CBD for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects and Treatment
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain your body's balance and stability, known as homeostasis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it will not get you "high." Instead, it has various health uses, such as reducing epileptic seizures in people with epilepsy and pain relief for a variety of conditions.
What does the research say about CBD and sleep?
To understand whether CBD can improve sleep, it is important to understand the causes of poor sleep. Possible causes of insomnia include mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, symptoms of chronic conditions such as pain, consuming a large meal or caffeine just before bed, and environmental factors such as distracting devices or an uncomfortable bed. If your insomnia is related to external factors or related conditions, CBD can help by addressing the underlying causes of insomnia.
While research on CBD's effects on sleep is still in its early stages, a 2022 review suggests that CBD alone or in combination with equal amounts of THC may help alleviate insomnia. This may include reducing anxiety, alleviating chronic pain, improving symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder in people with Parkinson's disease, and reducing daytime sleepiness.
How do you use CBD for sleep?CBD can be taken in a variety of ways, including vape concentrates, oils and tinctures, pills and capsules, and edibles such as gummies. Vaping usually allows for faster absorption into the body, but there is limited research on vaping CBD and it may carry respiratory and other health risks. Factors such as body weight, personal body chemistry, the nature of your sleep problems, and the specific CBD product you use will affect how CBD works. They also determine the optimal dosage and time of intake.
People who use CBD for anxiety and sleeping problems may not notice an immediate effect. A 2019 study on sleep and anxiety found that people started noticing a difference after about a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Dosage of CBD Should You Take to Improve Sleep?
There is no official dosage which sometimes makes it difficult. Clinical studies related to CBD and sleep have typically used doses between 25mg and 1,500mg of CBD per day. It's best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find an effective dose that works for you.
How do you take CBD?
There are several forms of CBD available, including oils, patches, and gummies. You can use any of these ways to improve sleep.
CBD products may be able to help improve sleep by addressing pain, anxiety, and daytime sleepiness, factors that can affect sleep quality. It is essential to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before taking any supplements or medication, including CBD, as they are best placed to advise on how to use CBD to improve your sleep based on your specific circumstances.