Many people know that CBD wil help you sleep, but it actually doesn't make you tired if taken during the day. It might even help with focus and energy. A common question surrounding CBD use is, "does CBD oil make you tired?" For a clear understanding of the answer to whether or not CBD can make you sleepy, it's important first to understand how CBD works. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many naturally occurring compounds harvested in cannabis plants proven to exert a Many people claim CBD improves their sleep and reduces anxiety. Learn what CBD is, how CBD might help you, and what research needs to be done on CBD.
CBD is great for sleep, but will it make you tired during the day?
It’s no secret, CBD has a close association with marijuana. So it’s perfectly natural that people wonder, “will CBD make me sleepy?” When it comes to sleep, one study showed that nearly 80% of Americans have trouble sleeping at least once per week. While 30-35% of Americans have symptoms of insomnia. Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD can help with sleep. So, what about taking CBD during the day? Will you suddenly get tired and go in search for a dark corner to take a nap?
In order to understand this better we need to look at exactly what CBD is, as well as THC. Then we will look at how CBD actually aids in sleep, and whether or not it will actually make you sleepy or not during the day. The answer will likely surprise you.
What is CBD and THC
THC is the active component of the marijuana plant, and what is known for causing the “high” associated with smoking it. Medicinal marijuana patients often seek after indica strains of marijuana to aid in sleep because of its sedentary properties. Individuals struggling with insomnia often see benefits from indica strains of marijuana.
CBD on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, and contains loads of therapeutic benefits. It’s also known to be a great sleep aid that is legal in most states without a perception or medical marijuana card. CBD has also been the primary focus regarding medicinal benefits surrounding cannabis.
How Does CBD work as a sleep aid?
There are two thoughts about how CBD works to aid in sleep. One is that CBD helps relieve anxiety and pain, both issues that can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. The other is that CBD interacts directly with receptors in the brain that govern the body’s sleep and wake cycle.
Anxiety is one of the many causes of sleep issues. If you struggle to turn your mind off at the end of the day, CBD might be what you are looking for. Stresses throughout our day, such as demands from work, tense relationships, horrible traffic, and constant distractions from social media are very common in todays society. For some, all these stresses pile on and lead to anxiety.
CBD works by interacting with our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS), a series of receptors in our body that help create homeostasis and perform other regulatory functions, such as: appetite, memory, sleep, mood and perception of pain. When we ingest CBD, the cannabinoid goes to work to help improve the brains capacity to deal with stress. The result is a calmer mind, which leads to the ability to fall asleep faster, and stay asleep.
So, to put it simply: CBD helps you sleep by calming the mind.
What if I don’t struggle with Anxiety, will CBD still help me sleep? Despite the lack of research, anecdotal evidence suggests that most people taking CBD experience better sleep. This is mostly due to the relaxing effects brought on when taking CBD.
So will CBD make me sleepy during the day?
Simply put, no. As we have already seen, CBD works by calming the mind, not by inducing a sleepy state, or creating the intoxicating effects found with THC.
CBD can actually help you focus and be more alert: Another way to look at CBD, is to see it as an adaptogen. It works with your bodies natural rhythms. If you are awake and trying to focus on writing a blog post about CBD, it just might help you stay focused, but when going to sleep after a long day, CBD will help calm your mind for a restful nights sleep.
CBD works to increase focus and reduce anxiety by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. So, taking CBD won’t make you sleepy, but it can help you be more productive and get better sleep.
Whether you are looking to stay focused on an important project, or shut down a racing mind in the evening, CBD can help you achieve both focus and better sleep. You might want to experiment with different delivery methods though to figure out what works best for you. Some people might get more benefit from a capsule, but most people get the most direct benefits from using an oil.
It’s also important to experiment with your dosages as well. Some people might need as little as 10mg per day. Others might need 30mg twice daily, or even more. Be sure to check out our, “How much CBD oil should I take” guide.
You may also want to check out my post about, “How long does it take for CBD oil to work.” This will help give you an idea of when you can really start to see results.
Does CBD Make You Tired?
For a clear understanding of the answer to whether or not CBD can make you sleepy, it’s important first to understand how CBD works. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many naturally occurring compounds harvested in cannabis plants proven to exert a long list of health benefits, including a good night’s sleep without concerning side effects.
In this article, we’ll cover the different mechanisms through which CBD interacts with the body to produce its effects, why CBD may make you drowsy or sleepy, and how to use it for better sleep.
What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD belongs to a class of plant-compounds called cannabinoids produced in both hemp and marijuana plants.
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are found in crystal-like resin trichomes filled with terpenes, fatty acids, wax, and other cannabinoids concentrated on the buds of the cannabis plant.
These compounds interact with a system, aptly named after the plant that led to its discovery, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a fancy word for “balance” in the body.
The receptors and messenger molecules, known as cannabinoids, act as modulator for systems regulating vital functions, including: mood, metabolism, stress response, and sleep.
Is CBD Psychoactive?
Unlike its cannabinoid counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not an intoxicant.
While the two molecules have very similar structures, the THC molecule is better suited to bind to the CB1 receptors in the ECS, concentrated in the central nervous system. One of the many roles of CB1 receptors is in regulating the brain’s pleasure-reward circuit. When activated, the CB1 signals dopamine and serotonin release, which produces a high feeling .
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t readily bind to this receptor. Instead, it inhibits the breakdown of two internally produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), anandamide and 2-AG. Anandamide looks very similar structurally to THC’s molecular structure, and its name “ananda” is rooted in the Sanskrit word for “bliss“.
Rather than pushing on the same receptor activation as the bliss molecule and THC, CBD may help in producing a feel-good response by improving the levels of internal cannabinoids in the body and improving the receptors’ ability to bind.
While full spectrum or “whole cannabis plant extract” derived from hemp contains trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%), it’s an amount so small it’s highly unlikely to result in a high, but can have subtle benefits for improving the overall actions of CBD.
Does CBD Oil Make You Sleepy?
CBD may produce a sense of contentment by slowing the breakdown of anandamide, which may help you feel more relaxed, leading to better sleep. However, this unique interaction simply isn’t enough to produce sedative effects.
Some users report, “CBD makes me sleepy” and reach for CBD oil as a natural sleep aid. Simultaneously, many other users turn to CBD to help them feel more alert and clear-headed. So, does CBD make you sleepy or awake?
Researchers are still looking to understand CBD’s effects and pharmacological pathways fully, but it’s believed that CBD’s interaction in the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle through its relaxation effect.
Some factors that may influence how taking CBD makes you feel may include:
How Dosage Affects Your CBD Effects
Figuring out your ideal dosage can be tricky as people respond to CBD differently.
If you’re planning on taking CBD and have an underlying health condition, we recommend speaking with your health care practitioner so that they can provide you with better guidance given your condition, medical history, and medication you may be taking.
For those using CBD products recreationally, dosing can be a perplexing field to navigate, and the only way through it is with some experimentation. If you’re new to CBD, always start with lighter doses (as recommended on the label) and gradually build your way over the course of a week until you reach your desired effects. If you jump the gun too quickly with large doses, ingesting CBD products can make you feel slight discomfort.
It may be helpful to record your doses and the effects in a journal or an app on your phone so that you can keep track of the effectiveness of your CBD use.
How Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
How much CBD you take can affect how CBD oil makes you feel.
At high doses, CBD may increase Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) activity in the brain.
GABA is a neurotransmitter best known as the break-pedal to the stress response in an overly stimulated central nervous system. GABA in the brain pumps the break on the fight-or-flight response, helping to induce calmness and relaxation that can help you fall asleep [ 2].
For those looking to gain CBD benefits for sleep support, it’s recommended you take higher doses of CBD as you’re winding down for bed. Full spectrum CBD, containing a natural range of cannabinoids (alongside THC and CBD) found in the hemp plant is also known to have stronger effects over CBD isolate.
You can also incorporate other sleep hygiene practices to improve your sleep quality, including:
- Avoiding screen time in the evenings
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
- Getting regular exercise in the day, but avoid heavy exercise before bed
- Set a regular sleep and wake time
- Set your room temperature to a cooler temperature
How Does CBD Make You More Alert?
CBD at low to medium doses has been shown to support mental alertness. You’ll find some brands on the market, combining CBD with caffeine for a more balanced, less jittery caffeine buzz.
CBD may have effects on a key neurotransmitter that makes us feel tired, adenosine. Adenosine levels in the brain increase as the day ends, so we begin to feel tired and ready for sleep. Caffeine also works on adenosine. When you drink coffee, you block adenosine from connecting to receptors that signal that we’re tired . Rather than blocking adenosine receptors, CBD’s interaction through this pathway is a bit more complex. Some studies suggest that CBD helps to improve the efficiency of adenosine receptors .
Another pathway through which CBD may help you feel more alert is through the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. CBD is suggested to enhance this receptor site’s activation, which is responsible for elevating mood and improving our focus .
CBD May Support Better Sleep Quality
CBD itself does not have a direct sedative effect. For many people, falling asleep isn’t the issue, but staying asleep to get deep restorative sleep is.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is a cycle of sleep that occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. It’s called REM because our eyes move quickly behind the eyelids, and our brains are the most active, undergoing renewal.
As CBD may help slow down the stress response, you’re not as likely to be disturbed from sleep, allowing you to get into the deeper, more restorative sleep phase so that you wake up feeling well-rested and energized in the morning.
How To Choose CBD Oil For Sleep
All CBD oil will be labeled with a concentration of CBD in MG on the package.
It can vary from 500MG per bottle all the way to 12,000MG, so choosing the appropriate potency of CBD oil is essential to getting the desired benefits you seek.
To get the most benefits for sleep support, you may want to consider a high potency of CBD oil so that you can achieve higher doses in smaller amounts of oil. This will be the most cost-effective option over time.
CBD has a broad range of health benefits, mainly because it supports the balance of so many of our vital systems. To steer the benefits of CBD for more targeted use, some brands will include natural ingredients to work alongside CBD.
For sleep support, you may explore outside of CBD oil and try a CBD tea with chamomile or CBD Gummies with melatonin. These ingredients contain compounds that work on similar pathways to help reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
The Side-Effects Of CBD
Countless studies explore the safety of CBD and found that CBD is a safe compound that’s well-tolerated in humans, even in high doses over a long time .
However, that’s not to say that CBD is without side-effects. Thankfully, the adverse effects of CBD are short-term, only lasting for as long as the compound remains active in your system ( 3–5 hours). Some of the short term side-effects of CBD include:
Most of these side-effects arise when you’ve taken too much CBD. If you find that CBD makes you drowsy and you don’t want this effect, you may need to adjust your CBD dose.
The Takeaway: Can CBD Help You Sleep?
For some, CBD can make them feel tired or drowsy. For others, CBD is their go-to supplement to support their focus and alertness. The point is that CBD’s diverse effects may produce different results for individuals.
If you’re looking to use CBD to support your sleep, you should take larger doses as CBD has been shown to provide calming and relaxing benefits in higher quantities. This may be enough to help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
Before trying CBD for any underlying condition, always consult with your doctor to reduce the chances of side-effects and medication interactions.
How soon can CBD oil make you sleepy?
How soon the effects of CBD oil take place will depend on your metabolism and the dose of CBD. Most of the studies on CBD for sleep involve higher doses (50+). Some people report feeling sleepy 45-60 minutes after taking a high CBD oil dose, but it hasn’t been clinically proven to be sedating.
How Does CBD Make You Feel?
Many people who enjoy taking CBD report feeling relaxed, comfortable, and content after taking CBD. Many of the effects of CBD are dose and time dependent, so it may take some experimentation with your dose and timing to reach your desired effects.
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
CBD isn’t a sedative compound, but some studies have found that it can cause deep relaxation in high doses to help subjects fall asleep easier. Some people report taking CBD before bed can help them stay asleep throughout the night without making them feel groggy the next morning.
When to Take CBD Oil for Sleep?
To support your sleep quality with CBD oil, you should aim to take it 45-60 minutes before your ideal bedtime. You may need to use CBD oil consistently before seeing any of its effects, as it can take some time for your endocannabinoid system to adjust to the supplemented cannabinoids.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
CBD as a Sleep Aid
We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
A good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend adults sleep seven to nine hours each night. Proper sleep ensures you feel well-rested and have energy for the next day. A good night’s rest also contributes to memory formation, helps grow and repair muscle and tissue, and prevents sickness.
Unfortunately, falling asleep or staying asleep can be difficult for certain types of sleepers. As many as 70% of Americans report not sleeping the recommended hours, and nearly one-third of American workers sleep less than six hours per night. Solutions for better sleep and avoiding sleep debt vary. Possible approaches include improved sleep hygiene, prescription sleep aids, and natural sleep aids.
One increasingly popular strategy for sleeping better is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. However, the regulation of CBD in the United States is limited, and much more research must be done to determine the exact effects CBD has on sleep and other physical and mental health concerns.
About Cannabis and Cannabinoids
While there are many different slang terms for the green, narrow-leafed plant you may recognize, the plant is scientifically called Cannabis sativa. The word “cannabis” can be used to describe any products made from the plant. Cannabis plants contain multiple chemical compounds, including a group referred to as “cannabinoids.” Out of more than 100 cannabinoids, researchers have primarily studied two that appear to have the greatest impact on humans: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.
What Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Most commonly known effects of cannabis, such as “getting high,” are caused by the cannabinoid, THC. The term “marijuana” specifically refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain THC.
Cannabis plants and derivatives that contain less than 0.3% THC are classified as “hemp.” As of 2018, hemp is no longer defined as a controlled substance by the U.S. federal government. As a result, there has been an influx of hemp-related products in the American market. These products are generally marketed as CBD products.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD, the other commonly known cannabinoid, can be legally sold in the U.S. when extracted from hemp and marketed according to relevant regulations. CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not bring about the same effects as THC. Also, CBD does not have effects that would lead to potential dependency or risk of abuse.
CBD is an increasingly popular substance in the U.S. While many health benefits have been attributed to CBD, in most cases, scientific validity of its effectiveness is still unclear.
Is CBD FDA-Approved?
Only a few cannabis-derived or cannabis-related drug products are FDA-approved in the U.S.:
- Epidiolex. This oral CBD solution was the first drug containing a purified cannabis-derived substance approved by the FDA. The drug is approved for seizure treatment in rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex for patients ages two and up. Although Epidiolex has been shown to reduce other types of seizures, it has not yet been FDA-approved for treating those seizures.
- Marinol and Syndros. These two drugs contain dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. They come in capsules or oral solutions. Dronabinol affects the part of the brain that controls appetite, nausea, and vomiting, so the drugs have several therapeutic uses. These uses include the treatment of nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and treatment of weight loss in patients with HIV.
- Cesamet. Cesamet contains nabilone, a synthetic compound with a chemical structure similar to THC. Like dronabinol, this capsule also affects the part of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea. The drug is prescribed to patients receiving chemotherapy who have not responded to other nausea and vomiting treatments.
The FDA has not approved any other CBD drug products. The agency has not determined the safety and effectiveness of cannabis or CBD in the treatment of any particular conditions or disease.
What Forms Does CBD Come In?
There are several common forms of CBD:
- Oral solutions, such as the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex
- Oral sprays that are applied under the tongue
- Oils and tinctures, sometimes described as drops or droplets
- Vapes and vape juices to use in a vaping pen
- Edible items, such as gummies, chocolates, or cookies, and beverages, such as coffees and teas
- Pills and capsules
- Topical solutions, including lotions, creams, patches, gels, and ointments
What Are Common Doses of CBD?
Outside of Epidiolex, the FDA doesn’t regulate dosing of non-drug CBD products. As a result, the amount of CBD in products varies widely among forms.
Research shows 300-mg oral doses of CBD can be taken safely on a daily basis for up to six months. One scientific review showed that taking up to 1,500 mg daily was well-tolerated by participants. A subsequent review confirmed that use of 1,500 mg daily for four weeks showed no negative effects.
Unfortunately, the indicated CBD content on a product label is not necessarily the amount that the product actually contains, which may lead people to take more or less CBD than intended. One analysis of 84 CBD products sold online showed that 26% of the products contained less CBD than the label said. The same analysis showed nearly 43% of the products were underlabled, meaning they contained substantially more CBD than the label said.
While CBD at higher doses does not appear to have serious negative consequences, these products may also contain higher levels of THC than reported on the label. Other CBD products may contain THC that is not reported on the label at all. The THC in these products can produce intoxicating effects, which may or may not be desired.
What Are the Effects of Taking CBD?
Research shows that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. CBD can also alter mood because it affects the serotonin system. Outcomes vary among people and depend on the product type and dose.
Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a feeling of being “high.” Even large doses of CBD do not produce THC-like effects. Additionally, a few studies have demonstrated that CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
Studies of short-term CBD use show that patients do not experience withdrawal.
What Health Conditions Can CBD Help With?
So far, CBD’s effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy is well-supported by research. Other early research suggests that CBD may also help treat schizophrenia and substance use disorders.
Currently, there is insufficient research to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating other health conditions. However, preliminary research suggests CBD can help with a number of sleep disorders, including insomnia REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness disorder. Additional preliminary research suggests CBD can also help patients improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
What Are the Risks of CBD?
Most negative effects of CBD medications and products are mild. For example, patients who use Epidiolex may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues. Some people may experience drowsiness when they take CBD. Other negative effects experienced with CBD may be due to an interaction between the CBD and other medications the patient is taking.
How Can CBD Help With Sleep Disorders?
Research on the effects CBD has on sleep disorders is still preliminary. Some people who use CBD for chronic pain report sleeping better. Currently, it is unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Other initial studies of CBD and sleep disorders suggest positive outcomes. However, not everyone experiences the same sleep benefits with CBD use, and different doses might lead to different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulating, while high doses of CBD are sedating. Discrepancies in experience can also be attributed to the method of CBD administration and dose. Additional research is needed to deepen our understanding of CBD as an intervention for sleep disorders.
Anxiety and CBD
While not a sleep disorder itself, anxiety can contribute to poor quality sleep, insufficient sleep, and sleep disorders. Because CBD calms the nervous system, early research indicates that CBD can be used to treat anxiety-related disorders. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep initially improved in more than 65% percent of participants, followed by fluctuating results.
Insomnia and CBD
People who suffer from insomnia experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and mood. Because of their history of poor sleep, people with insomnia may suffer from anxiety about getting inadequate sleep, which can then increase sleeplessness at night.
Given the potential positive outcomes of CBD treating anxiety, it is speculated that CBD may also help reduce the anxiety associated with insomnia. Additionally, a new pilot study of CBD and THC use in humans with physician-diagnosed insomnia is underway. The results of the study will offer more insight into the effects CBD has on insomnia.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and CBD
In REM sleep behavior disorder, patients verbalize and make aggressive movements during their rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. The disorder is most common in older patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
In a limited study of four patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD helped manage the REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms. Before taking CBD, the patients experienced disorder symptoms 2–7 times per week. After taking CBD, the symptoms occurred 0–1 times in a week. Further studies are necessary, but these initial results suggest CBD as a possible treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Disorder and CBD
Those who have excessive daytime sleepiness disorder struggle to stay awake during typical daytime hours. One solution for waking up on time and staying wake may be CBD. Initial research on animals shows that CBD functions as a wake-inducing drug. However, other studies suggest CBD functions as a sedating drug. Further research is needed to determine what doses and methods of CBD use affect wakefulness and sleepiness.
Does CBD Interact With Other Prescriptions?
CBD can interact with other prescriptions a person takes. In particular, CBD can slow the liver’s ability to break down certain medications. Additionally, using CBD as well as herbs or supplements can make the patient too sleepy.
Before using any CBD product, consult your doctor. Let your doctor know of any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking, so they can assess if CBD might cause a negative interaction. Your doctor will be able to inform you if CBD is a viable option to meet your health goals.