One of the best established effects of cannabidiol (CBD) is its ability to promote sleep and relaxation.
CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids that grow in the cannabis plant. Another is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that gets you high when you smoke marijana. CBD has no psychoactive effects, so it can’t get you high, but it can help you sleep.
In most people, CBD doesn’t have any negative side effects and seems to work well.
This is a summary from the National Institutes of Health:
“The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.”
This study shows that two-thirds of people got better sleep. With only 3 people experiencing negative side effects, it seems that CBD is a great addition to any sleep hygiene regimen.
How it works
CBD, like many of the compounds in cannabis, bonds with the endocannabinoid system. This is a system that the body has developed to take advantage of these chemical compounds for health. In fact, over tens of thousands of years, cannabis was such an important part of our environment, this system was developed. It’s only been for the past 100 years or so that cannabis wasn’t a normal part of every day life.
Many things can cause you to lose sleep:
- Anxiety, PTSD, and depression
- Medications that disturb your sleep cycle
- An uncomfortable bed
- Restless legs
CBD has also been shown to reduce stress and inflammation.
Stress and anxiety can keep you awake all night worrying. CBD appears to change the brain’s chemistry slightly to make it easier to settle your thoughts at night.
Most pain is caused by some form of inflammation. CBD reduces inflammation, even from chronic pain and restless legs. This can help you sleep better every night.
How to Use CBD for Sleep
As with all applications of CBD, there is no set amount for everyone. The best way to start is to use the smallest dose possible and only increase it when it doesn't give all the desired effects. For sleep, it will be best to take it 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed for the night.
There is a growing body of clinical and anecdotal evidence that CBD can help you sleep. As there are few side effects and it’s almost always well tolerated, there’s very little risk. There’s also no evidence that you can overdose on CBD or that it’s addictive. All of these reasons make CBD a great alternative to over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.