Research on the effects CBD has on sleep disorders is still preliminary. Some people who use CBD for chronic pain report sleeping better. Currently, it is unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Most negative effects of CBD medications and products are mild. For example, patients who use Epidiolex may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues. Some people may experience drowsiness when they take CBD. Other negative effects experienced with CBD may be due to an interaction between the CBD and other medications the patient is taking.
There are several common forms of CBD:
How Can CBD Help With Sleep Disorders?
CBD can interact with other prescriptions a person takes. In particular, CBD can slow the liver’s ability to break down certain medications. Additionally, using CBD as well as herbs or supplements can make the patient too sleepy.
People who suffer from insomnia experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and mood. Because of their history of poor sleep, people with insomnia may suffer from anxiety about getting inadequate sleep, which can then increase sleeplessness at night.
Most commonly known effects of cannabis, such as “getting high,” are caused by the cannabinoid, THC. The term “marijuana” specifically refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain THC.
While CBD at higher doses does not appear to have serious negative consequences, these products may also contain higher levels of THC than reported on the label. Other CBD products may contain THC that is not reported on the label at all. The THC in these products can produce intoxicating effects, which may or may not be desired.
We’re big fans of these strawberry-flavored CBD gummies from Medterra, which has helped us ease into sleep with less tossing and turning (or anxious thoughts). Each gummy contains 25mg of CBD, along with other natural sleep aids like melatonin and chamomile. We’ve found that these work fast, so take them just before bed (like 15-20 minutes before you hit the sack).
Each order gets you 30 capsules. Take one at night about 20-30 minutes before bed. Medterra says you can increase dosage to two capsules per day if you need something stronger.
Another easy-to-take CBD product that actually helps with sleep, from our experience, is the TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture. Along with USDA-certified organic CBD, the TheraOne tincture also contains organic lavender, organic
lemon balm oil and organic chamomile, which the company says is “designed to help encourage deeper, more restorative sleep.”
2. Prima Sleep Tight Soft Gels
Cornbread uses only USDA-certified organic ingredients, with no preservatives, flavors or sweeteners. Choose from an original strength or extra strength pack. What we like: the included dropper has four size markings (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1ml) so you can easily control your dosage and work your way up (for reference, one serving is 1ml).
Each serving of two gummies contains 50mg of broad spectrum CBD. Everything is certified vegan, all-natural and gluten-free, so it’s easy on the stomach too. A bonus: they actually taste pretty good too.
“I used to have trouble with sleep,” Barker tells Rolling Stone, “and I would take a ton of melatonin, valerian tea, Tylenol PM, or Nyquil,” he admits, “but CBD was like the best kind of result that I got.”
Travis Barker’s new CBD line includes this easy-to-take sleep tincture. The unique formula combines CBD and CBN (another naturally occurring cannabinol said to help with insomnia), along with melatonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid believed to have stress-relieving properties. Take half a dropper to start and put it under your tongue or dissolve the drops into water. In our experience, we’ve found that a full drop under the tongue works best, though it takes an hour or so before you start feeling sleepy, so time it accordingly.
It’s easy to understand why people are turning to CBD to help with sleep: Almost 80 percent of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week, according to another recent nationally representative CR survey of 1,267 U.S. adults. And many existing treatments, particularly prescription and over-the-counter drugs, are often not very effective—and are risky, too.
Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and on the advisory board the marijuana advocacy group NORML, suggests starting with a modest dose of 30 mg and slowly working up if that doesn’t work. And he cautions that a dose of 160 mg “is going to be incredibly expensive.”
How CBD Might Help With Sleep
One way CBD may help with sleep is by easing anxiety. In a study in the January issue of The Permanente Journal, published by the Kaiser-Permanente health insurance company, Colorado researchers looked at the health records of 72 patients who were treated with CBD for either anxiety or poor sleep.
Look for quality products. Some studies suggest that many CBD products don’t have what they claim or are contaminated with pesticides or other harmful substances. (Read more about how to shop for CBD products.)
Those benefits might be due to the placebo effect, says Scott Shannon, M.D., the study’s main author and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado-Children’s Hospital in Denver. But Shannon, who is also founder of the Wholeness Center, an integrative medicine clinic in Ft. Collins, Colo., also thinks that some people may have slept better because they "worried less about their sleep issue."