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Sadly depressed women suffer from insomnia, she sleep in bed and touching her forehead, sleep disorder and stress concept

CBD for Insomnia: Can It Help?

One night spent tossing and turning is bad enough, but imagine night after night of that. Unable to fall asleep, unable to stay asleep; just a constant restlessness no matter what you’ve tried or how tired you are. After enough nights like that, it’s only natural to wonder if perhaps using CBD for insomnia could provide the sleep you’re so desperate to achieve.

What is Insomnia?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes insomnia as a common sleep disorder marked by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting good quality sleep. This could be a short-term condition precipitated by stress or changes in your schedule and environment, or it could be a chronic condition lasting for months on end. What’s worse, insomnia doesn’t just impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. That lack of sleep can also alter your memory, interfere with your ability to concentrate, and increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer 1 Insomnia Insomnia | NHLBI, NIH. (2021). Retrieved 13 January 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/insomnia NHLBI, NIH .

Does CBD for Insomnia Work?

It’s easy to find anecdotal evidence of CBD helping patients with sleep disorders—because cannabidiol acts without the psychoactive components of THC, patients are generally more willing to try it and often report positive results. But the scientific research we have in this area is promising as well, with several studies suggesting CBD could be a viable treatment option for patients struggling with sleep.

This is especially true after a 2018 study analyzed the medicinal properties of the entire cannabis flower and concluded that CBD provided the greatest statistical difference in sleep improvement for patients struggling with insomnia 2 Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., & Hall, B. (2018). Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 75. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030075 Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., & Hall, B. .

What the Research Says About CBD and Sleep

That particular 2018 study involved 409 patients who had been diagnosed with insomnia. They each completed a series of over 1000 medical cannabis administration sessions, in which they reported on their insomnia levels before and following the consumption of cannabis flower delivered through various combustion methods. A mobile software app was used to measure which characteristics of the raw flower were associated most with changes in insomnia rates, with CBD coming out ahead of even THC in terms of those benefits 2 Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., & Hall, B. (2018). Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 75. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030075 Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., & Hall, B. .

Other studies have looked specifically at CBD for insomnia treatment, producing similar results. A review of CBD sleep studies up to 2017, for instance, concluded that CBD showed promise in improving a variety of sleep conditions, including insomnia 3 Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current psychiatry reports, 19(4), 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9 Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. .

In 2019, researchers looked at the potential benefits of CBD for treating anxiety and sleep disturbances. This study included 72 participants with pre-existing anxiety concerns. The patients were each given 25 mg of CBD every day. Patients who complained most about anxiety took CBD capsules in the morning, while those who struggled more with sleep took their dose in the evening. Within the first month of the study, 57 patients reported decreased anxiety, and 48 reported an improvement in sleep 4 ). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041 Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S .

Smaller-scale studies have further shown improvements in sleep scores when CBD is given to patients with trauma histories, including the study of a ten-year-old girl with posttraumatic stress disorder. She had shown some success with pharmaceutical medication, but the results never seemed to last long and involved undesirable side effects. However, providing her with CBD oil resulted in an enduring reduction in anxiety and a steady improvement in both the quality and quantity of her sleep 5 Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente journal, 20(4), 16-005. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005 Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J .

How CBD Works to Improve Sleep

One of the recurring themes in CBD for sleep research is the association between treating both anxiety and sleep. This makes sense, as several research studies have linked sleep disturbances to anxiety and other mental health conditions 6 Insomnia and Relationship with Anxiety in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Designed Study Choueiry, N., Salamoun, T., Jabbour, H., El Osta, N., Hajj, A., & Rabbaa Khabbaz, L. (2016). Insomnia and Relationship with Anxiety in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Designed Study. PloS one, 11(2), e0149643. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149643 Choueiry, N., Salamoun, T., Jabbour, H., El Osta, N., Hajj, A., & Rabbaa Khabbaz, L. . The link most likely exists because anxiety can contribute to intrusive thoughts, and physiological responses like experiencing an increased heart rate and restlessness none of which make for ideal sleeping conditions 7 Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms in adolescents McLaughlin, K. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2009). Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Journal of abnormal psychology, 118(3), 659–669. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016499 McLaughlin, K. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. .

In fact, research has found insomnia to be a comorbidity in a variety of psychiatric disorders. Up to two-thirds of patients with social anxiety will also experience insomnia, and insomnia is one of the diagnostic criterion for major depressive disorder 8 Comorbid Insomnia and Psychiatric Disorders: An Update. Khurshid K. A. (2018). Comorbid Insomnia and Psychiatric Disorders: An Update. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 15(3-4), 28–32. Khurshid K. A .

Given all this, CBD may benefit patients with insomnia because of how it works to treat and reduce their underlying anxiety. Several research studies have pointed to CBD as a potential treatment option for anxiety disorders, including a 2015 review of existing data that found strong evidence in support of CBD for treating anxiety 9 Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1 Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R . Even the NIH notes CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in treating anxiety and stress in animals and small human trials 11 Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Sarro-Ramírez, A., Sánchez, D., Mijangos-Moreno, S., Tejeda-Padrón, A., Poot-Aké, A., Guzmán, K., Pacheco-Pantoja, E., & Arias-Carrión, O. (2014). Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent. Current neuropharmacology, 12(3), 269–272. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805 Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Sarro-Ramírez, A., Sánchez, D., Mijangos-Moreno, S., Tejeda-Padrón, A., Poot-Aké, A., Guzmán, K., Pacheco-Pantoja, E., & Arias-Carrión, O. .

Cautions About Taking CBD for Insomnia

It’s important to remember that not all CBD brands are created equal. Do your research and make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company with solid reviews and a commitment to producing quality products before to choosing the best CBD for insomnia product for you.

You should also pay attention to what type of CBD you are purchasing. For instance, full spectrum products, may contain trace amounts of THC that could show up on a drug test. If that is something you need to avoid for work or otherwise, you’ll want to ensure you purchase broad-spectrum or isolate CBD products.

And finally, you should always talk to your doctor prior to adding anything medicinal to your daily routine—including CBD. While the safety profile for CBD is relatively high, there may be some potential drug interactions your doctor needs to be aware of 12 Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. Larsen, C., & Shahinas, J. (2020). Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. Journal of clinical medicine research, 12(3), 129–141. https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4090 Larsen, C., & Shahinas, J. .

FAQs

What are the best CBD products for insomnia?

The best CBD for insomnia products are those that you feel most comfortable taking. This may vary from person to person, so simply focus on finding a product you enjoy, whether that be edibles, capsules, or CBD oil for insomnia.

What CBD dosage should I use for insomnia?

The right CBD for insomnia dosage will also differ by individual, but we have a dosage chart to get you started. It’s always best to begin at the lowest recommended dosage and work your way up until you feel a therapeutic benefit.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.

Sources
  1. Insomnia | NHLBI, NIH. (2021). Retrieved 13 January 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/insomnia
  2. Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., & Hall, B. (2018). Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 75. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030075
  3. Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current psychiatry reports, 19(4), 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9
  4. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041
  5. Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente journal, 20(4), 16-005. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005
  6. Choueiry, N., Salamoun, T., Jabbour, H., El Osta, N., Hajj, A., & Rabbaa Khabbaz, L. (2016). Insomnia and Relationship with Anxiety in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Designed Study. PloS one, 11(2), e0149643. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149643
  7. McLaughlin, K. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2009). Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Journal of abnormal psychology, 118(3), 659–669. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016499
  8. Khurshid K. A. (2018). Comorbid Insomnia and Psychiatric Disorders: An Update. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 15(3-4), 28–32.
  9. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  10. Insomnia | NHLBI, NIH. (2021). Retrieved 13 January 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/insomnia
  11. Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Sarro-Ramírez, A., Sánchez, D., Mijangos-Moreno, S., Tejeda-Padrón, A., Poot-Aké, A., Guzmán, K., Pacheco-Pantoja, E., & Arias-Carrión, O. (2014). Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent. Current neuropharmacology, 12(3), 269–272. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805
  12. Larsen, C., & Shahinas, J. (2020). Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. Journal of clinical medicine research, 12(3), 129–141. https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4090

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