Can CBD Help With Sleep?

Sleep is crucial to your survival. Study after study has shown its dramatic effects on restoring your body and mind. When you rest, your body heals itself and your mind strengthens. Without enough sleep, you simply can’t be your optimal self.

With the rise in anxiety and the ever distracting world of bright phones in our face, its no wonder we’re having more and more trouble getting a good night’s rest.

The CDC estimates one third of America suffers from chronic lack of sleep.

It’s also no wonder why so many people are asking themselves, “Can CBD help me sleep better?”.

Cannabis use has long been associated with sleepiness.  While the chilled-out stoner napping for hours like The Guy On The Couch from Half Baked is a tired stereotype, the effect cannabis can have on sleep has been an important selling point during medical marijuana legalization efforts. 

Research suggests that cannabis use can have a positive impact on sleep apnea[1] and can serve as a healthier alternative to sleeping pills.[2]  That being said, the sleep resulting from high THC strains of cannabis may not be the best in the long term, especially for people struggling with sleep issues like insomnia. 

In their review of studies on the relationship between drugs and sleep, researchers at Freiburg University Medical Center in Germany reported that “Smoked marijuana and oral Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduce REM sleep”[3] so your nighttime joint may knock you out but you’re not going to wake up feeling particularly well rested.  As a result, cannabis users have begun to substitute high THC pot for CBD to help them get to bed. 

If the psychoactive elements in THC are going to mess with your ability to have restful sleep, you might think taking something with those psychoactive removed will work better.  Surprisingly, this isn’t necessarily the case.  In a sleep study on the relationship between THC, CBD and sleep conducted by researchers at the Centre for Human Sciences in Hampshire, UK, the authors found that study participants had a harder time getting restful sleep on 5 and 15 mg doses of CBD than they did with 15 mg doses of THC.[4]  In fact, the CBD at that level actually increased wakefulness. 

While this would lead one to conclude that CBD is a bad sleep aid, don’t give up on it just yet. 

In fact, it’s important to remember CBD is just one cannabinoid. Another one is CBN, which has shown very promising results in helping with sleep and in the most cited study by Steep Hill labs, they draw a conclusion that it may indeed be a powerful sleep aid.

Another sleep study conducted by researchers in Australia found that about 160 mgs of CBD “decreased nighttime sleep interruptions and increased total sleep time.”[5]  CBD can therefore make you wakeful in small doses and sleepy in larger doses. 

Aside from controlled studies, anecdotal evidence of CBD helping with sleep is abundant. One Reddit user posted how after trying xanax, ambien, unisom, and benadryl, that CBD gummies were the only thing that has really worked for them. (source)

Maybe that’s why the capsules we make which have approximately 80mg of full spectrum decarbed flower mixed with 40mg of isolate and another 10mg of MCT tincture work so well.

If you’re looking to pass out without using narcotic sleeping pills, high doses of CBD just might do the trick.  On the other hand, if you’re looking to have fewer cups of coffee in the morning, maybe try a lose dose CBD to get you going.


[1] https://norml.org/library/item/sleep-apnea

[2] https://www.greenstate.com/health/does-marijuana-treat-insomnia-using-cannabis-for-sleep-science-research-facts/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18313952

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15118485

[5] https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/cannabis-sleep-disturbances

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