However, many of these studies suggest there could be some benefit to using CBD as a sleep aid, and it’s worth researching. “For example, there’s evidence that CBD can be helpful in managing anxiety . If someone’s anxiety is creating their sleeping problem, a CBD product may benefit them,” Conroy says.
If you’re having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, you may have an underlying sleep disorder that a sleep specialist could help diagnose and manage.
Setting yourself up for sleep
Melatonin for sleep , like CBD, needs more research to unmask its benefits and harms. “We secrete melatonin naturally as our bodies prepare for bed,” Conroy says. “I believe in harnessing what you already have.”
“This compound is used in various forms and their doses may differ, so you might not know how much CBD you’re actually using,” Conroy says. Regular usage of high dose CBD could harm you before you become aware of it, according to the FDA. It can cause liver injury and affect how other drugs are metabolized, causing serious side effects. Similarly, when used with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants, the increased risk of sedation and drowsiness can lead to injuries.
In terms of dosing, the ideal amount really depends on the individual. Gill explains: "Some patients need 10 milligrams while others need 100 mg. The thing is, CBD is most effective at the individual's ideal dose. Too much or too little does not produce ideal results. Patients should start with a lower dose and increase it slowly if needed. Most patients choose to start with 10 to 25 mg, which is effective for many people. Others need more and occasionally some patients need less."
Using CBD to enhance sleep is very common, according to Gill. She says, "Many patients report that CBD helps them fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep longer and feel [more] rested in the morning. However, for some people, CBD can actually be stimulating instead of sedating. This may be related to the specific CBD product they're using; sometimes it's dose-dependent; other times, it's just how the individual reacts to CBD."
According to Harvard Health Publishing, CBD is primarily classified as a supplement rather than a medicine. The site explains, "Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements."
CBD for Sleep
Gill adds, "Purchasing a high-quality CBD product is absolutely essential . as CBD is not regulated, which means there are many contaminated products on the market and some can be potentially harmful. There are also many products that don't even contain the CBD levels listed on the label. Many companies only test for potency but I encourage patients to choose companies that are doing full-panel testing which checks for all possible contaminants."
"Research and anecdotal evidence shows CBD may impact a wide variety of diseases and symptoms of disease," explains Gill via email. "This is because CBD directly affects the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is widespread; there are cannabinoid receptors all over the body and in every organ system. The three most common reasons people seem to choose CBD are for sleep, pain and anxiety."
Brent A. Bauer, M.D., writing about the topic for the Mayo Clinic online, says, "A prescription cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered an effective anti-seizure medication. However, further research is needed to determine CBD's other benefits and safety. . Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited."
Health Benefits of CBD
To understand more about using CBD for sleep and CBD itself, we tapped Jessie Gill, RN, who is a cannabis nurse, aka a registered nurse with a special focus on cannabis therapeutics. She is also a director at large for the American Cannabis Nurses Association and is on the speakers' bureau for the Cannabis Nurses Network. Additionally, she runs an online patient resource to help demystify cannabis for all.
CBD, aka cannabidiol, has skyrocketed to the forefront of alternative medicine in the past few years and is being used for a slew of ailments. In fact, according to a 2019 Gallup poll, 1 in every 7 Americans, or about 14%, use CBD. Of all its purported uses, CBD is especially popular as a sleep aid, but there's lots of information out there surrounding this subject.