CBD for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects, and Treatment
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Some research and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD can help you get a good night’s sleep, although it’s best to speak with a qualified healthcare professional before trying it.
Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps your body maintain a state of balance and stability, or homeostasis.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you “high.” Instead, it has a range of health applications, like reducing seizures in people with epilepsy and pain relief from various conditions.
Here’s what you need to know about using CBD for sleep.
To understand whether CBD can improve sleep, we first have to understand what causes poor sleep.
- mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- symptoms of chronic conditions, such as pain
- eating a large meal or consuming caffeine, especially toward bedtime
- environmental factors, such as distracting devices or an uncomfortable bed
If your insomnia is due to external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.
While research on CBD is still in its infancy, a 2022 review suggests that CBD may help relieve insomnia, either alone or mixed with equal quantities of THC.
Some ways in which it might do this are by:
While some studies suggest that CBD can improve sleep, it is not always clear why. More research is needed .
Vaping usually gets CBD into your system faster than other forms. However, there’s not much research on vaping CBD, and vaping may pose respiratory and other risks.
Your weight, personal body chemistry, the nature of your sleep problems, and the product you use will affect how CBD works. They will also affect how much you should use and when to take it.
People who use CBD for anxiety and sleep problems may not notice an immediate effect. A 2019 study on sleep and anxiety pointed out that people noticed a difference after about a month.
Best full-spectrum CBD gummies for sleep
Cornbread Hemp Full-Spectrum CBD Gummies
4.4 (2.3k+) from Cornbread Hemp
Use code “HEALTHLINE” for 25% off
Healthline ‘s review
CBD gummies can be a fun way to consume CBD. The doses are already measured for you, and some are pretty tasty too.
Cornbread Hemp is a newer name in CBD, but it’s growing quickly. The brand’s full-spectrum CBD gummies are vegan, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic, and don’t include any artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, or gelatin.
These Berry-flavored gummies contain a high amount of full-spectrum CBD, at 50 mg per gummy, as well as up to 2 milligrams (mg) of THC per serving. So, these may not be the best choice for people new to CBD or THC.
If you’ve never tried a product like this before, it’s best to start with a low dose before working your way up. You can find CBD gummies that start as low as 5 mg per gummy.
If you know how CBD and low dose THC affect you, these gummies may help you get better sleep. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Pros & cons
Best full-spectrum CBD oil for sleep
Aspen Green Bliss Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Use code “HEALTHLINE” for 20% off
Healthline ‘s review
This full-spectrum CBD oil from Aspen Green is USDA certified organic and has a sweet Tropical flavor. With 110 mg of CBD per serving, it’s a high dose pick. But there is room to customize your dose.
The dropper is marked with 1/4-milliliter (mL) servings, and Aspen Green advises customers to begin with a low dose and listen to their body to figure out the best dose for their needs.
Aspen Green products are made from hemp plants grown in Colorado, with third-party testing to ensure purity. They’re free of toxins, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, and sulfates.
Pros & cons
- high potency
- easy to dose
- 60-day return policy
- high price point
- not for people who want to avoid THC
- high potency may be too much for beginners
Best broad-spectrum CBD gummies for sleep
Sunday Scaries Extra Strength CBD Gummies
4.6 (49+) from Sunday Scaries
Use code “healthline20” for 20% off
Healthline ‘s review
These CBD gummies contain 25 mg of broad-spectrum CBD. So while they’re a lower dose compared with the Cornbread Hemp gummies on our list, this dose may be too high for people new to CBD. This dose is considered extra strength, after all.
If you’re not new to the CBD world, you may find these gummies offer a nice night of rest. Sunday Scaries says the blend of CBD oil and cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN) is intended to offer some extra stress relief.
Pros & cons
- high dose broad-spectrum CBD
- includes extra cannabinoids (CBG and CBN)
- same-day shipping available
- only 20 gummies per container
- may be too potent for new CBD users
A 2017 review on the safety of CBD use concluded that it’s a relatively safe treatment.
Side effects are uncommon, but the following may occur:
A 2019 mouse study raised concerns about CBD’s potential for liver damage.
In addition, some experts have warned about melatonin poisoning in children taking CBD gummies that contain melatonin.
CBD may also interact with other medications and may not be suitable for everyone, so always:
- get your products from a source recommended by a healthcare professional
- check the ingredients
- speak with a qualified healthcare professional before using CBD or any other supplements
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. However, in order to protect public health, they can take action against CBD companies that make unfounded health claims.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products as they do drugs or dietary supplements, companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. That means it’s especially important to do your own research and find a quality product.
Before you buy CBD from a company, research their history. Avoid companies with a history of mislabeling CBD, and opt for CBD that has been tested by a third party.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping, it’s best to speak with a doctor. They may suggest treatment for an underlying condition.
What dose of CBD should you take to improve sleep?
There is no official dose, as the FDA does not regulate CBD products or class them as medications. However, clinical trials on CBD and sleep have mostly involved doses between 25 mg and 1,500 mg of CBD per day. It’s best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until you find something that works for you.
What forms of CBD can help with sleep?
Oils, pills, and gummies are all options. Vaping enables the active ingredients to enter the bloodstream more quickly, but vaping may pose other health risks.
CBD products may help people sleep. Experts don’t know exactly why this happens, but research has suggested that they can help manage pain, anxiety, and daytime sleepiness, factors that can interfere with sleep.
It’s essential to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before taking supplements or medication of any kind — including CBD. They are best equipped to tell you how to use CBD to improve your sleep based on your specific circumstances.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She’s passionate about empowering readers to take care of their mental and physical health through science-based, empathetically delivered information.
Last medically reviewed on June 5, 2023