CBD activates the endocannabinoid system. This system influences pain perception, inflammation levels, as well as stress and anxiety levels.
Always trust products which have been third-party tested. These products are tested for their CBD levels, THC levels, and other contaminants. It is essential to know your product does not contain more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. THC is also known to cause drowsiness.
How Does CBD Affect the Brain?
At this time, we don’t quite know if CBD promotes wakefulness or sleepiness. The answer is likely more complicated than what meets the eye and depends on individual differences between people.
The medical community has determined that CBD is a safe product even at very high doses. However, this doesn’t mean that it has no side effects whatsoever. Studies that look at what side effects people report when using CBD found that the most commonly reported side effects are:
In short, CBD may help people sleep better if CBD improves the underlying reason why they are having issues with sleeping.
Many of the studies reviewing CBD, however, examined sleep as a secondary outcome in the context of another illness. Frye highlighted a 2019 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology that investigated the use of CBD oil for children with autism spectrum disorder to treat related conditions such as sleep disturbances. “Patients with autism typically have sleep disturbances,” she explained. “The study showed that CBD improved sleep in 71.4% of patients.”
A good night’s sleep has incontestable benefits for general health and wellbeing. For 30% of the general population, however, sinking into an effortless slumber doesn’t come easily, according to a national poll by the Sleep Foundation. To make matters worse, sleeping pills and medications commonly used to induce sleep are often accompanied by side effects.
CBD may diminish the anxiety that can render it challenging to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Per an in-vitro study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, there is also evidence that CBD may potentially improve heart health and, as seen in this scientific review published by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, may offer protective benefits for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
THC, the cannabis plant’s most abundant and intoxicating cannabinoid, is reputed to induce sleepiness. Ford believes any feelings of drowsiness associated with CBD oil can most likely be attributed to THC. “If CBD oil is making you feel drowsy, it’s probably due to a fraction of THC being left in the product,” he said.
Cannabinoids may improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, or reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
That being said, Ford also acknowledges that CBD may diminish the anxiety that can inhibit sleep and “could be effective as a sleep aid for people who need to calm down and relax their mind.”
Additionally, a 2017 study showed that CBD can have anxiolytic effects, meaning that it can reduce anxiety and be calming. When this potential for reducing anxiety and enhancing calm is combined with CBD’s potential to help muscle relaxation, many experience feelings of relaxation in both the mind and body.
By now you already know that high-quality sleep is critical for physical and mental recovery. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough rest. Finding natural products to help can be confusing, as it can be hard to know where to start. With more supplements becoming available, the task becomes even more difficult. For those seeking a safe and natural solution to help them sleep, finding natural products can be time consuming and confusing.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to be a safer alternative to over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications, which can cause undesirable side effects and lead to dependence. Research studies (Iffland & Grotenherman 2015) have shown that CBD is safe to use for sleep, with no major side effects.
The Bottom Line
If you’re considering a CBD routine to help you sleep, it’s important to determine the dosage that’s right for you. While we recommend starting with 12mg – 20mg twice daily, there is no standard dosage or ‘official serving size’, as it varies based on individual factors mentioned earlier. You will need to adjust your dosage in response to how you are feeling to find the amount and form of CBD that’s right for you. If you are interested in know more about CBD dosage tips and guidelines, we have another blog post on this subject that you can read by clicking here.
Another important factor to consider is the type of CBD you’re using. CBD comes in three primary types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum contains over 120 of naturally-occurring plant compounds found in the hemp plant. Research shows that full-spectrum CBD can offer the maximum potential of benefits because all of the compounds from the plant interact together, referred to as the “entourage effect”.
It’s also important to know that, per a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, different doses of CBD may affect you in different ways. Lower doses can cause feelings of focus and alertness while higher doses may be relaxing.
For many, trouble sleeping goes beyond difficulties letting go of the day and relaxing or getting sustained deep and restful sleep. Many suffer from more severe sleep disorders like insomnia, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. In many cases people struggling with sleep disorders don’t want to resort to medication or intoxicants, leaving them to wonder: can CBD help with sleeping disorders and other serious sleep issues?