CBD for Sleep

Anthony Pellegrino
August 31, 2021

The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve readers of their obligation to obtain qualified medical, legal or other professional advice.

What you will learn in this post:
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As many as 44.1% of American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

According to CDC statistics, as much as 44.1% of American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. However, the National Sleep Foundation has stated that healthy adults need at least 7 - 9 hours of sleep daily. Lack of sleep does not only cause grogginess or feelings of tiredness. It can negatively affect nearly every part of your physical and mental health. 

With this in mind, many people are searching for different sleep aids. During this search, it won't be long before CBD pops up because countless consumers across the nation now use CBD for insomnia. You may be looking to do the same, but there are a few things you should know before you try it.

If you'd like to speak to a state-licensed doctor from the comfort of home to learn more about CBD or other cannabis treatments, NuggMD is always happy to help. Their doctors are available from 8 AM to 10 PM daily, including weekends. 

Read on to learn more about CBD for sleep. 

What is CBD, exactly?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many cannabinoids found within cannabis and hemp plants. Next to THC, it's the cannabinoid found in the largest concentrations. And while it's becoming more common to derive CBD from marijuana, CBD is usually sourced from hemp plants. Hemp plants containing less than .03% THC are now federally legal and carry fewer regulatory hurdles than high CBD strains of cannabis with quantifiable THC like AC/DC and Charlotte's Web.

CBD will not get you high like THC.

CBD use has been found to have many relaxing and soothing effects in humans. But make no mistake, CBD will not get you high like THC. Many people wonder about this, naturally, because of CBD's more famous cousin, THC. The difference between THC and CBD is that THC creates a sense of euphoria; CBD merely creates a sense of calm and wellbeing if the user notices anything at all, which they often don't.

CBD use doesn't have any association with abuse or dependence, according to the World Health Organization. On a similar note, there's currently no evidence of significant health problems attributed to CBD use. 

What research says about taking CBD for sleep in 2021

Some research shows that CBD can boost relaxation and provide a calming effect in the central nervous system. For this reason, CBD attracts significant attention as a potential treatment for many medical conditions linked to the nervous system as well. More research must be conducted before any conclusive claims and results can be verified. However, there's ample anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD can aid sleep. 

Studies show that CBD can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

Results also suggest that initial benefits may not be sustained over a long period. A 2019 study was conducted with 72 adult subjects that were experiencing frequent anxiety and poor sleep. After using CBD, around 80% of these research participants reported a reduction in their symptoms. Approximately 67% of them also experienced an improvement in their sleep patterns within the first month. However, these sleep patterns fluctuated over time

A 2018 study investigated the effectiveness of cannabis as a potential treatment for insomnia. 409 subjects participated, and the severity of their symptoms was measured before and after cannabis use. Then, using a scale of 1-10, participants started the study with an average (self-assessed) severity score of 6.6. After their cannabis consumption, however, this average score reduced to just 2.1. But while this study used cannabis flower (which involves several cannabinoids), it did note that strains with a higher ratio of CBD were associated with an increased positive effect on insomnia.

More studies are necessary before anything can be definitively concluded. Still, the good news is that more money is showing up for these studies due to ongoing legalization efforts in the US. 

How to take CBD to improve your sleep patterns

Always speak to your physician before changing or taking any new medications or herbal supplements. 

Most find that for best results, they need to take their preferred CBD dose daily. If you're new to taking CBD, there's a wide variety of options available for you to try including edibles, vapes, and capsules. Truth be told, when it comes to sleep, the exact way you consume CBD is nearly as important as the dosage. Here's a list of different options you can choose from.  

CBD Gummies for sleep

CBD gummies are an easy way to consume CBD.

You'll find that CBD gummies are one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to consume CBD. If you're worried about correctly dosing your CBD every day, gummies may be the way to go. Gummy manufacturers put great effort into consistently dosing their gummies, and most come with lab results to prove it. Also, they're delicious!

CBD Oils and Tinctures

Tinctures may be taken alone or added to drinks.

CBD oils and tinctures are another popular way to consume CBD. While often referred to as the same thing, they are slightly different. CBD oil for sleep is typically a mixture of CBD extract and an inactive carrier oil such as coconut oil. A CBD tincture, on the other hand, is an alcohol-based extract. Regardless of formulation, they're usually consumed in the same way. They typically come in glass bottles with pipettes used to drop the liquid under the tongue or into a drink. This is a less precise method of dosing.

Oral Solutions and Sprays

Shake CBD spray before using for most even dosing.

CBD also comes in various oral sprays and solutions. These products, as the name suggests, come in containers with spray applicators attached to the top. Like oils and tinctures, you're meant to spray these right into your mouth, making them an easy and discreet method of consuming CBD. They're flavored in most cases, so they can be an excellent choice for those patients looking to avoid any marijuana or plant tastes. Some are meant to provide precisely metered doses, but it's a good idea to shake your product well for the evenest dosing.

Vapes

Some prefer to vape CBD for the fastest effect.

You can also take CBD in vape form. CBD vape juice is simply CBD oil combined with a carrier liquid that can be vaporized and inhaled. This is typically done using a vape pen. You can find CBD vape pen oil with or without THC. Broad-spectrum CBD vape oil contains CBD and other cannabinoids, and full-spectrum CBD vape oil contains CBD, cannabinoids, and some THC

Edibles

Nearly any food can be made into a CBD edible.

As the name suggests, CBD edibles are simply edible goods infused with CBD oil. As previously mentioned, a popular form is CBD gummies, but you can also find chocolates, cookies, honey, drinks, and many other types of CBD treats. Nearly any food product can be made into a CBD edible, so the possibilities are endless. Dosing your CBD correctly can sometimes be a challenge, however, if making the edibles yourself.

If you're looking for new CBD edibles to try, be sure to check out our rundown of the Best CBD Edibles in 2021.

Pills and Capsules

CBD capsules make exact dosing easy.

Another easy and consistent way to consume CBD is to take pills or capsules. These are simply capsules filled with specific amounts of CBD oil or isolate that can be swallowed with water like any other pill. CBD capsules are often packed with additional ingredients to help boost the desired effects, so be sure to read your product's label carefully.  

Topical solutions

CBD can be applied directly to the skin too, but this isn't the best dosing method for sleep.

CBD topical solutions are trendy now. These creams, balms, and lotions contain CBD designed to be directly applied to the skin. Usually, people choose CBD topicals to provide pain relief to specific parts of their bodies rather than as a sleep aid. Also, it's nearly impossible to apply a precise dosage of CBD this way, so topicals may not be the best choice for sleep. 

How much CBD should you take for a better night’s sleep?

The dosage commonly used in clinical studies hovers around 25mg. Yet, a 2018 study administered up to 1,500mg CBD in a single dose. Interestingly, no one dropped out of that particular study due to the side effects, which were generally mild if felt at all. 

Like other marijuana products, the best way to find the proper dosage for you is by going low and slow. Increase your dosage steadily over time until you find one that works best. Also, remember to be patient. While it may be effective as a sleep aid, you're not likely to see immediate effects. Many people have reported that it takes up to one month of consistent CBD use to notice changes to their sleep.

  

Is CBD legal in the US?

Yes, PURE CBD is legal in all states. You should be aware, though, that there are many CBD products out there that contain some amounts of THC. Depending upon your state laws, THC-containing CBD products may be a legal option for you as well. 

According to the FDA, citing the 2018 Farm Bill, all products derived from the cannabis plant that contain no more than 0.3% THC content are federally legal. This means that consumers in a state like Tennessee, for example, can still purchase, possess, and use CBD products without a prescription or MMJ card if the CBD products have less than 0.3% THC content. 

There are some states, such as Idaho, Nebraska, and Kansas, where marijuana is still wholly prohibited. This means that all legal CBD products in these states need to source their CBD from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. Other states allow various concentrations of THC in CBD products depending on their particular marijuana laws. If cannabis isn't fully legalized in your state, chances are you'll need an MMJ card to gain access to CBD products derived from marijuana. 

Potential side effects of CBD for sleep

In the research available so far, CBD has been well tolerated by most adults, even up to extreme doses of 1,500mg (although this is definitely not advised). Severe side effects are virtually non-existent. However, some minor ones do appear in some instances with very large doses. These CBD side effects included:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

It also must be said that regularly taking CBD as a sleep aid could potentially interfere with other medications you may be taking. Before you decide to start using CBD, you should consult with your physician just to be sure it won't interact with your current medications--especially if you're taking medications for seizures. This goes for all intended uses of CBD, whether it be for insomnia, anxiety, or relaxation. 

And remember, the state-licensed, knowledgeable physicians at NuggMD are always happy to help. Just hop on over to NuggMD.com and start your new account today!


Anthony Pellegrino
Anthony Pellegrino is a freelance journalist, writer, and content marketing strategist. He is currently studying to get his B.A. in philosophy at Fort Hays State University. He is a content creator for several marketing agencies, brands, and tech startups. His writing is focused on content marketing, technology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, politics, career planning, and of course, cannabis. Academically, Anthony is focused on A.I., Consciousness, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.

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