CBD & Sleep: How Does CBD Work for Sleep?
CBD (cannabidiol) has made its way into the mainstream without question, and one reason people turn to this cannabinoid is to help with sleep. Does CBD really help you sleep? Let’s dive in and get a closer look.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD is a cannabinoid just like THC, so CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body. Unlike THC, which is known to tightly bind to cannabinoid receptors (thought to have something to do with that trademark euphoria), CBD does not show a direct affinity for the same receptors.
CBD is thought to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in other ways, possibly inducing a state of bodily homeostasis, and may even affect other receptors outside of the ECS, such as serotonin receptors. These unique actions are thought to contribute to the many reported benefits of CBD, including its ability to help with sleep.
Does CBD Help with Sleep?
It’s highly possible, and the whole idea has caught the attention of not just sleep-seekers but scientists. Researchers found CBD increased the duration of sleep better than a placebo in one study. Even more noteworthy, CBD seemed just as effective at helping people to fall asleep as a prescription sleep drug. A more comprehensive, long-term study on CBD for sleep found that over 66% of 103 participants reported better sleep after using CBD for three months.
What characteristics make CBD a sleep aid?
Several of the mechanisms of CBD may mean it could be used as a sleep aid. For one, CBD has anxiolytic properties, which means it helps to lower stress responses in the body and may help someone relax. In a more relaxed state, you are better prepared to fall asleep and may not wake up as often through the night.
Cortisol levels may also play a role, as cortisol is a stress hormone that should peak early in the day, but is found in higher concentrations at night among people who deal with insomnia. Plus, higher cortisol is associated with waking up more frequently at night. The long-term study mentioned earlier found CBD oil seemed to lower cortisol levels.
The Differences in CBD Levels and How That Affects Sleep
While CBD does seem to help with sleep, higher doses may be required to see the best outcome. Cortisol levels are reduced most significantly at doses of 300 to 600mg. However, as low as 40mg of CBD has been shown to help people fall asleep faster.
How much CBD to take for sleep?
If you are new to taking CBD for sleep, it is best to start with a lower dose, see how that dose works out, and then adjust in small increments thereafter. For example, you could start with just 40mg of CBD, see if that dose yields the effects you want to see, and then add another 5 to 10mg if not. Keep in mind, each person can have their own experience, so a little trial and error can be involved.
How long before CBD works for sleep?
How long it takes to feel the CBD depends on:
- Method of consumption
- Type of CBD product
- Your own body chemistry
In general, you can expect to feel a sublingual dose in about 15 minutes, but ingested CBD may take up to an hour or more.
Best CBD Products for Sleep
For the most part, people prefer CBD oils or tinctures for sleep because it is convenient to take as needed and relatively easy to dose. However, CBD edibles are also a good option for the same reasons.
Keep in mind, the bulk of CBD oils you find on the market will be hemp-derived, as these are legal across the country. Hemp-derived CBD does not contain a lot of THC, as hemp is naturally low in THC and high in CBD. If you prefer CBD from cannabis, which will have more THC involved, you’ll have to get your products from a legal dispensary.
Combining CBD with Cannabis for Sleep
Some people do use cannabis to improve sleep. However, the majority of cannabis is especially low in CBD and high in THC, so it is usually the THC causing sleepiness and not CBD. If you find that CBD alone helps with sleep, you may want to try a high-CBD/low-THC cannabis-derived tincture or a 1:1 product like Mr. Moxey’s Mints that have almost matching amounts of both cannabinoids.
CBD Oil vs THC Tincture: Which Is Better for Sleep?
The answer to the CBD oil vs THC tincture debate is not so clearly defined. Both cannabinoids have the potential to help you sleep, but both seem to do so in different ways. If you prefer to be eased into sleep by feeling more relaxed and less stressed, CBD oils may be preferable. On the contrary, if you like the heavier sedating effects of THC, you may prefer a THC tincture. Some people prefer CBD simply because they know there will be no intoxication involved, which can be helpful if you don’t have a lot of hours to sleep or have to remain sober. Higher levels of THC can also be counteractive to sleep, according to some studies.
Final Thoughts On CBD for Sleep
THC may be a long-time friend of those looking for rest, but CBD may be just as worthy of attention. Whether you’re a full-on insomniac or just have a hard time staying asleep at night, CBD seems to offer promise. If you are looking to try CBD for sleep, especially CBD combined with THC, be sure to take a look at our menus at Silver Therapeutics.