Using CBD for Better Sleep

We are facing an insomnia epidemic; with roughly 1 out of every 4 adults in the US struggling to fall asleep or sleep soundly most nights, we’re a nation in need of a safe and effective solution.

Modern medicine has options, but these drugs are largely ineffective, expensive, and come with side effects like lethargy the following day and trouble breathing, among others. With ineffective medical options, many people are turning to natural remedies, including herbs, meditation, and more.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, you will find countless people using cannabis as a sleep aid. Unfortunately, while research suggests that marijuana might help initially, habitual use of marijuana or other THC products can actually exacerbate insomnia symptoms.

Despite whole-plant cannabis rich in THC proving ineffective as a long-term sleep aid, another cannabinoid found in cannabis might offer hope: CBD.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD oil is usually extracted from industrial hemp plants, rather than marijuana plants, even though both are cannabis plants.

Hemp plants are those that have less than 0.3% THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. As a general rule, the quantity of CBD and THC in a cannabis plant are inversely related, meaning that plants high in THC are low in CBD, and that plants low in THC are high in CBD. This is why hemp farmers have been able to breed plants with high CBD and low THC, and marijuana farmers have been able to do the opposite.

Because CBD oil is usually extracted from hemp plants, it’s commonly called CBD hemp oil. In recent years, the popularity of CBD products has been quickly rising. This is thanks to many early studies demonstrating far reaching benefits of CBD in the human body, combined with increasing legality throughout the USA.

Learn more about CBD and how it works

Can CBD Oil Help Me Sleep Better?

Research beginning in the 1970s has suggested that CBD may have a unique effect on the sleep-wake cycle in humans. Early human research found 160 mg of CBD was more effective than placebo at improving insomnia symptoms in insomniac patients.

Following this study, there was not much research conducted examining the effects of CBD on sleep for decades, largely due to legal restrictions. Now, researchers are using both human and animal studies to determine what effects CBD may have on our ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and reach deep sleep.

In a 2017 review, researchers concluded that preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may have therapeutic potential for those with sleep disorders. So, how might CBD help us sleep better?

CBD for sleep

1. CBD May Combat Stress and Anxiety

We’ve all had those nights where our minds wouldn’t stop running, hindering our ability to fall asleep. Even when we manage to fall asleep, stress and anxiety can make it hard to fall back asleep if you wake up during the night. With rates of chronic stress and anxiety on the rise, it might not come as a surprise that one of the leading causes of sleep troubles today is stress.

CBD for anxiety is one of the most well-studied areas in regards to CBD and human health, with both preliminary studies and human studies finding anxiolytic benefits of CBD. In a 2019 study, CBD was administered daily to patients suffering from sleep and anxiety complaints. CBD was found to improve anxiety scores as well as sleep scores.

By helping to lessen chronic stress and anxiety, CBD may help those with anxiety-induced sleep troubles fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

2. CBD Could Help Relieve Pain

Pain is another condition that can keep you awake at night for which CBD oil may be able to help. Thus far, there has been no direct research in humans examining CBD-only treatment on pain. However, CBD-only animal studies and human studies using a combination of both CBD and THC have found analgesic properties of CBD.

While more research is needed to determine the exact effects of CBD oil consumption on pain in humans, preliminary research and anecdotal reports give reason for optimism and for future research.  

3. CBD Can Impact Our Sleep-Wake Cycle

You might think that a compound that helps you sleep better would also be one that would make you sleepy if you took it early in the day. Fortunately, this does not appear to be the case with CBD.

In 2006 and 2013, researchers examined the impact of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of rats. Researchers found that CBD can increase alertness during the day while still increasing total sleep time at night.

This dual benefit may be particularly helpful for those who suffer from sleep disorders or who do not get enough sleep. Taking CBD during the day may help to enhance how awake they feel when they need it, while CBD taken later in the day may help increase total sleep time.

CBD Oil Dosage for Sleep

There is no set dosage when it comes to CBD for sleep. Based on the one human experiment examining the effect of CBD on anxiety and insomnia, you may want to start with a dosage of 25 mg/day and increase your dosage if needed from there.

Your personal biology, the product that you’re using, and more can impact how much you need to take, so continue to experiment until you find the dose that works best for you. You can experiment between taking your dosage once per day in the evening to encourage sleep or splitting it between 2 doses, taking ½ in the morning and ½ in the evening.

CBD Side Effects: Will CBD Make Me Sleepy?

When using CBD as a sleep aid, many people will wonder whether it will cause drowsiness. Because CBD is not a sedative, it is unlikely to make you sleepy during the day. Animal research has even found CBD to encourage wakefulness during daylight hours.

Other side effects and drug interactions do exist, so be sure to do your research before adding CBD to your daily supplement regimen.

Final Thoughts

Many people have turned to CBD as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions. When it comes to CBD for sleep, limited human studies and animal research suggests that it might be able to enhance sleep quality. This is not a consequence of sedation, but rather an ability to alter the sleep-wake cycle combined with anxiolytic and analgesic properties.

When shopping for CBD oil, be sure to do your research to find a quality product. At Xwerks, we have a full spectrum CBD oil and CBD oil capsules that have been third party tested to ensure the highest quality.