Note: If you’re looking for the best CBD products to help with your sleep, click here to see our favorites.
CBD for Sleep
Many people find high-quality CBD helpful in treating disorders like insomnia, insufficient sleep, and restless leg syndrome. Sleep disorders refer to changes in sleeping patterns or habits that negatively impact health. These disorders are surprisingly common, affecting 50-70 million adults in the United States.
Unfortunately, most physicians prescribe pharmaceuticals to combat sleep disorders rather than managing the disorder naturally. Medications like sleeping pills and allergy/cold medicine are habit-forming, unhealthy, and induce negative side effects when taken regularly. Your body develops a psychological dependency on sedative-hypnotic drugs like Ambien and Lunesta, and they often leave you with residual feelings of grogginess in the morning, even after a full eight hours of sleep.
Besides making lifestyle changes that facilitate better rest, ingesting CBD oil before bed could help combat some nighttime discomforts—naturally. We cover some of our favorite sleep-specific products further on in this article.
Imagine waking up in the morning, feeling rested and awake—no more residual grogginess or impairment. To understand CBD’s potential for modulating sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies, linked contextually below, evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of nighttime issues. We will address the results below.
For starters, research on cannabis and sleep is in its infancy and has yielded mixed results. But there is more to it than that. The root cause of many of these disorders is another disease like anxiety, stress, PTSD, or chronic pain—and cannabinoids may help manage many of these conditions. So, while the cannabinoid may not be inherently sedative—which, as discussed, is a good thing—it may work in various ways to improve sleep quality.
Benefits of CBD on Sleep Patterns
CBD is one of the most promising breakthroughs for the nearly 70 million people in the United States who are estimated to suffer from sleep disorders, including conditions like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. While they vary in terms of whether they cause trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, the end result is the same: an insufficient amount and/or quality of rest.
According to the CDC, not getting the recommended amount of sleep, which is at least seven hours a night, can lead to all sorts of unexpected health issues. We’re all aware that a bad slumber can lead to grumpiness, but it can also increase the risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Insufficient rest can also make people far more likely to be killed or injured in “drowsy driving” accidents.
The good news is, CBD can help! It is proven to help users reduce the factors that may directly impact the ability to fall or stay asleep, including pain, anxiety, and depression. Due to its popularity, there are now many different products to choose from that can help you get a full, quality night’s rest. Below, we’ve broken our favorites down by category to help you get the shuteye that you truly deserve.
Dosage and Recommended Usage
The research is underway, and anecdotal reports offer a positive connection between the two, and many say regular CBD doses help them get a good night’s rest. Essentially, CBD may be most effective when used as a preventative measure first. Establishing a baseline concentration in your system and maintaining a regular dose helps stabilize the endocannabinoid system.
There are multiple options available, but for managing the symptoms associated with various types of issues, we recommend speaking to your doctor about including full-spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules for maximum relief.
Both products contain the same active ingredient: high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil. The main difference is the dosing style—tinctures are taken sublingually, and capsules are swallowed like a pill. A high-quality CBD product, oil, or capsules will also utilize MCT oil and ingredients needed by the body for full absorption of the cannabidiol.
After using CBD regularly to manage sleep, many people still find that they need a safe way to manage acute symptoms. In addition to the products we’ve outlined above, we recommend considering vaporizing CBD to combat these sleep disorders. Vaping is one of the fastest dosing mechanisms—it allows cannabidiol to be absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly.
Often, the best way to manage moderate to severe bedtime conditions is to combine different CBD products for all-day preventative and therapeutic coverage.
What is the correct CBD dosage to help treat sleep disorders and insomnia?
Your experience with cannabidiol will be unique, and it takes a bit of consideration to build a personalized routine. The best dose for you will vary based on personal factors, like your tolerance to CBD products, weight, or the type and severity of ailments you hope to manage.
We suggest those suffering from these types of ailments to speak with their doctors about starting with a baseline of 5 to 10 mg of CBD per day.
If this dose doesn’t seem to bring relief, we suggest increasing the dose by another five to 10 mg daily until you experience complete relief. Tinctures make it easy to consume this way since you can increase by small increments, one or two drops at a time.
Alternatively, CBD capsules offer the convenience of pre-measured doses. There’s no harm in starting with a low-dose CBD gel cap, like 10 mg, because CBD has no serious side effects and you can’t overdose on it.
The time at which you should ingest the CBD oil will vary based on your specific sleeping disorder. Meaning those with insomnia should ingest a few hours before bed, and those with excessive daytime fatigue should consume when waking in the morning.
After you’ve established a baseline dose and monitored the effects, you can begin to increase the dose as needed slowly. Be sure to take time between doses to monitor the effects, as ingestible CBD products like these may have a delayed onset time of up to 90 minutes. However, the way the body slowly metabolizes these products may also explain the sustained relief they provide. In fact, many people report that the relief they feel from tinctures and gel capsules lasts all day.
Dosing for CBD vaporizers is different, as it can be difficult to accurately meter doses without special tools. The benefit to CBD vaporizers, however, is the near-immediate onset. Because you can usually feel the full effects of vaporized cannabidiol within 10 minutes, you can easily take one puff at a time and monitor your symptoms until they subside.
A Note About CBD and Drug Interactions
All of our affiliate partners have extensively analyzed their CBD and its practical uses before confirming the positive safety profile of the cannabinoid, and these brands make every effort to display their lab reports on their websites publicly. Despite evidence that CBD is safe for most people, it’s important to note that it may interact with common medications because it utilizes the same pathways, through cytochrome P450 liver enzymes, for absorption.
Interactions could include many of the prescription medications taken for these disorders, like benzodiazepines or other nighttime aids, which utilize cytochrome P450 pathways for absorption. The interaction is not necessarily dangerous (unless the medication is prescribed to treat life-threatening conditions), but it may cause the medication to be less effective.
CBD’s effect on these liver enzymes is only temporary, so many people can solve this problem by spacing out their CBD and medication doses. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor about CBD before using it, especially if you take daily medications.
Study Results for CBD on Sleep Behavior
CBD was discovered almost a century ago, but researchers recently began to uncover evidence of its prominent health benefits. Although still in its early stages, research regarding CBD is advancing rapidly. Because of various anecdotal reports and bits and pieces of information regarding the endocannabinoid delivery system’s involvement in sleep-wake cycles, researchers are increasingly interested in the effects of CBD.
One conflicting side of the argument suggests that CBD has wake-promoting properties, which may sound counterintuitive, but could be useful for managing things like daytime fatigue. Evidence suggests that cannabidiol could be useful in managing many of the underlying conditions that cause these issues, which led to research specifically into the use of CBD for PTSD-related insomnia.
In fact, several studies have confirmed the potential anxiolytic effects of CBD, and one main way that CBD may improve your slumber by improving overall stress and nervousness. The same rule applies to insomnia caused by pain, which may also respond well to CBD treatment.
Sleep is one area of particular interest for researchers since most of the research we have regarding CBD for sleep is preliminary. Further understanding is necessary before CBD can be officially recognized as a treatment route for insomnia and other issues. Research efforts regarding CBD for sleep are expected to continue to incline, but the following studies show a useful connection between cannabidiol and sleep:
Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on a 10-year-old girl with pediatric anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the patient’s sleep quality and quantity. CBD oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study published clinical data that support the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxious thoughts and improving sleep in a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
A 2017 peer review of the existing studies relating to cannabinoids concluded that “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and [combating] excessive daytime sleepiness…”
Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
A 2019 series of case studies suggests that “The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety or poor rest. Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. These scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but three patients.”
The Best CBD Products for a Good Sleep
Which CBD products help with sleep and insomnia?
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice – before you design a CBD routine for managing sleep, it’s important to understand that CBD has not yet been proven effective for these conditions. Please always speak to your doctor before changing your current management regimen.
Best Overall CBD Product for Sleep: Focl Night Capsule
Everyone wants to get a great night’s slumber. The FOCL Night Capsules are a complete game-changer for your wellness routine. The impressive part wasn’t how well we slept or how quickly we could fall asleep (although it did seem to happen a little faster every night after dosing), but how rested we felt when we woke up.
When paired with the FOCL Day Capsules as part of FOCL’s Wellness Stack, the secret weapon in both products (adaptogens) really shine. The 10 mg dose of hemp extract per serving means we are happy to recommend these capsules even to beginner CBD users, but note they deliver a highly optimized product that will benefit experienced users alike.
Best Tincture for Sleep: cbdMD PM Sleep Aid
It’s hard to argue with a Consumer Survey of Product Innovation Product of the Year Award. The cbdMD Sleep Aid tincture is our preferred format (we like the mint flavor), but they are also available as capsules. You won’t be disappointed by the excellent broad-spectrum CBD in every product batch of this formula.
Best CBD Flower For Sleep: Canna Comforts
Like to roll a joint before bed, but don’t want to use a high-THC strain? We highly recommend the CBD flower from Canna Comforts. It’s important to note that “while the product may look and smell like marijuana, it’s actually legal industrial hemp flower per the Farm Bill of 2018 signed into law by the president in November 2018,” which is why you can order strains like El Jefe, pictured above, on their website!
Best Bath Salt for Sleep: Serene CBD Dead Sea Salt
Is there a better way to relax before bedtime than taking a relaxing hot bath? We don’t think so, and neither does Serene Cannabis. In fact, the brand created an entire product that extends the natural relaxation that a bath provides the positive benefits of CBD. Their Dead Sea Bath Salts have 100 mg of CBD in every bag, and they help lull you to dreamland from the inside out. The sea salt naturally reduces joint pain and inflammation, and the CBD boosts that power by helping to relieve oxidative stress (stress created by having too many free radicals in the body).
Best Vegan Gummies for Sleep: CBDistillery
Vegans love these CBD Nighttime gummies made by CBDistillery. With 30 mg of CBD and an additional one-and-a-half milligrams of melatonin in each gummy, this option is not only tasty (with a variety of flavors like strawberry, raspberry, and raspberry-lemon) but also incredibly beneficial.
Their CBD is always THC-free and has been third-party lab tested to contain only pure CBD isolate. Every organic gummy is also kosher, vegan, and gluten-free, so you can eat them without feeling guilty. Chew one right before bedtime, and enjoy your restful sleep.
Best Softgel with Melatonin for Sleep: Joy Organics
Joy Organics has combined its broad-spectrum nano-emulsion CBD softgels with another ingredient well-known to assist with sleep, melatonin. Each high-efficiency melatonin softgel contains 25 mg of CBD with one milligram of melatonin, all of which are third-party verified to contain no THC.
These softgels were created with the newest technology available, which allows them to break down quickly in the body. That means their sleep benefits kick in much quicker than other softgels on the market, as the body can more easily digest them before sending you off to dreamland.
Best Lavender CBD For Sleep: SeaBeDee
Lavender offers calming and soothing properties that can help reduce stress, and the Seabedee Sleep Blend capitalizes on this. Studies have revealed that researchers who monitored sleep cycles with brain scans found that lavender increased slow-wave-sleep; instrumental for slowing heartbeat and relaxing muscles. Subjects slept more soundly on a lavender night.
Best Tincture / Vaporizer Bundle For Sleep: Specktra Tranquility
Specktra offers one of the best bang-for-your-buck CBD bundle options for sleep on the market. Each bundle comes with their hazelnut-flavored, 400 mg CBD tincture and one of their 250 mg CBD Tranquility vapes.
When combined, the bundle allows users access to quick relief from anxiety, depression, and pain using the vape while waiting for the tincture to kick in and carry them through the night. All of Specktra’s products are made with as many natural, non-GMO ingredients as possible, using full-spectrum CBD oil with less than 0.3 percent THC.
Best Tincture / Bath Salt Bundle For Sleep: TerraVita
Looking for a holistic solution to your bedtime routine? The TerraVita Sleep Bundle is the perfect combination of restful products. You’ll receive synergistic benefits from inside and out that will provide a supercharged night of sleep so you can take on the day like a champ. What’s Included: Sleep CBD Tincture, Pure CBD Tincture, and Relax CBD Bath Soak for a total of 2,250 mg CBD!
A Note About CBD & Drug Testing
If drug testing is a part of your employment conditions, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn’t an unfounded concern—however, there isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.
Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception. There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum CBD products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely. While there is a small risk of failing a drug test, CBD itself does not have psychoactive effects.
If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD purchase a drug test alongside the CBD you choose and do a test for yourself to ensure peace of mind.