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Young woman with a headache and insomnia

CBD For Sleep

Anyone who has ever suffered from a poor night’s sleep knows how difficult it can be to recover the next day. Your eyes may be blurry, your stomach unsettled, it’s hard to concentrate, and you likely find yourself being far less productive than usual. Now, imagine facing that struggle every night, fighting for sleep, all the while knowing how rough your next day will be. Again and again and again. If insomnia is an ongoing battle, of course, you might begin to wonder if CBD for sleep could help.

Understanding Sleep Disturbances

According to research, approximately 10 to 30 percent of people struggle with insomnia, defined as trouble initiating or maintaining sleep 1 Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities Bhaskar, S., Hemavathy, D., & Prasad, S. (2016). Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 5(4), 780–784. https://doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.201153 Bhaskar, S., Hemavathy, D., & Prasad, S. . These sleep struggles can be a lifetime battle for some people or a temporary response to anxiety, depression, and other major life events for others.

We’ve all likely dealt with the occasional rough night of sleep, but for some, those nights can string together into weeks and months of poor sleep. This may be especially true in 2020 and 2021, with researchers fearing more people may be dealing with insomnia than ever before due to COVID-19 related stress 2 COVID-19 is Wrecking our Sleep With Coronasomnia—Tips to Fight Back. COVID-19 is Wrecking our Sleep With Coronasomnia—Tips to Fight Back. (2020). UC Davis Health. https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/covid-19-is-wrecking-our-sleep-with-coronasomnia–tips-to-fight-back-/2020/09 . The consequences of this missed sleep can be devastating, with insomnia linked to an increased risk of:

It’s no wonder those who find themselves desperate for sleep may be interested in the potential correlation between CBD oil and sleeping.

CBD for Sleep—How Does it Work?

There are a few ways CBD may serve as a potential sleep aid for those struggling with insomnia.

First, it helps to understand what may be causing your insomnia. Studies have found a strong relationship between insomnia and several psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. While that relationship is not yet fully understood (for instance, do anxiety and depression lead to insomnia, or does insomnia lead to anxiety and depression?), it stands to reason that treating the root cause of sleep disturbances may help to ease those sleep struggles 6 The Effect of Anxiety and Depression on Sleep Quality of Individuals With High Risk for Insomnia: A Population-Based Study Oh, C. M., Kim, H. Y., Na, H. K., Cho, K. H., & Chu, M. K. (2019). The Effect of Anxiety and Depression on Sleep Quality of Individuals With High Risk for Insomnia: A Population-Based Study. Frontiers in neurology, 10, 849. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00849 Oh, C. M., Kim, H. Y., Na, H. K., Cho, K. H., & Chu, M. K .

This is where CBD oil for sleep could potentially help. If anxiety is at the root of a person’s sleep struggles, for instance, they may be interested to know that CBD has been found beneficial in treating anxiety disorders . 7 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. CBD has also been found to have antidepressant-like qualities for those who believe depression may be one of the causes of their sleep issues 8 Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., Coutinho, D. S., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., Crippa, J. A., Zuardi, A. W., Nardi, A. E., & Silva, A. C. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS & neurological disorders drug targets, 13(6), 953–960. https://doi.org/10.2174/1871527313666140612114838 de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., Coutinho, D. S., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., Crippa, J. A., Zuardi, A. W., Nardi, A. E., & Silva, A. C. .

Insomnia has also been found to co-occur with chronic pain quite frequently. Similarly to depression and anxiety, the relationship isn’t entirely understood, as trouble sleeping seems to be linked to higher pain levels, and vice versa 9 Insomnia Co-Occurring with Chronic Pain: Clinical Features, Interaction, Assessments and Possible Interventions. Tang N. K. (2008). Insomnia Co-Occurring with Chronic Pain: Clinical Features, Interaction, Assessments and Possible Interventions. Reviews in pain, 2(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/204946370800200102 Tang N. K. . But if treating the pain could limit sleep disturbances for those who struggle with both, it may be beneficial to give CBD a try, as it has proved to have positive effects on reducing otherwise difficult to treat pain 10 Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928 Russo E. B .

What Does the Research Say About CBD for Sleep?

There are several studies that suggest CBD for sleep could have positive benefits. When provided to 72 patients seeking treatment for anxiety, CBD reduced anxiety scores for 57 patients and improved sleep scores for 48 patients within the first month 11 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 .

When given to Parkinson’s patients, CBD has been shown to improve rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior 12 Camilo, M. R., Bergamaschi, M. M., Schenck, C. H., Hallak, J. E., Tumas, V., & Crippa, J. A. (2014). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena-Pereira, M. A., Sobreira-Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., Camilo, M. R., Bergamaschi, M. M., Schenck, C. H., Hallak, J. E., Tumas, V., & Crippa, J. A. (2014). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 39(5), 564–566. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.12179 Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena-Pereira, M. A., Sobreira-Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., Camilo, M. R., Bergamaschi, M. M., Schenck, C. H., Hallak, J. E., Tumas, V., & Crippa, J. A. .

CBD has also been linked to eliminating excessive daytime sleepiness and excessive grogginess 13 Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 23 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9 Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. 14 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. .

There is still a need for additional research into the connection between CBD and the sleep cycle, and the benefits of CBD as an insomnia treatment. But what we know so far is promising, with the literature we do have suggesting a CBD could be a powerful tool in the fight against sleep disturbances.

Ready to use CBD for Sleep?

Choosing the best CBD for sleep mostly comes down to personal preference. There are plenty of delicious CBD edibles on the market you can use for easy dosing and a quick treat before bed. Or, if you prefer vaping, there are tons of CBD cartridges to choose from—whether you like yours flavored or mixed with a little THC.

Most people find they prefer CBD oil for sleeping, however. This is because you control the dose with CBD oil, drawing up as much or as little as you need to see a difference in your sleep patterns. You can ingest CBD oil by swallowing it, allowing you to feel results within 30 to 45 minutes. Or, if you would like to experience quicker results, you can take your CBD oil sublingually, squeezing the dropper out under your tongue.

Choosing the best oil for sleep may vary based on your location and what products you have available to you, but we have selected 20 of the best CBD oils of 2020 that we can recommend. If you’re worried about how much CBD oil you should be taking for sleep, know that it may be a bit of trial and error at first as you experiment with the right dosage for you. We recommend starting low and slow, taking more each night until you find a CBD dosage for sleep you feel comfortable with.

In general, CBD has a very high safety profile, and using CBD for sleep shouldn’t carry any major risks 15 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. . That said, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding anything new to your medication list—this is just as true for CBD as it is for anything else.

Hopefully CBD will get you sleeping like a baby inrese no time. But if you’re still struggling with sleep in a month or two, check back in with your doctor and work together on finding a solution. No one should have to live with enduring insomnia, and we all deserve a good night’s sleep.

FAQs

How much CBD should I take for sleep?

Choosing the right dosage of CBD for sleep can be unique to every individual, with things like weight, other medications, and overall tolerance all having an impact on how much CBD for sleep a person may need in order to feel a difference. It’s always a good idea to start with a lower dosage than what you think you may need, and to work your way up from there as you monitor how your body responds to CBD. We have a great CBD dosage guide to get you started.

What type of CBD products are best for sleep?

There are countless CBD products on the market nowadays, and choosing the best CBD product for sleep is really just about which type of products you prefer. That said, topical CBD products aren’t likely to provide much in the way of sleep help. Stick to products you can actually consume, either by ingesting, smoking, vaping, or taking them sublingually. CBD oil for sleeping is a common product choice by those who have sleep troubles because the dosage can be controlled and it can be taken directly under your tongue or added to your favorite beverage.

Sources
  1. Bhaskar, S., Hemavathy, D., & Prasad, S. (2016). Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 5(4), 780–784. https://doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.201153
  2. COVID-19 is Wrecking our Sleep With Coronasomnia—Tips to Fight Back. (2020). UC Davis Health. https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/covid-19-is-wrecking-our-sleep-with-coronasomnia--tips-to-fight-back-/2020/09
  3. COVID and Sleep: Better Slumber During the Pandemic May Help Protect Your Health. 2020. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2020/covid-and-sleep-better-slumber-during-pandemic-may-help-protect-your-health
  4. Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and science of sleep, 9, 151–161. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S134864
  5. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 3, Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/
  6. Oh, C. M., Kim, H. Y., Na, H. K., Cho, K. H., & Chu, M. K. (2019). The Effect of Anxiety and Depression on Sleep Quality of Individuals With High Risk for Insomnia: A Population-Based Study. Frontiers in neurology, 10, 849. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00849
  7. 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
  8. de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., Coutinho, D. S., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., Crippa, J. A., Zuardi, A. W., Nardi, A. E., & Silva, A. C. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS & neurological disorders drug targets, 13(6), 953–960. https://doi.org/10.2174/1871527313666140612114838
  9. Tang N. K. (2008). Insomnia Co-Occurring with Chronic Pain: Clinical Features, Interaction, Assessments and Possible Interventions. Reviews in pain, 2(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/204946370800200102
  10. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928
  11. 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
  12. Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena-Pereira, M. A., Sobreira-Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., Camilo, M. R., Bergamaschi, M. M., Schenck, C. H., Hallak, J. E., Tumas, V., & Crippa, J. A. (2014). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson's disease patients: a case series. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 39(5), 564–566. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.12179
  13. Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 23 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9
  14. 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
  15. 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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