CBD & Insomnia

Written by Zoe Hudson

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinoids have many potential health benefits when it comes to relieving sleep issues.

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders that affects 25% of the US population. It can drain your energy levels throughout the day and have a negative impact on your health and work and even reduce overall quality of life.

Insomnia can be caused by several factors, ranging from physical to mental conditions. Common complaints include stress, anxiety, and pain.

How Does CBD Affect Sleep?

Our endocannabinoid system regulates our body’s circadian rhythm along with other important functions. [1] When we use CBD, cannabinoids attach to our system’s receptors and influence our sleep cycle.

While CBD can help by allowing us to sleep through disturbances, it also helps in relieving issues leading to sleeping difficulties in the first place. Many people have had positive experiences with CBD and there are also studies showing promising results.

In one such study published in Medicines, researchers tested the effectiveness of cannabis in relieving symptoms of insomnia. [2] In this study, 409 insomnia patients described the impact of cannabis on their sleep.

At the start of the study, patients rated the intensity of their symptoms on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest level of insomnia symptoms experienced. The average rating at the start of the study was 6.6 and, after over 1,000 record sleep sessions, decreased to 2.2. When they looked at CBD vs. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in each cultivar, researchers found that CBD was associated with a significantly greater level of symptom relief.

What Is The Best Way To Use CBD For Sleep?

When it comes to improving sleep quality, some studies have shown that it may be helpful to take CBD 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime. [3] CBD is very personalized, so it’s best to start with a low dose and continue taking it for a few weeks to see an effect. Always be sure to consult with a doctor before starting CBD to talk about any questions you might have.

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  1. Kesner AJ & Lovinger DM. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and sleep. Front Mol Neurosci. 2020;13:125.
  2. Vigil JM, et al. Effectiveness of raw, natural medical cannabis flower for treating insomnia under naturalistic conditions. Medicines (Basel). 2018;5(3):75.
  3. Babson KA, et al. Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: A review of the literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2017;19(4):23.

About the author

Zoe Hudson