Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
If you haven’t already heard, CBD oil and CBD products are sweeping the nation. People are excited by CBD and its potential to help manage their health symptoms like anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation. But can CBD also make you sleepy?
One of the best parts about CBD is the few side effects it has. This is one of the reasons why people are choosing to use CBD. However, CBD is not entirely without side effects. A common question people have is whether CBD makes you sleepy or not.
In this post, we will explore all of CBD’s potential side effects, including if CBD can cause drowsiness, as well as if there are strategies to mitigate these effects.
To answer the question, “Can CBD make you sleepy?” we will need to take a more in-depth look into how CBD affects the brain and what the potential side effects of CBD are. Let’s begin with how CBD affects the brain.
How Does CBD Affect the Brain?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a molecule that is found in the industrial hemp plant. This plant is in the same family as the marijuana plant: the Cannabis sativa family. However, these plants are very different.
The marijuana plant also has CBD; however, it also contains tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC.” This is the psychoactive component of marijuana. The industrial hemp plant only contains traces of THC, to begin with, and CBD products sold in the United States are purified to contain less than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. This means CBD does not have the psychoactive effects that marijuana has.
CBD activates the endocannabinoid system. This system influences pain perception, inflammation levels, as well as stress and anxiety levels.
When CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system, it modulates anxiety, stress, and pain. It is well known that the endocannabinoid system exists throughout the body, brain, and skin and has many roles in a person’s physiology. Scientists are finding more and more roles the endocannabinoid system plays in human health and research on CBD shows it does have some effect on sleep, wakefulness, and fatigue.
Also, CBD stimulates the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical in the brain) that is associated with anxiety and depression.
Some people who have used medical marijuana products already know that it is common to become sleepy after using. Does CBD have the same effect?
Can CBD Make You Sleepy?
The medical community has determined that CBD is a safe product even at very high doses. However, this doesn’t mean that it has no side effects whatsoever. Studies that look at what side effects people report when using CBD found that the most commonly reported side effects are:
- Changes in appetite
What’s interesting is, fatigue or drowsiness is the most common side effects people report in CBD studies. However, there is research on both animals, and humans to suggest that CBD promotes wakefulness.
This is in contrast to THC and marijuana. It has been well established that THC, which is found in marijuana, can cause drowsiness. Studies have found that fatigue is prevalent when using cannabis, with 7/10 users reporting fatigue in one study.
The exact mechanisms of how CBD promotes wakefulness is still yet to be discovered. It seems that the answer to whether CBD can make you sleepy is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.
Another consideration is mistaking feelings of calm and relaxation for sleepiness. CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. Many people are used to feeling anxious and stressed every day. When they begin to feel relaxed and calm after using CBD, they may not be used to these feelings and might believe they, instead, feel tired.
For the most part, research suggests that CBD can make you sleepy as it is the most commonly reported side effect. However, it has also been shown to improve wakefulness in animals and people. All this to say that more research and a better understanding of how exactly CBD affects this part of the brain is needed.
How Do I Avoid Getting Sleepy with CBD?
At this time, we don’t quite know if CBD promotes wakefulness or sleepiness. The answer is likely more complicated than what meets the eye and depends on individual differences between people.
If you are interested in using CBD but do not know if it will make you sleepy or not, it is a good idea to try it for the first time when you have free time during your day. Avoid trying CBD for the first time when you have to drive, operate machinery, or tend to responsibilities like work.
After trying CBD, you will have a better idea if CBD makes you sleepy or not. Keep in mind, different dosages or delivery forms (vape, tinctures, oil, gummies, etc.) may have a slightly different effect on you than other forms or dosages.
Look at the CBD product label. Some products also contain other herbs or constituents like melatonin which are known to cause sleepiness.
Remember that if you are already tired, or it is late at night, CBD may have a different effect on your fatigue level than during other parts of the day.
Always trust products which have been third-party tested. These products are tested for their CBD levels, THC levels, and other contaminants. It is essential to know your product does not contain more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. THC is also known to cause drowsiness.
In short, each person is different, and each of them will respond differently to different CBD dosages. Always look at the label and read the mg of CBD per serving, the other ingredients, and review for third-party testing. Try CBD when you have free time and can lay down and relax if needed.
Can CBD Help with Sleep Issues?
There is a potential for CBD to help people get better sleep, depending on what is preventing them from achieving proper sleep. Common causes of sleep issues are:
- Anxiety and racing thoughts
- Uncomfortable bed or bedroom
CBD has the potential to help with some of these issues. No, CBD won’t make an uncomfortable bed comfortable, but it may help with sleep deprivation due to anxiety, stress, or pain. This is why some people actually use CBD as a sleep aid.
For instance, a recent study found that CBD can help with sleep issues due to anxiety disorders and improve sleep quality in people who suffer from anxiety. Also, research shows that CBD helps manage anxiety symptoms.
As far as pain goes, a recent review study concluded that CBD can help with chronic pain in people.
In short, CBD may help people sleep better if CBD improves the underlying reason why they are having issues with sleeping.
Researchers are still investigating whether or not CBD can make you sleepy. Some animal and human studies indicate that CBD actually promotes wakefulness; however, the most common side effect reported with CBD use is drowsiness.
CBD is also commonly used as a sleep aid and has been shown to help with stress and anxiety levels.
Each person is unique, and CBD can affect people in different ways. Remember that if you are going to try CBD, ensure you have read the label to assess the ingredients and look for third-party testing verification.
Feeling tired and getting the munchies are side effects of using marijuana, but what about using CBD oil? Check out if CBD oil makes you feel sleepy!
Will CBD help you sleep?
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- What is CBD and how does it work?
- How does CBD make you feel?
- Does CBD oil make you tired?
- CBD vs. THC for sleep
- What effect does CBD oil have on sleep disorders?
- What are the other potential benefits of CBD?
- Bottom line
A good night’s sleep has incontestable benefits for general health and wellbeing. For 30% of the general population, however, sinking into an effortless slumber doesn’t come easily, according to a national poll by the Sleep Foundation. To make matters worse, sleeping pills and medications commonly used to induce sleep are often accompanied by side effects.
One possible alternative to these medications is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. It is currently trending as a sleep aid as many are discovering that it promotes drowsiness by removing obstacles to sleep, such as anxiety. But are there scientific grounds to believe that CBD can actually support and bolster more healthful sleep? Weedmaps spoke with four experts to find out.
What is CBD and how does it work?
While we have some understanding of how CBD interacts with the body, there is still much to learn.
“CBD itself doesn’t do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors but instead promotes the binding of the endocannabinoids already in our systems,” Drew Ford, Chief Science Officer at Kase Manufacturing, a cannabis extraction facility, told Weedmaps. “It ensures they bind to the receptors that they’re supposed to go to.”
Research suggests that CBD may act on serotonin receptors, prompting the release of endocannabinoids. Serotonin is also one of the most important neurotransmitters for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Endocannabinoid receptors affect the entire body. According to Dr. Thinh Vo, Director of Quality and Compliance at Koi CBD, cannabidiol indirectly has an impact on receptors that send information between “the cells in the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems to regulate biological processes.”
Evidence from a study published in Translational Psychiatry also suggests that CBD inhibits the uptake of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid that is often referred to as the “bliss molecule.” Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, just like CBD. When CBD occupies those receptors instead, anandamide’s pleasant effects may last longer.
How does CBD make you feel?
When it comes to how CBD products will make you feel, the answer will depend largely on individual-specific factors.
“Each person’s reactions to CBD are unique,” Vo told Weedmaps News. “Reactions to CBD are also affected by other variables such as delivery method, whether the person is taking existing medications/supplements, and whether the product is an isolate or a spectrum oil.”
Vo points out that terpenes present in CBD oil also influence the individual’s response. “We know that terpenes play an essential role in determining the strain and influencing a sedative effect, energetic effect, or combination of both,” he explained.
CBD may diminish the anxiety that can render it challenging to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Per a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, when administered at different doses, CBD may provoke distinctive responses. Low doses may cause someone to feel energized and alert, while higher doses may be relaxing and encourage drowsiness. CBD is frequently anecdotally reported to alleviate anxiety.
“CBD is an anxiolytic, which means that it reduces anxiety and is calming,” explains Dr. Elaine Burns, a naturopathic doctor who is CEO and founder of Dr. Burns’ ReLeaf. “In addition, it helps to relax the muscles. These two properties both contribute to a feeling of relaxation in the mind and body.”
Does CBD oil make you tired?
As to whether CBD oil can cause tiredness, expert opinions appear to be mixed. “There is no true clinical evidence to support CBD as a sleep aid. CBD oil itself should not make a person drowsy,” Ford said.
That being said, Ford also acknowledges that CBD may diminish the anxiety that can inhibit sleep and “could be effective as a sleep aid for people who need to calm down and relax their mind.”
Dr. Patricia Frye, a board-certified cannabis clinician and Chief Medical Officer at HelloMD, pointed out that there is evidence that high doses of CBD can modulate adenosine pathways in the brain. “Adenosine is the substance that accumulates during the day and deactivates the sensory neurons in the area of the brain that keeps us awake.”
CBD may trigger tiredness or a sleep response through its reported effects on the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD may also trigger tiredness or a sleep response through its reported effects on the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors, as observed in a study published in the medical journal Pain. “When binding to the 5-HT1a receptors, CBD essentially blocks those receptors from other agonists binding to them,” Ford explained. “Depending on the individual’s body chemistry, when CBD binds to these receptors it can essentially block the anxiety or depression-causing molecules, leading to immediate relief.” As a result, some individuals may feel a sensation of sleepiness.
CBD vs. THC for sleep
THC, the cannabis plant’s most abundant and intoxicating cannabinoid, is reputed to induce sleepiness. Ford believes any feelings of drowsiness associated with CBD oil can most likely be attributed to THC. “If CBD oil is making you feel drowsy, it’s probably due to a fraction of THC being left in the product,” he said.
THC isn’t necessarily more effective than CBD as a sleep aid. An individual’s body chemistry affects how he or she responds to THC, and for some, it may be counterproductive if they’re looking for deep slumber. Ford explained that while the “psychoactivity of THC” can lead to drowsiness, it can also cause the mind to race, ultimately concluding that “it really depends on what symptoms you are trying to overcome and what works best for your own body.”
Burns agrees, adding that THC can also cause anxiety and restlessness at doses higher than 10 milligrams. “Because of this, I would say that CBD is a better sleep aid for most people; however, dosing less than 10 milligrams of THC along with 20 milligrams or more of CBD could be a great combination.”
CBN, the cannabinoid into which THC transforms when exposed to heat and light, may have more sedative effects. One analysis by Steep Hill Labs found that five milligrams of CBN was as effective as a 10-milligram dose of diazepam, a member of the “benzo” family used to treat muscle spasms, seizures, and anxiety. Thus, it’s likely that consuming older cannabis will have more sedative, sleep-inducing effects than fresher flower with less CBN present.
What effect does CBD oil have on sleep disorders?
Although more studies on CBD and sleep disorders need to be conducted, Vo pointed to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, which returns more than 100 results for a search of CBD and sleep. The articles include studies and reviews of previous research, mostly conducted on animal models, which may overlap. A 2019 review of the use of CBD and THC for sleep indicates that cannabinoids may improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Cannabinoids may improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, or reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Many of the studies reviewing CBD, however, examined sleep as a secondary outcome in the context of another illness. Frye highlighted a 2019 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology that investigated the use of CBD oil for children with autism spectrum disorder to treat related conditions such as sleep disturbances. “Patients with autism typically have sleep disturbances,” she explained. “The study showed that CBD improved sleep in 71.4% of patients.”
What are the other potential benefits of CBD?
As CBD interacts with the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems, it may also offer benefits for a gamut of conditions. An in-vitro study published in the European Journal of Pain suggests that CBD reduced evidence of pain and inflammation behaviors in rats, while another study published in Ingenta Connect found that CBD exhibited anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects in animal models. Too, CBD shows promise in reducing epilepsy-induced seizures and some types of muscle spasms, as shown in this in-vivo study published in The Lancet Neurology and this pilot patient study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
Per an in-vitro study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, there is also evidence that CBD may potentially improve heart health and, as seen in this scientific review published by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, may offer protective benefits for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
There is some evidence that CBD may reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calm and relaxation, which could lead to better sleep in some people.
However, there is presently little clinical research on human subjects specifically investigating the effects of CBD on sleep disorders. Possibly, future studies will enhance our understanding of CBD, its mechanisms, and its role in sleep regulation.
Will CBD help you sleep? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD and how does it work? How does CBD make you feel? Does CBD oil make