From night owls to stressed-out parents, millions of people worldwide suffer from insomnia. With 30-35% of adults in the United States showing symptoms of insomnia, experts are calling insomnia an “epidemic.“
There’s good news, though – and yes… it comes from the Cannabis plant.
With supporting medical research and mountains of testimonials, cannabis-derived CBD has proven to be effective in improving insomnia symptoms.
Because of this unique benefit, some are now faced with an ironic concern:
“If CBD helps you fall asleep, does CBD make you sleepy? If it does, will it affect my mindset if used during the day?”
To the average person, it’s easy to assume CBD would make you sleepy, especially if you’re familiar with the powerful sedative effects of using marijuana or THC.
After all, how could CBD help alleviate sleeping disorders like insomnia without making the user sleepy?
Keep reading to discover the answer and learn some surprising facts about CBD that you may have never known.
Let’s dive in!
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
Ironically, not at all.
While CBD has shown to be effective in alleviating insomnia symptoms, how it works to do so may be different than you imagined.
Instead of administering sedative effects like THC or sleeping pills, CBD combats insomnia at the source.
How Does CBD Help with Sleeping Disorders?
At the root of today’s insomniac epidemic is not a genetic disorder or some contagious sickness. It’s the same thing behind cancer, high blood pressure, and many other illnesses…
With the strain of increasing demands from technology, employers, and the economy, along with skyrocketing health conditions and unhealthy lifestyle choices, stress levels are at an all-time high.
While periodic stress levels can cause minor headaches and mood swings. Prolonged stress has been linked to serious health conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and more.
CBD might just be the answer to this epidemic.
How CBD Relieves Stress
What Is Stress?
In simplest terms, stress results from how a person responds to a situation.
For example, someone cuts you off on the freeway. You could respond to the situation (which experts call your “stress response”) by simply brushing it off, or you could get upset, honk at the guy, and even try and cut him off. The second scenario would undoubtedly increase your stress levels.
While there are numerous factors behind a person’s response to a situation, responding is a psychological process that occurs in the brain.
Without getting into the technical details, the activity in the brain can be described as a series of energy signals constantly being transferred throughout the body. Some of these signals tell our arm to move. Others respond to a situation that was perceived as stressful.
A normal, healthy brain will have functions to manage how we respond to stressful situations. However, if the brain is off-balanced or has too much going on, the brain will get overloaded, and this function will not work properly.
Without a stress response system in place, a person could perceive a situation with minor danger (like walking up the stairs) as a very dangerous situation. Causing them to respond excessively and negatively (they become afraid of going up the stairs). Over time, a poor stress response will have compacting effects on a person’s stress levels.
As people fall into a stress pattern, they naturally try to find ways to deal with it. More often than not, “dealing with stress” includes taking medication, drinking, partying, or all of the above. While these options may provide temporary relief, the relief is brief and often leads to even worse problems.
CBD is completely different.
Taking CBD for Stress
Remember when we talked about the ECS earlier? A majority of the receptors in the ECS are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system.
Studies show that when CBD interacts with these receptors, cognitive functions improve. The brain can respond to stressful situations more effectively. As a result, the negative behavioral output is mitigated, and the stress cycle is negated.
By improving the brain’s capacity to respond to stressful situations, CBD helps alleviate current stress levels while serving as a preventative measure against future stress.
Is CBD Good for Sleep Disorders?
There’s not enough research to confirm that CBD can help with sleep disorders. However, the research out there is positive. This study demonstrates that CBD can potentially treat these disorders:
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
As stated previously, there is positive research on CBD and stress. If anxiety keeps you up at night, taking CBD regularly can potentially improve your sleep.
I’m on Sleep Medication. Should I Take CBD?
Let’s say you’ve been struggling with sleep disorders for years and are on sleep medication. Will CBD interact with your meds? There is a chance that taking CBD with sleep medication will make you sleepier.
In addition to prescription sleep medication, these effects extend to over-the-counter sleep aids and supplements such as melatonin.
If you do want to try CBD for sleep along with any sleep medication or supplements you’re currently taking, always ask your doctor first.
Is CBD FDA-Approved for Sleep and Stress?
The FDA has only approved one CBD product, and it treats seizures, not sleep and stress. In addition, the FDA has not determined the effectiveness and safety of CBD to treat any diseases or other health conditions. There is also limited research on CBD, though there has been positive.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use CBD – it just hasn’t received the FDA seal of approval. As long as the CBD was extracted from hemp and contained less than 0.3% of THC, CBD is perfectly legal.
But understand that by taking CBD, you are self-medicating and are doing so at your own risk. While CBD seems generally safe, it does come with minor side effects, which we will discuss more later.
I Want to Take CBD During the Day. Will It Make Me Sleepy?
You may want to take CBD during the day, but you don’t want to sleep the day away. So, will CBD make you sleepy, even during the day? While there isn’t much research to back this up, I never had this issue personally.
If you want to be sure that CBD won’t make you tired, I suggest drinking coffee when taking CBD. This way, the caffeine will perk you up while CBD helps you achieve wellness.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
CBD is usually tolerated well. It does come with side effects, but they’re all pretty mild. Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea are the most common. Drowsiness and fatigue are common symptoms, but these side effects aren’t exactly terrible if you’re taking CBD for sleep.
If you have worse side effects from CBD, be aware of any substances you take with CBD. CBD doesn’t interact well with certain medications, such as blood thinners. You shouldn’t use CBD with alcohol since it will intensify alcohol’s effects.
How to Take CBD for Sleep
Do you want to try taking CBD for sleep? Here’s some helpful information to know first.
There are numerous forms of CBD, including:
- Edibles and capsules
Topical solutions are only used for pain and skin/beauty benefits, so you can knock that suggestion off the list.
Otherwise, any other product is excellent for sleep. Keep in mind that oral products take longer to go into effect. Vapes cause immediate results, but they may carry lung risks.
I personally always take a CBD tincture. These are taken sublingually, meaning under the tongue.
While you won’t see results immediately, you will quickly see them. That’s because holding the oil under your tongue causes the cannabinoids to absorb faster in the bloodstream.
The effects also last longer since more CBD is absorbed in the bloodstream. That’s why I recommend this method for sleep.
After choosing a CBD product, you’ll want to know the best dose. Most manufacturers provide the optimal CBD dose. However, this varies between all users.
From what I’ve witnessed, a daily dose of 0.3 ml – 1.5 ml is a pretty good range, with 0.3 ml/day being the best for beginners.
I take 0.6 – 0.7 ml/day, but that’s because my CBD has 5 mg of THC (I’m in Canada, and this is perfectly legal for adults to take). If my CBD has less than 0.5 mg THC, I take at least 1 ml/day. Oh, and I sleep like a baby every night.
If you take higher doses of CBD, I don’t suggest you drive or operate machinery unless you’re an experienced user. Then again, if you’re taking CBD for sleep, I doubt you’ll be going anywhere.
Question: I Tried CBD, and It Made Me Drowsy. How Long Until the Drowsiness Goes Away?
Answer: CBD lasts in your system between two and six hours, so I would say after that length of time is when the drowsiness will subside.
Question: CBD Makes Me Feel High! What Am I Doing Wrong?
Answer: First and foremost, CBD isn’t psychoactive. If you feel “high” on CBD, there may be something in the product that’s causing these effects, or you’re taking something else.
One of the main culprits is you’re taking broad or full-spectrum CBD, which means the product also contains cannabinoids (THC for full-spectrum). While the product often contains small amounts of other cannabinoids, you can feel it more intensely if you’re not used to the sensation. If you suspect this is the case, switch to CBD isolates.
However, understand that CBD may cause a “feeling” when you start using it, though it’s not the same as a marijuana high. Some of the effects you may feel include:
- More focused
- Feeling relaxed
- Improved well-being
- Decreased symptoms
All of these sensations should be enjoyable. If you’re worried about feeling any effects, take a smaller dose.
Question: I Want to Try CBD for Sleep. How Long in Advance Should I Take It?
Answer: This depends on the method you take. If you’re taking a CBD vape, take your dose 20 minutes before going to bed.
If you’re taking a CBD edible, take it an hour or two before falling asleep. Tinctures are the exception because they take effect quicker than other edibles. I suggest taking your dose 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Question: Medical/Recreational Marijuana Is Legal Where I Live. Should I Take THC Instead?
Answer: There are marijuana strains that make users feel relaxed and sleepy. They’re called Indica strains and are often used by those who struggle with anxiety, insomnia, and pain.
Indica strains are therapeutic but are often high in the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, so many first-time users may be hesitant to try these strains.
Suppose you live in an area where cannabis is legal, whether medical or recreational. In that case, you may wonder if you should choose an indica cannabis strain instead of CBD.
THC has pros and cons, especially for sleep. As stated previously, Indica strains are calming and can help users fall asleep.
However, THC does have some disadvantages. For example, THC does come with more side effects than CBD. These include:
- Coordination problems
- Increased heart rate
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Memory loss
- Slow reaction time
In addition, THC reduces REM sleep.
This can be a good and bad thing. Bad because REM sleep is an integral part of a healthy sleep cycle. Good because most dreaming happens during a REM cycle and can prevent nightmares caused by anxiety and PTSD that can prevent you from sleeping.
Understand that research hasn’t been conclusive on whether THC can improve sleep or if it’s better than CBD. This doesn’t mean that high-THC indica strains can’t help you. As stated previously, you’ll be self-medicating, so you’re taking these strains at your own risk.
Also, everyone is different.
I personally think cannabis helps me sleep better than CBD, and I always wake up feeling fantastic and well-rested. Again, I’m noting I’m in Canada, where cannabis is legal on the federal level for adults. Please don’t consume marijuana unless it’s legal.
Suppose you’re in the U.S. and a state where marijuana isn’t legal and/or, you don’t have access to medical marijuana. In that case, you may want to consider delta-8 THC. This is a less potent form of THC extracted from the hemp plant, making it legal on a federal level.
Research is still unclear, but it does seem like delta-8 THC can help with sleep. But understand that your body may need to get used to THC before you experience the benefits. There are Indica strains of delta-8 THC, too.
Question: What’s the Difference Between Full-spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD?
Answer: Full spectrum CBD contains every cannabinoid, including the legally allowed .3% THC. This means that it could have a more sedative effect on someone. This is great if you are trying to sleep, but if you need to pass regular drug tests, you might show up hot for THC.
Broad spectrum CBD has all of the THC removed, and therefore you won’t get as strong as a sedative effect, but you should be safe from it showing up on a drug test.
It goes without saying, but CBD is absolutely amazing. The potential to improve the health and lives of so many people worldwide is honestly inspiring. If you know someone whose life can be improved by CBD, don’t hesitate to share your knowledge with them.
So to summarize this article: Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
Not at all. It combats insomnia and other sleep-related disorders by improving and restoring our stress response. Instead of tossing and turning over a dirty look that someone gave you, take some CBD, relax, and get some sleep!
Hope you enjoyed this article! If you have any questions or comments, please engage in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!