Can’t Sleep? CBD May Be The Secret To A Night of Peaceful Slumber

The statements mentioned in this content have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to prevent, diagnosis, or treat any disease. Always work with your personal healthcare provider.

By Chris D. Meletis, N.D.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of hemp or Cannabis sativa. It doesn’t make you high. But it can promote feelings of relaxation that can help you sleep better. This is a good thing for many aspects of your health. As I share with my patients, if you are not getting enough rest, you aren’t RESToring your body. The health benefits of sleep include immune support,1,2 keeping your mind more sharp and focused,3 and being able to deal with stressful situations more easily.4 In this article, I’ll address the ways in which CBD can help you get more sleep and how to get deeper sleep.  

How To Get More Sleep At Night

A lot of people use CBD because it acts as a natural sleep aid. An online survey of 387 people found that 42.5% of respondents used CBD because of sleep problems.5 The participants reported it as being effective in promoting a good night’s rest and relieving everyday stress and anxiety. 

In another study, people who received 160 mg CBD slept more and awakened less during the night compared with the placebo.6 Researchers found similar results when investigating the effects of CBD in 103 patients.7 In this study, CBD improved sleep quality in 66.7% of participants. 

CBD works through the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in your body’s own internal clock to promote restful sleep.8 It also calms the central nervous system.7 This suggests CBD is a good choice for a sleep supplement. In my clinical practice it has helped many patients achieve a RESTorative night’s sleep. 

Stops Stress from Ruining Sleep 

It’s difficult to get a good night’s rest when something is worrying you. By supporting a healthy stress response, CBD can stop racing thoughts and stress from keeping you up at night. There’s a lot of good research in humans showing that CBD can soothe stress. For example, in a double-blind study, 57 healthy males were given oral CBD at doses of 150 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg or a placebo prior to a public speaking test.9 Compared with the placebo, 300 mg of CBD caused a significant drop in stress during the speech. In another study, 600 mg of CBD before a public speaking test significantly reduced stress, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in speech performance.10 

A case study of a ten-year-old girl specifically addressed CBD’s effect on stress and sleep. This study found that 25 mg of CBD at bedtime and 6 to 12 mg of CBD during the day as needed reduced the girl’s everyday stress and enhanced the quality and quantity of her sleep.11 

Promotes a Healthy Pain Response

It’s difficult or impossible to sleep when you’re in pain. This promotes a vicious circle in which being in pain leads to sleep loss, which in turn triggers more inflammation and therefore more pain and more lack of sleep. Research has shown CBD may support a healthy and normal pain response. In one study, 53% of 97 patients reduced or eliminated opioid use within eight weeks after beginning supplementation with CBD-rich hemp extract.12 Nearly all the patients who used CBD had improved quality of life including improved sleep quality. In rat studies, CBD has kept joints healthy and comfortable.13,14 What’s more, it may also lead to healthy pain responses in nerves.15

I often recommend that patients supplement with both CBD-rich hemp oil and curcumin, which is another botanical ideal for comfortable joints, neck, back, and other common areas of discomfort.  Curcumin supports joint health,16 reduces muscle soreness after exercise,17 and decreases discomfort after surgery.18 A good choice is a formula that contains both of these botanical compounds. The bioavailability of CBD and curcumin can be improved by taking a CBD-Curcumin formula that uses the VESIsorb technology®. Curcumin is normally poorly absorbed, but with the VESIsorb technology® it can be up to 6 times more bioavailable.  

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

There’s nothing more frustrating than when you want to be productive but you keep nodding off in front of your computer. And it’s downright dangerous when you get sleepy while driving. There’s evidence that CBD can stop daytime sleepiness.19,20 It can activate neurons in the hypothalamus of the brain that are involved in alertness.19 This means you’re more alert whether at your computer or behind the wheel. Plus, if you’re sleeping better at night you’re not going to be as tired during the day.

The Best CBD for Sleep

You’re going to want to take a CBD-rich hemp oil that eliminates solvents and impurities. In addition, when CBD is encapsulated with the VESIsorb® technology, your body absorbs it faster and easier. That way it can go right to work giving you a good night’s rest. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day. 

References:

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2. Zhu J, Zhang M, Sanford LD, Tang X. Advice for COVID-19 vaccination: get some sleep. Sleep Breath. 2021:1-2.

3. Lee HJ, Kim L, Suh KY. Cognitive deterioration and changes of P300 during total sleep deprivation. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2003;57(5):490-496.

4. Cesari V, Marinari E, Laurino M, Gemignani A, Menicucci D. Attention-Dependent Physiological Correlates in Sleep-Deprived Young Healthy Humans. Behav Sci (Basel). 2021;11(2).

5. Moltke J, Hindocha C. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. J Cannabis Res. 2021;3(1):5.

6. Carlini EA, Cunha JM. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981;21(S1):417s-427s.

7. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041.

8. Sanford AE, Castillo E, Gannon RL. Cannabinoids and hamster circadian activity rhythms. Brain Res. 2008;1222:141-148.

9. Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Braz J Psychiatry. 2019;41(1):9-14.

10. Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226.

11. Shannon S, Opila-Lehman J. Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Perm J. 2016;20(4):16-005.

12. Capano A, Weaver R, Burkman E. Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study. Postgrad Med. 2020;132(1):56-61.

13. Philpott HT, OʼBrien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451.

14. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936-948.

15. Costa B, Trovato AE, Comelli F, Giagnoni G, Colleoni M. The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007;556(1-3):75-83.

16. Henrotin Y, Malaise M, Wittoek R, et al. Bio-optimized Curcuma longa extract is efficient on knee osteoarthritis pain: a double-blind multicenter randomized placebo controlled three-arm study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2019;21(1):179.

17. Ms SAB, Waldman Ph DH, Krings Ph DB, Lamberth Ph DJ, Smith Ph DJ, McAllister Ph DM. Effect of Curcumin Supplementation on Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, Muscle Damage, and Muscle Soreness. J Diet Suppl. 2020;17(4):401-414.

18. Phoolcharoen N, Oranratanaphan S, Ariyasriwatana C, Worasethsin P. Efficacy of curcuminoids for reducing postoperative pain after laparoscopic gynecologic surgery: A pilot randomized trial. J Complement Integr Med. 2019;16(4).

19. Murillo-Rodríguez E, Millán-Aldaco D, Palomero-Rivero M, Mechoulam R, Drucker-Colín R. Cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa, modulates sleep in rats. FEBS Lett. 2006;580(18):4337-4345.

20. Murillo-Rodríguez E, Machado S, Imperatori C, Yamamoto T, Budde H. Natural Cannabinoids as Templates for Sleep Disturbances Treatments. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1297:133-141.