21 things for you to know about cbd and sleep
are you sleeping on cbd? the secret is out and cbd oil is gaining traction as an all around natural health remedy - sleep is just one of those areas in which there are claims about cbd’s effectiveness. there are a lot of reasons for that, as our bodies are made up of an interconnected web of systems that work together to make life happen, even if we sometimes don’t feel that way.
luckily, cbd oil may be able to help bring out our best selves in all areas of life, while both awake and asleep. if you’ve been wanting to know more on cbd and sleeping, then you’ve landed in the right place. we’ve compiled a list of 21 pieces of information related to cbd and sleep to serve as your ultimate resource.
cbd doesn’t directly make you sleepy
while cbd oil does not have sedative effects on the body, it is calming and relaxing, and it is absolutely possible for somebody to mistake that as feeling tired. it is also possible for those effects to result in a person feeling more readily able to fall asleep.
in fact, small doses of cbd can actually increase a person’s alertness according to a brazilian study conducted in 2008. on the other hand, high doses of cbd may result in drowsiness as a side effect in some users, and it’s good to pay attention to how your body reacts to different dosage sizes when taking cbd.
cbd has been shown to be effective at improving symptoms of insomnia
insomnia can stem from many places, and may often be traced back to a multitude of sources. stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and even chemicals like caffeine, sugars, alcohol, or nicotine are among the more prominent contributors towards insomnia, and cbd may be helpful at combating these effects.
cbd can regulate sleep stability by acting on the cb1 receptors inside the endocannabinoid system (ecs). interestingly, the opposite effect occurs when these cb1 receptors are blocked. clinical trials on cb1 antagonists (which block cb1 receptors) resulted in commonly-reported sleep disturbances. even worse, these trials were eventually terminated due to increased depression, anxiety, and cases of suicide that were associated with these cb1 antagonist drugs.
taking cbd consistently is important
taking cbd regularly on a daily basis, either once or multiple times per day may help maintain and balance the ecs, which in turn is responsible for maintaining many balancing processes within our bodies. additionally, regular consumption of cbd helps to maximize its long-term effects.
when you take cbd, you activate the two types of receptors found within the ecs. taking cbd consistently allows for regular activation of the ecs, which may facilitate the natural production of the body’s own cannabinoids (known as endocannabinoids) as well! when this happens, your ecs can regulate itself more easily, creating the potential for it to carry out its own regulatory properties much the same as the rest of your body.
cbd addresses the source of sleep issues, not their symptoms
as we know, the ecs has a regulatory role within our bodies. one such chemical it regulates is cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone in the psychology world. stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia, and science has shown that exposure to chronic stress reliably causes a loss of cb1 receptors in almost every brain region examined. it is also believed that the blockade of the cb1 receptors may directly increase cortisol levels.
our bodies create two types of endocannabinoids. one of them is known as anandamide (AEA), and a decline in its production leads to a stress response in the body. by regulating cortisol, cbd may be effective at lowering stress levels, allowing you to relax and shut off. furthermore, the ecs has receptors throughout nearly our entire body, which means it can address the matter on a body-wide scale.
this is different from how sleeping pills work. broadly known as sedative hypnotics, these medications can be further sub-classified into categories such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants, just to name a few, though some herbal remedies such as valerian root, melatonin, and kava may also be loosely included. many sleeping pills, whether over the counter or prescription, often work by activating or blocking certain receptors in the brain to slow down the nervous system.
while sedative hypnotics may be effective by addressing the symptoms related to sleep, these pills bring about no long-term solution. worse, many may bring with them detrimental side effects. on the other hand, cbd’s regulatory properties can also further promote balance within your body; and when everything is balanced, your body is in a better state to rest. generally speaking, a healthier lifestyle will result in better sleep, and cbd can help promote that in ways that other medications likely cannot.
cbd can help you sleep even if you take it during the day
because of cbd’s homeostatic properties, taking it regularly, even during the day, can help promote a more balanced sleep cycle. the endocannabinoid system helps regulate the sleep cycle, which helps maintain the body’s 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm.
of course, it makes sense if you are taking cbd for sleep that the logical time to do so would be at night, before going to bed. we aren’t here to argue that, either, especially if you can find drops with other naturally-calming ingredients that can work alongside cbd to help promote sleep. however, each individual may experience a different rate of absorption, so one person may find that taking cbd oil 30 minutes before bed is ideal while another person’s magic number may be up to two hours before bed.
much the same, taking cbd at another time of the day, such as morning or afternoon may also work best for some people. others may even space their doses out, taking smaller doses of cbd at a time, but doing so multiple times throughout the day. ultimately, the premise remains the same: the goal is for our ecs to be activated and working properly, so that it can communicate with the other systems in our body to ensure all other processes are functioning correctly. no matter the time of day, cbd brings that potential to the table.
cbd is safe, legal, and non-habit forming
cbd comes from cannabis, and it is 100% nontoxic. furthermore, cbd oil derived from american-grown hemp is also legal in all 50 states. it is non-habit forming and completely safe without potential for abuse, unlike many other medications meant to alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, and so on.
much like stress, pain is another primary cause of insomnia. pain medications also exist that are meant to be taken at night, such as advil pm. these medications work on pain and inflammation by blocking the body’s secretion of hormones known as prostaglandins, effectively telling the body not to produce a given symptom. however, that symptom came from somewhere, and the cause of that symptom will have failed to be addressed.
over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen also bring with them potential for overdose with potentially fatal consequences, and long-term side effects include heart attack, stroke, decreased kidney function, and liver failure. cbd is objectively safer than many pain and sleep medications, and may be just as effective, if not more for a given condition.
cbd can help increase overall quality of sleep
another byproduct of cbd’s ability to regulate your body’s sleep cycle is its potential to increase quality of sleep. even beyond falling and staying asleep, a higher quality of restful sleep may bring about reduced stress levels, improved alertness, and memory function during waking hours.
if you are a cannabis user of the variety that has more than 0.3% thc (aka ‘marijuana’), you should also know that thc has its own set of circumstances. thc is known to exhibit sedative effects, potentially even in small doses. many people also use thc to help them sleep, and it has been shown to increase stage 4 sleep, the deepest and final stage of sleep before entering rem sleep, where you dream. with that being said, thc also inhibits rem sleep.
regardless, you may find thc also helps you sleep if you are unable to do so (and of course, if you can legally obtain it recreationally or through a medical recommendation). at the end of the day, it’s important to at least be in the know on how cbd and thc may interact so that you can make the most informed decisions you can. (remember, we aren’t medical professionals: if you do have more specific questions, you may want to ask your doctor.)
the entourage effect: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
the entourage effect plays a huge role in cbd’s effectiveness when it comes to sleep. cbd is just one of hundreds of compounds found inside the cannabis plant, and it can be even more effective when consumed in conjunction with the plant’s other naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes.
cbd is classified as a cannabinoid, much like thc, and these are the two primary cannabinoids found inside cannabis. however, there are other compounds called terpenes present in cannabis, and in all plant life on earth, that are also responsible for many plants’ non-psychoactive effects. if you’ve heard of chamomile and lavender having calming properties or peppermint helping to ease an upset stomach, that’s the result of terpenes in action.
cannabis has one of the highest concentrations of terpenes out of all plants on earth, and different strains exhibit different ratios of these terpenes. some terpenes such as linalool, terpineol, myrcene, and limonene may have therapeutic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and/or pain-relieving effects when consumed, whether through the cannabis plant or the hundreds of other plants where they naturally occur.
individual body chemistry affects cbd oil’s relationship to sleep
when it comes to sleep, individual body chemistry plays a huge role in how cbd oil will interact with your body. different people experience different results, and variables such as dosage size, method of administration, and time of day also factor into the overall picture.
luckily, we’ve already learned that cbd is safe, nontoxic, and non habit-forming. therefore, if you find that your relationship with cbd oil is not as desired, you may want to experiment with how much you are taking, how often you are taking it, or the way in which you are consuming cbd oil. edibles, topicals, and tinctures may work in different ways for different people, so the only way to find out what works for you may just be to try out these various methods.
the type of cbd matters when taking it for sleep
cbd is marketed as an isolate, full spectrum, or broad spectrum. isolate is solely the cannabidiol (cbd) compound, while full and broad spectrum cbd oil retain all of the other compounds as well as cbd, and their differences can result in different results and varying levels of effectiveness.
have you ever seen some product claim that it is the purest form of cbd on the market (or internet)? those claims often accompany cbd isolate products, and companies do that because the finished product is nothing but cannabidiol. however, the aforementioned entourage effect renders such a “pure” substance to likely be suboptimal.
enter full and broad spectrum tinctures. full spectrum tinctures contain all of the other compounds within the cannabis plant, including thc, which is found in trace amounts (less than 0.3%) in hemp.
while full spectrum tinctures can engage the entourage effect, it can also be accomplished removing the thc entirely as long as all other compounds are kept intact. this is known as broad spectrum; and broad spectrum tinctures provide all of the benefits of the entourage effect with zero thc involvement, whatsoever. the entourage effect further engages the ecs, which then enables the ecs to work its magic on your sleep cycle through its homeostatic properties. could be good to use graphic from research page
how you take cbd can affect sleep, too
it is important to remember when taking cbd to help with sleep that the method of ingestion also plays a role. taking cbd oil via sublingual drops or through vaping will result in more rapid absorption than consumption through any edible or topical form, and it’s good to think about this ahead of time.
in other words, knowing how long cbd takes to work on your body can help you work backwards from a targeted sleep time in order to find a potentially optimal time in order to take cbd to help you sleep. but we also know from this article that plenty of other factors can also contribute to helping sleep, including taking cbd regularly, potentially at any time of the day, and ideally doing so with sublingual, broad spectrum cbd drops.
dosage size of cbd also affects sleep
small doses of cbd oil have displayed short-term energizing effects on many users. therefore, microdosing cbd oil right before bed may display the opposite effect from what is desired, despite still contributing to the long-term regulatory benefits that cbd oil brings about.
on the other hand, large doses of cbd may result in drowsiness as a side effect, though cbd’s other calming and relaxing effects will also likely contribute to that perceived feeling. while cbd could potentially be used in high doses for an urgent situation, it should be looked at as a long-term endeavor, much the same as all other aspects of one’s health.
cbd can help facilitate a properly-regulated ecs, which can have long-term benefits throughout all realms of our being. if that sounds a little far-fetched, just think about the fact that the ecs exists in all vertebrates and began to develop more than 500 million years ago. because of this, it has grown concurrently inside life as evolution has occurred and thus, cannabinoid receptors can be found in just about every part of our bodies.
sleep better, live better with cbd
taking cbd for sleep can also lead to better focus, energy, and alertness during waking hours. it is believed the endocannabinoid system’s primary function is to maintain homeostasis within the body, meaning a well-tuned ecs may contribute to a higher quality of living, whether asleep or awake.
a good night’s sleep is as important to our well-being as eating healthy and getting proper exercise, and maintaining our natural sleep patterns are a big part of that. good sleep is linked to increased concentration, productivity, athletic performance, and immune function. it can also be linked to decreased inflammation and lower levels of depression, heart disease, and stroke.
cbd can contribute to that due to the homeostatic role of the ecs within our body, helping our entire sleep-wake cycle and all aspects of it.
cbd may reduce the effects associated with lack of sleep
by helping to regulate the body’s sleep cycle and increase quality of sleep, cbd can also work to mitigate the effects associated with lack of sleep, including mood changes, memory issues and decreased cognitive function, high blood pressure, and risk of heart disease.
cbd may help not only with regards to falling asleep, but also in staying asleep. this lack of sleep disruption can lead to more sustained, rest-inducing sleep, and it may even help in the short term at combating the effects of not getting enough sleep.
it is also worth mentioning again that regular cbd consumption will ultimately be beneficial in the long run, meaning these short-term effects should ultimately be just that: short term. over time, this should pave way to cbd’s long-term regulatory and homeostatic effects bringing about a more regulated sleep cycle.
cbd could help with sleep apnea and snoring
everyone snores from time to time, but those with obstructive sleep apnea (where breathing may literally stop for short periods of time) could experience more severe consequences. cbd may protect the brain from the effects of obstructive sleep apnea, helping result in a better night’s sleep.
obstructive sleep apnea can cause nighttime sweating and abrupt awakenings, potentially while choking or gasping for air. it can also lead to high blood pressure, headaches, daytime sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating during the day. a recent study is believed to link cbd to helping the body and brain deal with the effects of sleep apnea.
cbd’s pain-killing effects may also lead to better sleep
pain and sleep are a double-edged sword. not only is pain one of the leading causes of insomnia, but it also further hinders the body’s ability to heal. cbd has been shown to display powerful painkilling properties, and may help with both falling asleep and having unbroken sleep throughout the night.
cbd also has a holistic relationship with pain mitigation: our bodies’ ecs has two types of cannabinoid receptors. cb1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, and they play an active role in pain sensation; cb2 receptors are also important, as they can help regulate immune function and fight inflammation, which can result in pain.
the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that one may experience from taking cbd oil also further promote a calming and relaxing state, which may be all you need to make your pain manageable enough to fall asleep and let the healing begin.
cbd might help with pregnancy-induced insomnia
sleep issues related to pregnancy can be linked to pain, nausea, stress, or further-exacerbated symptoms for preexisting insomnia. while you should always consult with your doctor before taking cbd for any pregnancy-related symptoms, cbd might be beneficial in helping you get the rest you deserve.
there has not been much research conducted on the relationship between cbd and pregnant women. however, the world health organization has stated that cbd has a good safety profile and is generally well tolerated, with no evidence of any public health related problems associated with the use of pure cbd (?).
cbd may aid sleep as a secondary side effect for another disorder
it is possible for anxiety, bipolar, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorders to also inhibit one’s ability to sleep. while cbd cannot directly cure mental disorders, taking it regularly may help calm users in a manner that allows for them to fall asleep.
one study out of the university of tel aviv in israel was conducted on children with autism to see whether cbd could help with autism-related symptoms such as aggression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. all results showed significant improvement, and sleep displayed the most prominent scores of all, with 71% of all children who participated.
furthermore, cbd has been shown to reduce convulsions, seizures, and muscle spasms. it may also exhibit antipsychotic effects that could reduce the manic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. all of this could also contribute to better conditions for one to sleep.
concerning clean cbd and sleep
if you’re taking cbd for sleep, you want to make sure that you are actually taking cbd. one benefit to buying cbd online is that you can confirm if it has been third-party lab tested. a lower potency could result in improper dosage, and worse, any impurities could be detrimental to your health.
you also want to make sure your cbd comes from american-grown hemp flower that is organically grown. doing so ensures it is legal to purchase and consume, and should eliminate the risk of the cbd oil being contaminated by toxins such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals. (still, the proof is in the lab test!)
as we know, cbd comes from the cannabis plant. when cannabis grows, it has the ability to absorb everything in its soil. if cbd is grown organically in healthy soil, this is great. unfortunately, the converse works too, and there is a lot of chinese-grown hemp being illegally imported and used in cbd drops that could be contaminated.
the last you should be losing more sleep over is whether or not you are poisoning your body with what is supposed to be safe, all-natural drops. heavy metal poisoning can lead to nausea, confusion, diarrhea, permanent nerve damage, chronic pain, and even death. we want to see you thriving, and a simple lab test conducted by an independent third party can save you a lot of potential damage.
be aware of how other medications interact with sleep and cbd
when your body uses cbd, one byproduct is the inhibition of an enzyme known as cytochrome p450. this inhibition can cause medications such as antibiotics, blood thinners, and immunosuppressants to exhibit adverse side effects as a result of the body metabolizing these medications at a slower rate.
consumption of grapefruit may also lead to this effect, and grapefruit warnings exist on many medications. if you see this warning on a medication, you should check with your doctor to see if it also applies towards taking cbd oil. even if you are taking a medication that does not have a grapefruit warning, it is always best to discuss all possibilities with a medical professional in order to make sure there is nothing further preventing cbd oil from cooperating with your body.
medical claims regarding cbd and sleep
any medical or therapeutic claims about the efficacy of cbd with regards to sleep must be made by a medical professional. while evidence grows to support cbd’s effectiveness towards a wide range of ailments, none of this information should be taken as any form of legal or medical recommendation.
we cannot stress enough that you always check with your doctor if you have specific questions about how cbd may interact with you, help you, etc. this goes for physical and medical ailments, whether related to sleep or anything else.
with that being said, we hope that this article serves as a source of valuable information that has educated you on everything we could think of related to cbd and sleep. here’s to many nights of restful sleep!