Medical Research

CBD vs. Melatonin

Written by Caleb Summeril

The importance of a good night’s sleep is paramount to overall health and wellness. Sleep deprivation can lead to a wide array of issues in the body — both mental and physical. From minor matters such as lack of focus and irritability to larger concerns of compromised immunity and hormone imbalance, not enough sleep can wreak havoc on the human system. With busy lifestyles and constant stimulation leading to an increase in sleep issues and even full-blown insomnia, a recent focus has been steadily building on supplements and other external solutions to help promote a good night’s rest. CBD and Melatonin are both known for their ability to aid in solid sleep and there are a few key differences between the two.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the body and has a primary function of regulating the day/night cycles that keep each of us in a natural rhythm when it comes to sleep. When the sun goes down, darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin and prepares the body for sleep. Light does the opposite, triggering the body to produce less of the hormone and preparing the mind and body to wake up. Melatonin is often taken by people experiencing trouble sleeping or due to jet-lag and is often prescribed for more serious cases of insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. Most melatonin taken as a supplement or for medicinal purposes is created synthetically.

CBD is a potent cannabinoid that boasts a number of benefits but shows promise for its therapeutic potential in the treatment of insomnia. [1] CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body and, among other effects, has been shown to decrease inflammation which can have a direct link to better sleep. One study shows that CBD administered to rats has a significant impact on the animals’ sleep cycles with a substantial increase in amount of sleep apparent after consumption of CBD. [2] These and other studies seem to indicate that CBD can play a crucial role in improving sleep through the cannabinoids ability to interact with GABA and serotonin receptors in the brain.


  1. Babson, Kimberly. Et al. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports. April 2017, 19:23.
  2. Chagas, MH. Et al. Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats. J Psychoparmacol. March 2013, 27 (3):312-6

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About the author

Caleb Summeril

Caleb Summeril writes creative copy, stories and songs from the mountains of Colorado. When not working on words, he can be found on global gallivants which fuel future endeavors. Learn more about his writing services at