The company says the infused sheets will hit the market in late September, though there’s no indication of where they’ll be sold or how much they’ll cost.
While details are scant about the CBD infusion process employed by Royal Heritage Home’s “unnamed global chemical supplier,” another chemical company recently revealed a CBD fabric treatment at Heimtextil 2019 in Frankfurt, as reported in the trade publication World of Chemicals. This announcement came courtesy of Devan Chemicals, which added CBD to its R-Vital microencapsulation technology that uses chemical containers embedded into a fabric to reduce skin irritation caused by friction.
While the makers of skin-related CBD products often trumpet the fact that the skin is the body’s largest organ (and thus the perfect medium for delivering CBD), there’s a reason the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t include infused cosmetics and lifestyle products like bed sheets on their list of CBD-related concerns: unless a product has transdermal capacities, the CBD in it won’t penetrate to the bloodstream.
Spokespeople for companies like Royal Heritage Home and Devan might counter by saying that topical CBD preparations have been shown to have some health benefits, interacting with the plentiful CB2 receptors in the skin to counter inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re equally effective at treating the problems faced by “millions of people [who] suffer from insomnia, insufficient sleep or other sleep disorders” toward whom Devan is aiming their products. Royal Heritage Home also trumpets CBD research in its press release, making no mention of the fact that most research to date has looked at the effects of CBD in the bloodstream — and that there have been zero clinical studies showing topical CBD products can help with sleep.
Another black mark against these kinds of CBD lifestyle products comes from the type of oil they use. To increase potential sales, the CBD they draw on is hemp-derived and legal throughout the U.S. (with a few exceptions) instead of the marijuana-derived variety, which would restrict their market but provide an oil that many say is more effective. As Dr. Herve Damas, who specializes in CBD sports medicine, told Weedmaps, “When you extract from marijuana, you get the added benefit of added terpene profiles that you can customize. Terpenes have an important therapeutic value.”
Still, despite the dubious efficacy of CBD-infused textiles in general (and Royal Heritage Home’s bed sheets in particular) this may only be the beginning of a regrettable trend: the company also plans to release a line of CBD pet beds in the near future.