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CBD Sleep Study: Can You Improve Your Sleep with CBD?



It is incredible how difficult it can be to get a full night’s sleep! Luckily, we are here to help you understand how CBD can be used to improve your sleep quality and duration. In the following article, you’ll learn about one major CBD sleep study and more CBD sleep research

By the end of the article, you’ll discover whether CBD helps for insomnia and we’ll answer the critical question, “How does CBD help you sleep?” We’ll learn what we can from the CBD sleep research to help us figure out how much CBD for sleep improvement is needed. 

You may have already noticed these benefits and want to learn more. Or you may be entirely new to the topic of using CBD for sleep. Either way, you’ll get all the answers you seek. 

Learn about one major CBD sleep study and more CBD sleep research.

Contents

1. Does CBD Help with Sleep?
2. How Does CBD Help You Sleep?
    2.1 So What Does CBD Do?
3. The Role of the Endocannabinoid System for Sleep
4. The Role of the ECS on the Circadian Sleep-Wake Cycle
5. How Does CBD Oil Help You Sleep?
    5.1 Cortisol and Sleep
6. CBD Sleep Study
7. CBD Sleep Research: Does CBD Help You Sleep?
    7.1 Is CBD Helpful for Insomnia?
8. How Much CBD for Sleep?
    8.1 How Many Drops of CBD Oil for Sleep?

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1. Does CBD Help with Sleep?

 

Consumers of CBD have professed the benefits of using CBD for sleep for decades. Sadly, these voices have been drowned out by talk of THC and getting high from marijuana. Nonetheless, the number of people using CBD for sleep and attaining benefits from it has only increased over the years. (Click to tweet)

You might be wondering...

Sure, people say that CBD helps them sleep, but those are only anecdotes. We understand the skepticism, as there are so many purported sleep aids out there. To help overcome this uncertainty, we turn to scientific evidence wherever possible. Is there a CBD sleep study to explore?

People say that CBD helps them sleep. Is there a CBD sleep study to explore?

RELATED: What Is CBD?

Yes! In fact, there are several sources that we can use to gain insights into the use of CBD for sleep. We’re going to focus on one particular case series involving 72 adults. This study was published in 2019 and represents the leading edge of CBD sleep research. [1]

But...

Before we dive into that fascinating study, we’re going to build our knowledge foundation. For those who don’t know much about CBD, you may be wondering how the heck this plant can impact your sleep. This is completely understandable, as we’re discussing newly evidence-based topics and content. Don’t worry; you won’t need a science degree to understand the basic science behind the clinical findings of CBD for insomnia

The key pieces of information you need to understand relate to CBD, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and how these two interact. If you’ve never heard of the ECS, you’re going to be blown away by this knowledge bomb.

2. How Does CBD Help You Sleep? 

 

Humans have used hemp to improve their quality of life for a long time. While many focus on the mind-expanding effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), others prefer the health-enhancing effects of cannabidiol (CBD). One of the top reasons that people use CBD is to address sleep concerns. [2]

Cannabidiol belongs to a class of compounds called cannabinoids that are produced by Cannabis sativa L., naturally. Technically, the plant produces CBD-acid (CBDA), which is then rapidly converted to CBD through the use of heat. This process is called decarboxylation.

One of the top reasons that people use CBD is to address sleep concerns.

Most CBD oil and other products you buy will have already gone through this process. The only thing you need to know here is that if your CBD product says it contains CBDA, such as with CBDA crystals or CBD bud, then heat is needed before it becomes bioactive. 

2.1 So What Does CBD Do?

CBD is known to have a variety of effects on the human body. We know that it is non-impairing and does not lead to intoxication. Evidence suggests that CBD has the following beneficial pharmacological effects: [3]

  • Anxiety reducing
  • Nausea reducing
  • Antipsychotic effects
  • Neuroprotective properties
  • Anti-inflammatory effects

CBD is known to have a variety of effects on the human body.

RELATED: How CBD Works

CBD is broadly considered to be safe, with a minimal side effect profile. The compound does not alter blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, or impact motor control. Even chronic high doses of 1500mg a day have been shown to be well-tolerated by humans. [3] (Click to tweet)

So, how does CBD do all of this?

The answer lies in human biology. For those of you cringing at the thought, we’ll keep this pretty simple so you won’t feel like you’re in science class. As we mentioned earlier, something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is inside of us all. It is also the key to understanding the impacts of CBD.

CBD is broadly considered to be safe, with a minimal side effect profile.

RELATED: The Side Effects of CBD Explained

3. The Role of the Endocannabinoid System for Sleep

 

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is super old—like so old that it exists in all vertebrates. The ECS serves a critical regulatory function throughout our bodies. Some of its roles include regulating digestion, inflammation, immune function, and regulation of stress and mood. With regard to our topic for today, the ECS also regulates our wake/sleep cycles, metabolism, and energy levels. [4]

When discussing our wake/sleep cycles, you can think of our circadian rhythm. This term relates to the daily cycle of sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Our bodies manage this biological clock based on the level of light around us. This is one of the reasons using bright screens at night is inadvisable, especially for those with sleeping issues. [5] 

The Advanced Sleep Formula contains Melatonin, a hormone that is regulated by our circadian rhythms.

RELATED: How Cannabinoids Interact with Their ECS Receptors

Circadian rhythms also influence our hormonal levels, appetite, digestion, and body temperature. You’ve likely heard about melatonin already, as this is the most well-known sleepiness hormone.

Melatonin is a great example of a hormone that is regulated by our circadian rhythms and the amount of light in our environment. [5] 

This is why we add melatonin to our Advanced Sleep Formula with CBD. This powerful compound helps to improve the sleep-enhancing effects of this CBD oil(Click to tweet) 

These are just two of the amazing ingredients that we pack inside this incredible formula.

The Advanced Sleep Formula contains Melatonin, a hormone that is regulated by our circadian rhythms.

WATCH: Advanced Sleep Formula with CBD

4. The Role of the ECS on the Circadian Sleep-Wake Cycle

 

The ECS is known to be involved in the regulation of the circadian sleep-wake cycle. This includes the maintenance and the promotion of sleep. Specifically, the moderating functions of the ECS may link our circadian regulation systems and the corresponding impacts. The impacts on our behaviors and internal physiological processes include sleep and hormonal levels. [6]

When investigating those with abnormal sleep patterns, researchers discovered that enhanced ECS activity improved recovery after non-normal sleep. All of the evidence combined suggests that: [6]

“... the ECS is a critical system involved in the regulation of the circadian rhythm sleep-wake cycle, highlighting the importance of examining the impact of cannabinoids on sleep.” (Click to tweet)

Part of the way CBD can improve sleep quality is through anxiety-reducing impacts.

Part of the way CBD can improve sleep quality is through anxiety-reducing impacts. This potential role of CBD in managing excessive sleepiness is one worth consideration. (Click to tweet)

For those with medical marijuana access, many have already discovered that they should focus on getting more CBD. In fact, medical cannabis patients reported reduced time needed to fall asleep with higher CBD concentrations. [6]

Part of the way CBD can improve sleep quality is through anxiety-reducing impacts.

RELATED: CBD and Anxiety: What Does the Latest Research Say?

5. How Does CBD Oil Help You Sleep?

 

While the precise mechanisms are unclear, we know that CBD has a wide range of effects on the ECS and the rest of the human body. For example, the anxiety-suppressing effects of CBD are related to the way it interacts with 5-HT1A (serotonin) receptors. [1]

The neurotransmission going on at serotonin receptors is intimately linked to anxiety. The ability of specific pharmaceuticals to reduce anxiety is known to be related to the way they increase 5-HT levels and facilitate 5-HT neurotransmission. Whether CBD operates in a similar way is currently unclear. [7]

But here’s the kicker:

CBD also impacts our wake/sleep cycles directly. It does this through the actions of the ECS in certain brain areas. More research will help us understand the exact mechanisms at play. There is plenty of research using animal models, clinical findings, and case reports that all point in the same direction. This evidence nearly all supports the claim that CBD oil can help you sleep

When looking at the ways CBD impacts sleep, we should also spend a bit of time looking at cortisol. This hormone is essential to sleep and is known to be impacted by consuming CBD. 

When looking at the ways CBD impacts sleep, we should also spend a bit of time looking at cortisol.

RELATED: CBD Oil for Sleep: What You Need to Know to Sleep Better

5.1 Cortisol and Sleep

Cortisol is a critical hormone in our sleep-wake cycles. A disruption to your cortisol levels can interfere with your sleep and potentially lead to sleep disorders. Getting poor sleep can lead to even worse cortisol dysregulation. It can be tough to break out of this cycle and get back to sleeping normally with regular cortisol levels. [8]

Researchers investigated cortisol levels in healthy volunteers using between 300mg and 600mg of CBD. Through analyzing their blood hormone levels, they found out that those who were taking CBD had less disruption to cortisol levels. While the details require more research, it seems that CBD interferes with cortisol secretion. [9]

Those who were taking CBD had less disruption to cortisol levels.

Want to know the best part?

These volunteers also reported one additional piece of information that we can’t ignore. The participants reported that these high doses of CBD had a sedative effect. While the details vary between the studies explored here, they all converge on the fact that CBD promotes sleep. [9]

This trend is undeniable: research supports the idea that CBD is helpful for sleep. That said, we should note that overall, the research is mixed. But for those who dive into the research, it is important to separate out conversations about CBD, THC, and synthetic analogs (cannabinoids made in a lab). [6]

For example, one literature review demonstrated this exact point. The conclusion of the study was that using cannabis for sleep is a research area in its infancy that has produced mixed results. But this is what they said about CBD: [6]

“CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness." (Click to tweet)

CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.

6. CBD Sleep Study

 

Now that we understand the basic science behind how CBD can help with sleep, it is time to explore a recent study. This exciting and large case series explored the use of CBD in 72 adults. For many of the individuals, anxiety was the primary concern they had at the time. Researchers wanted to see how CBD would impact their sleep quality and anxiety levels. [1]

What the researchers discovered was amazing!

After the first month of treatment, most of the participants improved both their anxiety scores and sleep scores. Only three of the participants did not tolerate CBD well, with minor side effects, as is expected in a small percentage of people. The average age of participants was 34 years old, with the oldest person being 70 years old. [1]

It gets better!

These results were also maintained well in the following two subsequent months—and this is with some people reducing or stopping their consumption of CBD. This hints at the fact that CBD is beneficial for sleep quality during usage and also after, supporting long-term positive results. This means CBD may help you develop long-term improvements in your sleep quality. [1]

CBD is beneficial for sleep quality during usage and also after, supporting long-term positive results.

It is unfortunate how some potential participants declined CBD treatment for religious or ethical concerns. People are missing out on the potential of CBD due to the stigma that is really more about THC, after all. 

While these results are promising, they do warrant a degree of health optimism. The study used high-quality measures, including the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Mental health professionals completed these surveys and the authors of the paper performed a retrospective chart review. [1]

7. CBD Sleep Research: Does CBD Help You Sleep?

 

One useful source for us to review in our search for the answer to this key question comes from Project CBD. This organization performed a massive Online Sleep Survey.

This survey collected responses on a variety of issues for over 3,500 participants. At least 1,500 of these people reported using CBD for sleep problems. Here are some quick stats from this informal but broad survey: [10]

  • Out of these 1,500 participants, 69% were female and 29% were male.
  • Having other health issues was very common, with the top two being pain and mood issues.
  • CBD was thought to reduce the time spent falling asleep from 1 hour to 20 minutes.
  • Participants reported waking up at night less frequently (roughly ⅓ as often).
  • Finally, people reported waking up tired much less frequently after using CBD.

What’s the bottom line? 

While this is not a peer-reviewed study, it is a fascinating look into the lives of CBD consumers across 58 different countries. They have collected a wealth of knowledge, asking over 200 questions in this comprehensive research survey. Overall, the evidence suggests that CBD helps these people sleep better. [10]

At least 1,500 of the 3,500 participants reported using CBD for sleep problems.

7.1 Is CBD Helpful for Insomnia?

Another interesting study used self-report methods, using an app, in medical cannabis patients with insomnia. The results demonstrated that people feel like they are getting better sleep. Greater symptom relief was found in those who used more CBD instead of THC. While this study used smoked flowers, it also supports the notion that CBD for insomnia is helpful. [11]

Greater symptom relief was found in those who used more CBD instead of THC.

8. How Much CBD for Sleep?

 

The dosages used in CBD sleep research vary rather dramatically. With an overall lack of research, it is hard to determine hard numbers. That said, there is plenty enough to get us started and to provide some good principles for dosage.

From the study on individuals with insomnia, we saw that doses of 160 mg/day increased total sleep time and decreased the frequency of awakening during the night. Overall, it is fair to say that medium- and high-dose CBD has been shown to have the best impact on sleep quality. [6]

The case series we explored used much smaller amounts of CBD. Participants started with a dosage of 25 mg/d in capsule form and progressed upward from there, with many taking 50 mg/d or 75 mg/d. Only one individual kept increasing their dose until they hit 175mg/d. [2]

Here’s the deal:

We can suggest that starting with a dose of 25 mg/d is a good idea. It is always good to start low and gradually increase your CBD dosage to avoid side effects. From that starting dose, you can slowly raise it by 25 mg/d increments. Once the benefits you seek are attained, you can maintain that dose. This is the best way to find the dosage that works for you.

It is always good to start low and gradually increase your CBD dosage to avoid side effects.

RELATED: CBD Dosage 101: What You Need to Know

8.1 How Many Drops of CBD Oil for Sleep?

The exact number of CBD oil drops will depend on how potent the CBD oil is. With our 3600mg Tincture, you’ll find 30mg of CBD per 1 ml—which equates to half a dropper of this CBD oil. You’ll likely find less potent CBD oils on the market, and this means you have to consume more overall to get to your target CBD dose. 

The number of drops you consume will also depend on how active the product is. When it comes to CBD compounds, it is not how many we consume, but how many get to where they need to be in the body. Our Advanced Sleep Formula with CBD has enhanced bioavailability, and so you may find you need less than the numbers suggested above. This liposomal CBD contains 5mg of CBD per ml—which equates to one full dropper of this CBD oil.

When it comes to CBD compounds, it is not how many we consume, but how many get to where they need to be.

RELATED: Why New Liposomal Sleep Formula Is the Best Natural Sleep Aid

Whether you have full-on insomnia or virtually no trouble sleeping, it is never a bad idea to try to improve your sleep. Sleeping deeper and waking up feeling more rested are beneficial for everyone—and if you have insomnia, you just might find yourself waking up before you realize you had fallen asleep! There’s really no reason not to give CBD for sleep a try. 

There’s really no reason not to give CBD for sleep a try.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  4. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/information-medical-practitioners/information-health-care-professionals-cannabis-cannabinoids.html
  5. https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/circadian-rhythms.aspx
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28349316/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927969/
  8. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/202004/the-effects-cortisol-your-sleep
  9. ttps://europepmc.org/article/med/8257923
  10. https://www.projectcbd.org/reports/cultivating-wellness/sleep
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164964/

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