If you have difficulty sleeping, you’re not alone. In the United States, more than 3 million people are afflicted with issues sleeping, whether that’s trouble falling asleep initially, tossing and turning, difficulty staying asleep, or even a more severe sleep-related issue. Similarly, 80 percent of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week, according to Consumer Reports.
A lack of sleep can cause anxiety, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, and so many more unpleasant symptoms, so it’s only natural that you’d want to check out your options. How can you fall asleep faster? Stay asleep better? Many people have been wondering if CBD oil for sleep is the best option.
Want to know if CBD oil for sleep is right for you? Keep reading!
Is CBD Safe?
First, let’s start with what we know about CBD. While CBD has been taking off ever since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, there is still a lot of confusion about what CBD actually is and what it does. Is CBD the same thing as hemp? Is it FDA-approved? Can it cause liver damage? Most importantly and universally: Is it safe?
The safety of CBD is currently up in the air, with not even the Food and Drug Administration understanding the full long-term effects of CBD oil. To glean more accurate data about the symptoms and long-term effects of CBD, we need longer-term studies. Only then will we understand more about its potential risks, side effects, and medical implications.
According to the FDA’s website, “CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.” The site also states that CBD can cause liver injury, affect the metabolism of other drugs, and that use of CBD with alcohol or other depressants increases risk of sedation and drowsiness.
How Does CBD Impact Sleep?
In the meantime, people have still been turning to CBD as a catch-all for many different ailments, including anxiety, depression, and various sleep disorders. According to Consumer Reports, some recent research suggests that CBD can work efficiently as a sleep aid. You may have heard through the grapevine that cannabis has been used for centuries as a sleep aid; so, it stands to reason that since CBD is derived from cannabis, that it, too, could function similarly, promoting sleep.
Also known as cannabidiol, a recent Consumer Reports survey shows that 10 percent of Americans who tried CBD for sleep said it helped them. In fact, according to data from a very recent study, CBD can help people struggling with short-term sleep problems. Of course, research on the relationship between CBD and sleep is still lacking and more long-term studies are required, but for now, this is what the most recent study tells us.
Here’s how it (maybe) works: CBD has those cannabis-given properties that ease both anxiety and pain. (To get more technical for a second, the cannabinoid receptor — CBD1 — binds to serotonin receptors, which cause sleepiness. As they bind, CBD may block anything that causes anxiety, causing you to feel sleepy.)
When you’re calm, it’s more likely that you fall asleep easier and quicker than if you are experiencing pain or anxiety. Without the presence of anxiety and pain, it might be easier to fall and stay asleep.
According to the study, CBD interacts with receptors in the brain that influence the body’s sleep and wake cycle. It states, “Preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may decrease sleep latency but could impair sleep quality long-term.” Meaning that CBD might be even better for sleep than cannabis itself — at least in the long-term.
However, there’s still a lot of unknown information regarding timing, dosing, risk, and potential side effects when using CBD as a sleep aid.
Does CBD Oil Make You Sleepy?
While CBD can be used as a sleep aid in people who are struggling with sleep-related issues, CBD oil should not make you sleepy… At least not immediately. Unlike other sleep aids — like melatonin or say, Benadryl, which has a decorated track record of making people drowsy — CBD may help you fall asleep if you are in an environment that lends itself to sleep.
However, CBD is totally safe to take during the daytime; it should not make you drowsy unless you are ready for bed, it’s late, and you intend to use it as a sleep aid. You can operate heavy machinery while taking CBD and there is no legal limit for CBD levels.
Do CBD Pills Make You Sleepy?
Just as with CBD oil, CBD pills should not cause immediate drowsiness. If you are using CBD pills specifically as a sleep aid, then CBD might help you fall (and stay) asleep. However, you should be able to take CBD pills during the day, while operating heavy machinery, and not worry about accidentally falling asleep.
Can CBD Cause Sleepwalking?
If you are worried about CBD causing sleepwalking, you shouldn’t be. In fact, the same 2017 review found that CBD could specifically help people with a REM sleep behavior disorder. These disorders are characterized by people moving, talking, or sleepwalking while fully asleep.
Does CBD Work for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea affects 1 in 5 American adults and what’s worse — there are currently no drugs on the market to treat sleep apnea effectively. Right now, the main “solution” for those struggling with sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, a bulky mask that has to be worn during sleep. However, CBD might be the golden ticket to peaceful sleeping for sleep apnea sufferers. According to that same review from 2017, CBD can help people with REM sleep behavior disorders — such as sleep apnea — both fall and stay asleep.
It states, “Novel studies investigating cannabinoids and obstructive sleep apnea suggest that synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone and dronabinol may have short-term benefit for sleep apnea due to their modulatory effects on serotonin-mediated apneas.”
That’s not all CBD may be good for, though. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD or night terrors, CBD might also be able to help with that, as well. And of course, we already know that many people who experience chronic pain have been hailing CBD for its healing properties, too. So, if chronic pain is keeping you up or waking you up at night, CBD could comfort you.
CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness, while nabilone may reduce nightmares associated with PTSD and may improve sleep among patients with chronic pain.”
Does CBD Worsen Sleep Apnea?
Again, CBD should not make sleep apnea worse, but there is limited research and data on the long-term side effects of taking CBD. According to the limited research available, CBD oil should help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, rather than exacerbate them.
What Dose of CBD Should I Take for Sleep?
CBD comes in many different forms — vape concentrate, edibles, oils and tinctures, and pills and capsules. While there isn’t much verified information in the scientific community about the correct CBD dosage for sleep, dosing relies on several different factors, according to Healthline: your weight, sleeping issues you personally experience, and your body’s personal chemistry.
In most clinical trials involving CBD for sleep, subjects take anywhere between 25 milligrams and 1,500 milligrams of CBD. Of course, if you’ve never taken CBD for sleep before, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start with a lower dose. If it doesn’t work, then you can more safely work your way up to a higher dosage.
One criticism of CBD for sleep is that you should pay attention to its efficacy. CBD for sleep might not work right away. However, over time, taking CBD as a sleep aid could prepare your body more readily for sleep. Some subjects report having to take CBD for close to a month before actually reporting results.
What CBD Oil Is Best for Sleep?
CBD oil is an oversaturated market right now, so you might find it overwhelming to shop for CBD. There’s a lot of unprecedented claims and unverified brands that you have to wade through before finding the right one for you. And what works for someone else, might not work for you either. In short, CBD can be a lot of trial and error.
That being said, one of the best CBD oils for sleep on the market right now is 4 Corners Cannabis Oral Tincture. Specifically designed for promoting sleep, the ingredient list is clean — MCT oil, CBD dominant hemp extract, and orange extract — as well as organic. It’s also grown and made without pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful additives.
Another meaningful choice for sleep is Charlotte’s Web Full Strength CBD Oil. Formulated with more than 80 phytocannabinoids and other plant-based ingredients, this oil is formulated to promote focus and calm, help users manage everyday stress, recover from inflammation, and maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Receptra Naturals Pure Hemp CBD Oil can also help promote sleep. With MCT oil, sunflower oil, hemp extract, and other organic natural flavors, this oil comes in a fresh berry flavor and is locally grown in Colorado. It’s formulated to promote relaxation, balance uneven emotions, improve sleep patterns, and alleviate the pain of muscle aches and soreness.