Do you want to try CBD oil for your sleep? Check out our ultimate guide on the benefits and drawbacks of using CBD and how can it impact your sleep quality. CBD (cannabidiol) is commonly used to treat sleep symptoms like insomnia. Learn more about cannabinoids, how CBD works, its forms & effects on the body.
CBD Oil for Sleep –
Is it Effective? Is it Safe? Is it Legal?
Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read More Here .
Are you considering using CBD oil for sleep? Do you have questions about safety, effectiveness, and especially, legality?
To start with, we’re assuming it’s legal where you’re from. If you need to double-check, feel free to consult our chart that gives a state-by-state run down or contact your local state or county to find out if it is legal in your area.
There’s been a lot of buzz recently about CBD and cannabis thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp-based CBD with less than 0.3% THC at the federal level.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 14% of Americans say they personally use CBD-based products with 11% of them citing usage for sleep (40% for pain and 20% for anxiety).
As a nurse and health coach, I’ve been very intrigued by the growing research on this plant-based substance and recently decided to try it out myself. The results were very noticeable, and I was surprised by how quickly it took effect. Keep reading to get the full scoop on how to use CBD oil for sleep.
We’ve worked hard to give you the best information you can find. But if you still have questions, we have a growing community waiting to lend an ear.
What Do People Use It For?
How Does It Work To Make You Drowsy?
Can It Impact Sleep Quality?
Can It Treat Insomnia?
Will It Stop Snoring?
CBD vs. Other Sleep Aids
Ask Your Doctor
The Bottom Line
What Is It?
Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) is one of 80 known cannabinoids that is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, this cannabinoid doesn’t produce the same psychoactive “high” that is acquainted with marijuana plants. In the United States, CBD as “hemp oil” is legal as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
Cannabidiol is available as a crystalline isolate, meaning it has been purified to contain only CBD, or as a full-spectrum oil containing a variety of compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils.
It was previously thought that the isolate form was the best choice, but now researchers are investigating something called the “entourage effect” where it is believed that properties found within the whole plant work synergistically to create a compounding effect.
Walking into your local gas station or pet store, you’ll likely notice the wide range of hemp oil products available as pure oils, tinctures, gummies, vapors, and more. Quality and concentration can vary from product to product, so be sure to do your research before buying and check the label for the recommended dosage.
Looking to learn more? Check out our top rated cbd oil guide here.
What Do People Use It For?
CBD has a long history of use dating as far back as 1200 A.D. where an ancient Chinese medical text refers to its benefits for inducing sleep. Many other cultures have been using hemp and cannabis products for years to treat conditions like epilepsy, pain, anxiety, constipation, and more. More recently, a purified form of plant-based CBD called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy.
Let’s take a look at some of the other conditions people are using this oil for:
Chronic pain can be debilitating, impacting the quality of life, the ability to work, social interactions, and sleep. Many over-the-counter and prescription pain medications have a long list of potential side effects and run the risk of developing tolerance and dependency.
Certain types of pain including cancer-associated pain, neuropathic pain, and central pain states (associated with multiple sclerosis) are often difficult to treat with traditional opiates, anticonvulsant drugs, and antidepressants. Medical marijuana is available in some states with a prescription and is commonly used for treating chronic pain and several other conditions.
Recent research has supported the use of cannabis for treating pain from a variety of conditions, and one study of 177 cancer patients found that patients who used a combination of CBD/THC had a 30% greater reduction in pain compared to placebo, whereas those who used THC alone saw no effect.
Learn More: How to Cope With Pain and Sleep
Anxiety rates have been rising rapidly, and many people suffering from various forms of anxiety have turned to cannabis for relief. Unfortunately, anxiety may be a risk factor for dependency in some and the use of this psychoactive drug could also make users more likely to develop anxiety. Conversely, cannabidiol has been shown some promise in the treatment of anxiety.
Preclinical evidence has found that cannabidiol may be a safe and effective way to manage anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. A study conducted at a psychiatric clinic looking at the use of CBD for anxiety and sleep found a reduction in anxiety scores in 79.2% of patients and an improvement in sleep scores in 66.7% of patients within the first month of treatment.
Want to know more? Read our full guide for sleeping through anxiety.
Mental illness impacts people of every age, race, gender, and socioeconomic class. Treatment may involve the use of medications or non-pharmacological options. Some of these treatments may produce unwanted side effects, impact sleep, cause weight gain, or interact with other medications, and scientists are always looking for safer treatment alternatives.
A systematic review looking at a total of 1,629 patients with conditions including Alzheimer’s disorder/dementia, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, ADHD, Tourette’s disorder, substance use disorder, and others found that treatment with cannabis was associated with improvements in several symptoms of mental disorders, but not complete remission.
Some animal studies have found that CBD may interact with serotonin receptors in the brain with similar effects to antidepressants. More research is needed in humans, but preliminary evidence is promising. Sleep disorders are much more common in individuals suffering from mental health conditions, so it is possible that effectively treating one could improve the other.
CBD Oil Dosage For Sleep
In recent years, the use of marijuana and CBD for the treatment of a variety of conditions has risen significantly. Specifically, CBD has been found to have potential health benefits for symptoms like insomnia. Here’s a little background on what CBD is and how it impacts your sleep and body.
What Are Cannabinoids and CBD?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that bind or attach to certain receptors in the central nervous system and act as chemical messengers. Depending on the specific cannabinoid, it may have varied effects on the body.
The most well-known and probably most researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We know that THC is the cannabinoid that leads to the “buzz or high” from cannabis use.
CBD differs from THC and does not cause psychoactive effects or a “high.” Because it does not cause the psychoactive effects and it might help certain conditions, such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia, CBD is gaining traction as a possible treatment for several diseases.
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How Do CBD and Cannabinoids Work?
Not everything is completely understood about how cannabinoids (including CBD) work. What we do know from research is that CBD and cannabinoids interact with proteins and cells in the brain. A relatively newly discovered system may also hold some answers.
The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
Additionally, CBD may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can both interfere with restful sleep. By reducing certain symptoms, it’s also possible that sleep may improve.
What Does the Research Say About CBD?
Although more studies need to be performed, some research supports the theory that CBD and cannabinoids may improve sleep. This study published in the journal, Medicines, involved 409 people with insomnia. Data was collected from June 2016 to May 2018. Participants rated their symptoms of insomnia on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe. Starting symptoms were rated 6.6 on average.
The participants were treated using the cannabis flower with varied combustion methods including vape, pipe, and joint. THC potency on average was 20 percent and limited to 30 percent. CBD potency was on average 5.7 percent and limited to 30 percent. After using cannabis, participants rated symptoms on average to be 2.2, which was a decrease of 4.5.
The results indicated the cannabinoids in cannabis decreased symptoms of insomnia. But the study involved using the cannabis flower, which contains several cannabinoids. It’s difficult to determine if relief from insomnia was due to CBD or another cannabinoid.
In another study published in the Permanente Journal, 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were involved. The participants completed anxiety and sleep assessments at the start of the study and at the first-month follow up. Study participants were given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form. Those that predominantly had sleep complaints took the dose in the evening. Participants that had anxiety as their predominant complaint took CBD in the morning.
After the first month, anxiety scores decreased in 79 percent of the people. Sleep scores improved in 66 percent of the participants, which indicated less trouble sleeping. The results suggest that CBD decreased sleep difficulties in many of the participants. But while the decrease in anxiety symptoms remained steady for the duration of the study, the sleep scores fluctuated over time.
Several smaller studies have also supported the use of CBD oil to improve sleep. For example, a case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. A trial of 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. An additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given via a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety. Sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over five months.
Though there is plenty of supporting evidence that shows CBD and cannabinoids can improve sleep, the results are not conclusive and more research needs to be done.
Forms of CBD
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and known as CBD oil. But it can be a little complicated. CBD may be extracted from either the marijuana or hemp plant, which are both strains of the Cannabis sativa plant. But they are harvested differently. Hemp comes from the seeds and stalks of the plant, which contains less THC than marijuana.
Because the THC content in CBD oil may vary, depending on the state it’s sold, there may be restrictions. For example, in some states, CBD oil is sold legally if all of the THC is removed. If CBD oil still contains THC or other cannabinoids, it may only be sold in states that have legalized marijuana use.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may need a doctor’s prescription for CBD oil. But laws continue to change quickly, so in the near future, it may be different.
CBD oil can be placed under the tongue. It may also be infused in different products including the following;
- Edibles: Various types of edibles infused with CBD oil are available including gummy bears, cakes, and cookies. Edibles usually list the concentration of CBD in milligrams.
- Vaporing: CBD extract can be used in a vaporizer or vape pen. As the extract heats up, it creates a vapor that is inhaled.
- Tinctures: CBD also comes in tinctures. A few drops of the liquid can be added to drinks.
CBD oil is available in different concentrations. Since research is ongoing, the exact dose to treat sleep issues may not be fully known. It might take some trial and error to determine what works best.
Because there are so many different ways to ingest CBD, there are tons of CBD products to choose from. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are the CBD products we recommend to try if you want to improve your sleep.
Overall, there is scientific research that supports the theory that there are CBD health benefits. While more research needs to be done, the use of CBD can potentially decrease your symptoms of insomnia and help you get more quality sleep. If you struggle with sleep issues, the best first step is to consult your doctor and learn more about causes and treatments.