“Sleep is a vital function of the nervous system that contributes to brain and bodily homeostasis, energy levels, cognitive ability, and other key functions of a variety of organisms. Dysfunctional sleep induces neural problems and is a key part of almost all human psychiatric disorders including substance abuse disorders.”- Kesner, Andrew J, and David M Lovinger. “Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Sleep.” Frontiers in molecular neuroscience vol. 13

The importance of getting a good night’s rest can’t be overstated. So, it is alarming how many of us don’t seem to be getting enough sleep. 

  • Over 50 million american have a sleep disorder.
  • Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with 30% of adults reporting short-term insomnia and 10% with chronic issues. 
  • 37% of adults age 20-39 and 40% of adults age 40-59 have reported short sleep duration. 

With these startling stats, there is no surprise that sleep aids are commonplace in today’s society. People can use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or dietary supplements to treat their issues and these days many people are turning to CBD.

With the avalanche of new CBD hitting the market, there are plenty of CBD sleep aids to choose from. But do they work?

Before treating a medical condition, speak to your doctor to determine whether CBD is the right option for you, especially if you’re taking other medications. CBD may interact with many over-the-counter or prescription drugs and supplements.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 100 naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids. It is the second most prominent and well-known cannabinoid after THC and ,unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. So, it does not get you high. The real interest in CBD is for its potential therapeutic benefits. 

Many different cultures have used the Cannabis plant to treat a plethora of ailments. Practitioners in ancient China targeted malaria, menstrual symptoms, gout, and constipation. During medieval times, cannabis was used for pain, epilepsy, nausea, and vomiting, and in Western medicine it was commonly used as an analgesic. In the US, physicians prescribed Cannabis for a multitude of illnesses until restrictions were put in place in the 1930s and then finally stopped using it in 1970 when the federal government listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance, claiming it an illegal substance with no medical value. Nevertheless, the world’s interest in the medicinal uses of cannabis has only grown stronger and, since the 2018 Farm Bill removed Hemp from the controlled substance list and placed it under FDA regulation, there has been a huge increase in use of cannabinoids for their potential therapeutic benefits. Today we will explore what we know about how CBD may affect sleep.

If you want to know more about CBD in general you can check out The Basics of CBD.

How does CBD affect the body?

CBD has demonstrated preliminary efficacy for a range of physical and mental health care problems. However, not enough studies have been done to know what all of the benefits may be. Luckily, that is starting to change and there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of studies being published on the topic. One of the major ways CBD and other cannabinoids may affect the body is through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). 

What is the ECS?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system discovered in 1992 that is primarily composed of Endocannabinoids, receptors and Enzymes. The two known endocannabinoids are called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They are produced by the body as needed and bind to the receptors (CB1 and CB2). Once they’ve served their functions they are broken down by the enzymes. 

Human Endocannabinoid System horizontal textbook infographic
Human Endocannabinoid System horizontal textbook infographic illustration about cannabis as herbal alternative medicine and chemical therapy, healthcare and medical science vector.

The ECS is complicated and it has not been determined exactly how it works or all of its potential functions.  However, research has shown the ECS to be a implicated in many different conditions and processes, including:

  • Metabolism
  • appetite and digestion
  • Sleep
  • chronic pain
  • mood
  • Memory
  • Stress
  • inflammation

And most importantly for this article…

  • Sleep

Can CBD Improve Sleep?

They’re also not exactly sure how CBD, in particular, interacts with the ECS. But there is a theory that “CBD has an indirect effect on the CB1 receptors by stopping the enzymatic breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to stay in the system longer and provide medical benefits.” Although more studies need to be done, some research supports that theory and suggest that, through this mechanism, CBD and cannabinoids may improve sleep.  For example One study of 72 participants showed CBD improved the Sleep of 48 patients (66.7%) within the first month, however the benefits fluctuated over time. There was also a case study involving a 10-year-old girl who had poor sleep due to post-traumatic stress disorder. In this study a dose of 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. An additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given sublingually as needed during the day for anxiety. This trial of cbd resulted in “ a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.” This indicates that CBD can be an effective compound to reduce anxiety and insomnia secondary to PTSD. However, while many of the studies that have been done have shown positive effects on sleep, some experts criticize that there are many limiting factors to these studies such as small sample sizes and examining sleep as a secondary outcome in the context of another illness. Therefore, it is important to note there is still a lot more we need to learn about CBD before we can say definitively what the benefits may be.

What dosage of CBD is suggested for sleep?

Dosage is yet another factor that is being studied but still needs more research done. What research has found so far is that the ideal dosage of CBD depends on a lot of factors such as body weight, the condition being treating, and the concentration of CBD in the product you’re using.What we do know is that some research has shown that the effects of CBD have a dose-dependant “inverted U” or “bell-shaped” curve. So, too low or too high of a dose could render you cbd ineffective. For this reason, it’s suggested that you start low and gradually work your way up to higher doses over time until you find one that works for you. To give you a reference point, the 2019 study on Anxiety and sleep that we mentioned earlier used 25mg/day to 175/mg per day. You should also keep in mind that CBD can sometimes take a while before it takes effect, so some people use it for a month or so before seeing results. 

The best thing to do if you want to start using CBD is to speak with your doctor, especially if you’re currently taking any medications. They may or may not be able to help you with picking a dosage but, either way it’s just a good idea.

Products we use



, ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *