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Is CBD Effective for Sleep? What You Need to Know

Written By Ellese Symons Jun 3rd 2024
Table Of Contents
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Most people need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to wake up feeling rested. Although you might feel as if your system has adapted to less, only about one percent of our population needs fewer than six hours.1 For the rest of us, too little sleep and poor-quality sleep are linked to an increased risk of developing a considerable number of potentially serious health complications.2  

If it takes you longer than 10 to 20 minutes to drift off to sleep or you wake frequently through the night, maybe it's time to add hemp-derived CBD to your routine. After explaining what CBD is and how the cannabinoid asserts its sleep-promoting potential, we'll take a closer look at the research and the finer points of selecting the best products. But first, let's explore a few of the most common causes of sleep difficulties. 

Understanding the Most Common Causes of Sleep Difficulties  

Sleep difficulties can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, a side effect of certain medications (or caffeine), or poor sleep hygiene.3 But the cause is not always clear. Even simple changes in routine can interfere with your ability to fall asleep or stay sleeping. Many sleep experts, however, believe sleep issues left unresolved by switching medications, limiting caffeine consumption, or sticking to a consistent sleep schedule are caused by stress. 

Although the connections between stress and sleep difficulties are not completely understood, it's generally accepted that physical and emotional stress elevates cortisol production to levels that interfere with the ability to transition from wakefulness to sleep. The resulting disruptions of your circadian rhythms can throw several other neurochemical processes out of sync.4 Over time, unresolved disruptions can lead to clinical insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders.5  

Exploring How CBD Asserts Its Sleep-Promoting Potential  

CBD (cannabidiol) is an active plant element in cannabis shown to impact multiple molecular targets in the body and brain, including the receptors of the serotonin, dopamine, and GABA systems.6 GABA is essential to the production of dopamine and also helps circadian rhythms adapt to seasonal shifts in daylight hours,7 serotonin is required to produce melatonin, and dopamine helps modulate circadian rhythms.8  

Although it's easy to see how CBD's ability to assert its influence on serotonin, dopamine, and GABA receptors could prove beneficial for sleep support, most sources credit the cannabinoid's influence on CB1 and CB2, your endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors. As the largest regulatory system impacting the human body, endocannabinoid signaling is involved in nearly every critical function, everything from emotional equilibrium and stress responses to cardiovascular function, sleep cycle regulation, and the perception of pleasure and pain.9 Most cannabis researchers believe supporting ECS function with CBD promotes homeostasis.10

Case Studies and Research: Evidence Supporting CBD's Efficacy 

Based on a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, most CBD users report positive results using our hemp-derived products for relaxation, mild or temporary anxiety, discomfort after physical activity, and sleep support. An impressive 89% of respondents indicated that CBD helped calm their minds, and 9 out of 10 reported better sleep. Although their self-reported experiences are purely anecdotal, a growing body of scientific evidence appears to support their claims. 

In a small-scale study of 103 adults, for example, researchers investigating the sleep-promoting potential of CBD reported that 79% of their participants experienced a favorable impact on sleep scores within 30 days of consistent use. Researchers specifically credited the cannabinoid's "calming" effect.11 In a similar 2-year investigation with more than 400 participants published in 2018, researchers also reported "statistically and clinically significant" results. Although the study was investigating various combinations of CBD and THC, researchers concluded that the best outcomes were achieved using CBD-dominant products.12   

The Potential Risks and Possible Side Effects Associated with Cannabidiol   

Many over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids can cause dizziness, morning grogginess and more. Several are known to cause chemical dependency. CBD, on the other hand, is not habit-forming. The cannabinoid is generally well-tolerated, and the World Health Organization found "no evidence of public health-related problems."13 

Side effects, however, are possible. Some people report dry mouth, fatigue, changes in appetite, and digestive discomfort.14 Most find that their symptoms resolve with smaller serving sizes. Although CBD is considered safe for most adults, it's not recommended for people with certain medical conditions. The cannabinoid can also interact with or interfere with the absorption of prescription medications, over-the-counter treatments, and herbal supplements. We suggest contacting a healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns. 

Best Practices for Adding CBD to Your Nightly Routine  

When you add the sleep-promoting potential of CBD to your nightly routine, product quality is non-negotiable. The best CBD products are made from non-GMO, naturally farmed hemp flower by manufacturers that rely on food-safe extraction methods and rigorous product testing. When you choose CBDistillery® hemp-derived products, you can shop with confidence. Every product we offer is quality-assured and backed by our 60-day customer satisfaction guarantee. 

Although you'll find serving size suggestions printed on every CBDistillery® label, we generally recommend starting with a partial serving. If you don't get the results you're hoping for, increase the amount you're using gradually in small increments. For sleep support, we suggest starting with one of the following product options – the best fit for YOUR nightly routine. 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures 

CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures are made with a blend of full spectrum hemp flower extract, broad spectrum extract, or CBD isolate powder and a carrier oil. Full spectrum CBD oil gives you hemp's many cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients in the same ratios nature intended. If you'd rather avoid THC, broad spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate tinctures are the better choices. 

CBDistillery® CBD Softgels & Gummies  

CBDistillery® CBD Softgels and gummies are convenient and portable. Every serving delivers a precise, premeasured amount of CBD. CBDistillery® ahhh distilled CBD Softgels are available in 30-count and 60-count bottles. Our ahhh distilled Full Spectrum Gummies have a natural strawberry flavor, and our berry-flavored CBDistillery® shhh distilled Broad Spectrum CBD Sleep Gummies have 2mg of melatonin. Since it can take up to two hours for the effects of edibles to peak, you'll want to plan ahead. 

CBDistillery® CBD Topicals  

When discomfort after physical activity keeps you from getting the rest you need to wake feeling refreshed, consider applying our CBDistillery® oooh distilled Relief Stick where you need fast relief. They're 1000mg strong and infused with cooling menthol. Every jar of full spectrum CBDistillery® oooh distilled CBD Balm, on the other hand, has 500mg of CBD and a soothing blend of expertly selected botanicals. To achieve the best results, apply liberally to clean, dry skin. Topicals can be used on their own or in combination with any other CBD product. 

Could CBD Help You Get the Rest You Need to Feel Your Best?  

When racing thoughts or changes in routine keep you awake, consider adding a CBD oil tincture, softgels, or gummies to your nightly routine. If you're having trouble drifting off because of discomfort after physical activity, try adding the targeted relief of a CBD topical. Based on the feedback of our 1,900 survey respondents, most CBD users report achieving positive results within 7-14 days of consistent use. 

According to a report published in The Journal of Cannabis Research, there's an impressive amount of data suggesting significant sleep-promoting potential, including possible benefits for sleep duration.15 If you're interested in trying CBD but not quite sure where to begin, consider scheduling a personal consultation. CBDistillery® products are made with US-grown hemp, 100% natural ingredients, and crafted in a cGMP-registered facility. 

References 

  1. Aime M. (2022) How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? GoodRx Health. 

  1. Short Sleepers: The 1 Percent of the Population Who Only Need 6 Hours of Sleep. (N.D.) Chronobiology. 

  1. Suni E, Dimitriu A. (2023) Sleep Deprivation. Sleep Foundation. 

  1. Foster, R. (2020) Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Health. Interface Focus. 10(3) https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0098 

  1. Kalmbach D, Anderson J, et al. (2018) The Impact of Stress on Sleep: Pathogenic Sleep Reactivity as a Vulnerability to Insomnia and Circadian Disorders. 27(6) J Sleep Res. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12710 

  1. Brunt T, Bossong M. (2020) The neuropharmacology of cannabinoid receptor ligands in central signaling pathways. 55(4) EJN. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14982 

  1. Siegel J. (2004) The Neurotransmitters of Sleep. 65(16) J Clin Psychiatry 4-7. PMID: 15575797; PMCID: PMC8761080 

  1. Vandergriendt C. (2020) What's the Difference Between Dopamine and Serotonin? Healthline. 

  1. Mouslech Z, Valla V. (2009) Endocannabinoid System: An Overview of Its Potential in Current Medical Practice. 30(2) Neuro Endocrinol Lett 153-79. PDF 

  1. Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator 

  1. Shannon S, Lewis N, et al. (2019) Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. 23, Perm J 18-41. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041 

  1. Vigil J, Stith S, et al. (2018) Effectiveness of Raw Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia Under Naturalistic Conditions 5(3) Medicines 75. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030075 

  1. World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2 

  1. Bergamaschi M, Mateus R, et al. (2011) Safety and Side Effect of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent. 6(4) Curr Drug Saf 237-49. https://doi.org/10.2174/157488611798280924 

  1. Moltke J, Hindocha C. (2021) Reasons for Cannabidiol Use: A Cross0Section of CBD User, Focusing on Self-Perceived Stress, Anxiety, and Sleep Problems. 3(1) 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00061-5