Will CBD help you sleep?
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- What is CBD and how does it work?
- How does CBD make you feel?
- Does CBD oil make you tired?
- CBD vs. THC for sleep
- What effect does CBD oil have on sleep disorders?
- What are the other potential benefits of CBD?
- Bottom line
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.
One possible alternative to these medications is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. It is currently trending as a sleep aid as many are discovering that it promotes drowsiness by removing obstacles to sleep, such as anxiety. But are there scientific grounds to believe that CBD can actually support and bolster more healthful sleep? Weedmaps spoke with four experts to find out.
What is CBD and how does it work?
While we have some understanding of how CBD interacts with the body, there is still much to learn.
“CBD itself doesn’t do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors but instead promotes the binding of the endocannabinoids already in our systems,” Drew Ford, Chief Science Officer at Kase Manufacturing, a cannabis extraction facility, told Weedmaps. “It ensures they bind to the receptors that they’re supposed to go to.”
Research suggests that CBD may act on serotonin receptors, prompting the release of endocannabinoids. Serotonin is also one of the most important neurotransmitters for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Endocannabinoid receptors affect the entire body. According to Dr. Thinh Vo, Director of Quality and Compliance at Koi CBD, cannabidiol indirectly has an impact on receptors that send information between “the cells in the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems to regulate biological processes.”
Evidence from a study published in Translational Psychiatry also suggests that CBD inhibits the uptake of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid that is often referred to as the “bliss molecule.” Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, just like CBD. When CBD occupies those receptors instead, anandamide’s pleasant effects may last longer.
How does CBD make you feel?
When it comes to how CBD products will make you feel, the answer will depend largely on individual-specific factors.
“Each person’s reactions to CBD are unique,” Vo told Weedmaps News. “Reactions to CBD are also affected by other variables such as delivery method, whether the person is taking existing medications/supplements, and whether the product is an isolate or a spectrum oil.”
Vo points out that terpenes present in CBD oil also influence the individual’s response. “We know that terpenes play an essential role in determining the strain and influencing a sedative effect, energetic effect, or combination of both,” he explained.
CBD may diminish the anxiety that can render it challenging to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Per a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, when administered at different doses, CBD may provoke distinctive responses. Low doses may cause someone to feel energized and alert, while higher doses may be relaxing and encourage drowsiness. CBD is frequently anecdotally reported to alleviate anxiety.
“CBD is an anxiolytic, which means that it reduces anxiety and is calming,” explains Dr. Elaine Burns, a naturopathic doctor who is CEO and founder of Dr. Burns’ ReLeaf. “In addition, it helps to relax the muscles. These two properties both contribute to a feeling of relaxation in the mind and body.”
Does CBD oil make you tired?
As to whether CBD oil can cause tiredness, expert opinions appear to be mixed. “There is no true clinical evidence to support CBD as a sleep aid. CBD oil itself should not make a person drowsy,” Ford said.
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.”
Dr. Patricia Frye, a board-certified cannabis clinician and Chief Medical Officer at HelloMD, pointed out that there is evidence that high doses of CBD can modulate adenosine pathways in the brain. “Adenosine is the substance that accumulates during the day and deactivates the sensory neurons in the area of the brain that keeps us awake.”
CBD may trigger tiredness or a sleep response through its reported effects on the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD may also trigger tiredness or a sleep response through its reported effects on the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors, as observed in a study published in the medical journal Pain. “When binding to the 5-HT1a receptors, CBD essentially blocks those receptors from other agonists binding to them,” Ford explained. “Depending on the individual’s body chemistry, when CBD binds to these receptors it can essentially block the anxiety or depression-causing molecules, leading to immediate relief.” As a result, some individuals may feel a sensation of sleepiness.
CBD vs. THC for sleep
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.
THC isn’t necessarily more effective than CBD as a sleep aid. An individual’s body chemistry affects how he or she responds to THC, and for some, it may be counterproductive if they’re looking for deep slumber. Ford explained that while the “psychoactivity of THC” can lead to drowsiness, it can also cause the mind to race, ultimately concluding that “it really depends on what symptoms you are trying to overcome and what works best for your own body.”
Burns agrees, adding that THC can also cause anxiety and restlessness at doses higher than 10 milligrams. “Because of this, I would say that CBD is a better sleep aid for most people; however, dosing less than 10 milligrams of THC along with 20 milligrams or more of CBD could be a great combination.”
CBN, the cannabinoid into which THC transforms when exposed to heat and light, may have more sedative effects. One analysis by Steep Hill Labs found that five milligrams of CBN was as effective as a 10-milligram dose of diazepam, a member of the “benzo” family used to treat muscle spasms, seizures, and anxiety. Thus, it’s likely that consuming older cannabis will have more sedative, sleep-inducing effects than fresher flower with less CBN present.
What effect does CBD oil have on sleep disorders?
Although more studies on CBD and sleep disorders need to be conducted, Vo pointed to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, which returns more than 100 results for a search of CBD and sleep. The articles include studies and reviews of previous research, mostly conducted on animal models, which may overlap. A 2019 review of the use of CBD and THC for sleep indicates that cannabinoids may improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Cannabinoids may improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, or reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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.”
What are the other potential benefits of CBD?
As CBD interacts with the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems, it may also offer benefits for a gamut of conditions. An in-vitro study published in the European Journal of Pain suggests that CBD reduced evidence of pain and inflammation behaviors in rats, while another study published in Ingenta Connect found that CBD exhibited anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects in animal models. Too, CBD shows promise in reducing epilepsy-induced seizures and some types of muscle spasms, as shown in this in-vivo study published in The Lancet Neurology and this pilot patient study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
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.
There is some evidence that CBD may reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calm and relaxation, which could lead to better sleep in some people.
However, there is presently little clinical research on human subjects specifically investigating the effects of CBD on sleep disorders. Possibly, future studies will enhance our understanding of CBD, its mechanisms, and its role in sleep regulation.
Will CBD help you sleep? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD and how does it work? How does CBD make you feel? Does CBD oil make
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
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.
As CBD has become more widely available, more people have started to integrate it into their daily lives, particularly to see if CBD can help them sleep. At Champions + Legends we take the science of CBD seriously. We get these types of questions a lot and we’re here to help you answer the question: does CBD make you sleepy? Furthermore, can CBD oil help you sleep better and more deeply?
Introduction to CBD
CBD is one of one of at least 120 identified plant compounds, known generally as cannabinoids, which exist in the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you “high” like THC does. Instead, it has shown a variety of health benefits without causing negative effects in most.
CBD works by interacting with receptors in the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help enhance its responses to factors such as stress, pain, inflammation, and fatigue. A few potential benefits of CBD include:
- Supporting healthy sleep cycles
- Helps with managing and recovering from inflammation and pain
- Improved blood flow and circulation
- Relief from everyday stress
- Sense of calm or focus
- Improved athletic performance
Does CBD make you sleepy?
As to whether CBD oil can make you sleepy, it’s still open for discussion. Although more research is needed to definitely answer whether or not there is a direct link between CBD and feeling sleepy, research has shown that CBD can support better sleep.
Feelings of relaxation and the diminished anxiety brought on by a regular evening CBD routine can be effective as a sleep aid for people seeking to calm down and relax before bed.
Does CBD make you sleepy during the day?
No research has shown that that CBD makes you sleepy during the day. CBD’s ability to support feelings of calm can lead to improved focus and well being, whether you’re gearing up for a big day at work or preparing for athletic training or competition.
Studies (Blessing et al, 2015; Berger et al, 2009) show that CBD’s anxiety-reducing properties make it a useful tool to manage stress levels, boost focus, and improve mental clarity, all without experiencing drowsiness or lethargy. CBD also supports increased serotonin levels in the brain and can help decrease levels of cortisol, a natural byproduct of stress that can have harmful effects on the body.
CBD vs THC for Sleep
Some cannabis users depend on THC as a sleep aid, however, evidence suggests that CBD has definite advantages over THC (and other sleep aids) when it comes to helping you get a good night’s rest. CBD does not have intoxicating properties like THC, so it won’t cause any negative effects like excessive sedation, drowsiness or feelings of fatigue.
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.
THC can also have other negative effects on sleep cycles as well. According to a 2008 study (Schierenbeck et al, 2008) ingesting marijuana strains with higher levels of THC typically reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. This is key because REM sleep is extremely important for healthy cognitive and immune functioning, and ultimately using THC as a sleep aid could impair your sleep quality over the long term.
Can CBD help with sleeping disorders?
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?
In addition to supporting better sleep in general, CBD has shown to be a great option for many people with sleep disorders. Because CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system (responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, within the body), it can help regulate sleep patterns and support the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
A 2019 study (Shannon et al, 2019) showed that CBD can also serve as a natural solution to combat insomnia, helping individuals fall asleep. The research also demonstrated that CBD helped reduce the number of instances of waking up and other night time disturbances.
How does CBD make you feel?
Overall, your response to CBD will depend largely on factors that are specific to you. This includes your body type, weight, gender, and metabolism. Additionally, the effects of CBD can be influenced by other variables including how you consume CBD (such as ingesting oil or applying a topical to your skin) as well as existing medications or supplements you may be taking.
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”.
Other types of CBD include broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum contains most of the other cannabinoids and compounds within the plant, with the exception of THC, which is removed after the initial extraction.
CBD isolate is the most simple form of CBD and results from the removal of all of the plant compounds found in hemp except for just CBD. While some people prefer these forms of CBD because they do not include THC, they’re commonly seen as less effective than full-spectrum CBD because they do not benefit fully from the “entourage effect” mentioned earlier.
With this in mind, some of the ways CBD can affect your body and make you feel include:
- Feeling relaxed
- Sense of calm and focus
- Decreased anxiety
- Sense of improved well being
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.
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.
The Bottom Line
In order to answer the question “Does CBD make you sleepy?” you need to understand how CBD works within the body and the factors which affect how you will respond to it.
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, 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.
As with any supplement or nutrition product you’re considering adding to your regular routine, consider speaking to a health professional first./p>
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 thos