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  • August 20, 2022 5 min read


    You can't ignore the importance of enough and quality sleep. While the relevance of sleep is undeniable, most people cannot fall asleep naturally due to various issues. Due to this reason, most people are turning to CBD as a natural remedy for sleep and have reported positive effects.

    Cannabidiol (CBD) popularity has exploded over the last few years. Additionally, CBD's use in treating various ailments has risen significantly. Particularly, CBD has been found to have potential health benefits for symptoms like insomnia. CBD seems to be everywhere and everything from gummies to coffee to capsules. While research into CBD is in its early stages, there's increasing evidence that CBD may impact sleep. However, some people confuse CBD for causing a high feeling, which isn't the case. So what does the research say about CBD for sleep, and does it make sleep easier or more difficult? Also, is it safe to use? Let this article discuss more.

    What is CBD?

    CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over a hundred chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Hemp and marijuana are types of cannabis plants. CBD is mainly extracted from industrial hemp, the industrial version of the cannabis plant. Hemp describes types of cannabis that contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is mainly associated with marijuana and is the psychoactive chemical compound that causes a high feeling. Marijuana-derived CBD is only available in states where the growing of psychoactive cannabis is legal.

    Although CBD and THC are closely related and the most famous chemical compounds (cannabinoids) in the cannabis plant, they're completely different. The two cannabinoids act in different ways and aim at different receptors in your brain and body. CBD isn't psychoactive and doesn't cause the intoxication that THC is known for. There are several ways to consume CBD, including sublingual administration, CBD gummies, capsules, sprays, topical creams, and tinctures. They can also be inhaled in a vaporized form. CBD is extracted in powder form and mixed with a carrier oil to make its absorption by the body simple.

    How Does CBD Work?

    The human body comprises a biological system of endocannabinoids, specific neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps maintain homeostasis in the body; in other words, it helps maintain the body's stability. It helps regulate important functions such as mood, appetite, pain and inflammation, fertility, memory, etc. Moreover, this system is associated with feelings of euphoria that may result from intense exercise.

    The primary endocannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2 and are found in the brain, peripheral organs, and the nervous system. CBD mainly influences CB2 receptors influencing how hormones and neurotransmitters behave. Such interactions with CBD may benefit various physiological processes such as inflammation, pain perception, mood and emotions, and sleep-wake cycles. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolex to treat epileptic seizures, particularly in children.

    CBD for Sleep

    CBD may help treat the causes of insomnia. Although research is limited, there’s some evidence that CBD can treat anxiety which can interfere with restful sleep. Shannon et al. (2019)realized that after taking 25mg CBD in the evening, there was an improvement in sleeping difficulties in most patients and lower anxiety levels.

    On the other hand, Scott Shannon & Janet Opila-Lehman (2016) examined a 10-year girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep treated with CBD.The study found that 25 mg of CBD was administered at bedtime. An additional 6-12mg of CBD was given by sublingual spray during the day to help with anxiety; sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over the months.

    Due to CBD’s positive effect on pain perception, it may help promote sleep. According to Fine & Rosenfeld (2014), CBD reduces pain by regulating glycine receptors in the central nervous system. Glycine receptors are inhibitory, which means they reduce the perception of pain. CBD may increase the effect of such receptors, relieving pain that can cause insomnia or fragmented sleep.

    Sagredo et al. (2007) also suggested CBD's ability to reduce inflammation through its influence on adenosine, an important neurotransmitter. Adenosine and its receptors are strongly associated with the regulation of inflammation in the body. CBD increases the amount of adenosine available to the brain, thereby impacting the activity of adenosine receptors and reducing inflammation. By so doing, CBD can promote better sleep since inflammation can hinder peaceful sleep.

    CBD might also have the power to help manage REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). It is a condition in which a sleeping person physically acts and vocalizes their dreams. It may also involve a potentially violent arm and leg movements. Chagas & Eckeli (2014) showed that patients who had REM sleep disorder had reduced frequency and symptoms of RBD.

    Some patients have reported that taking an evening dose of CBD makes them feel awake, but they sleep deeper and longer than they do without the CBD when they lie down. Other users report that their CBD use helps them relax and sleep more at night. CBD isn't bad for the sleep cycle. There's not much research on dosing, but evidence suggests that low doses might not be very effective. Higher doses are more effective. However, if you're new to CBD, you're advised to start at low doses and work your way up, noting the effects.


    It's critical to talk to the doctor before taking supplements or medication, including CBD. A doctor is best equipped to offer advice on using CBD to improve sleep based on your specific circumstances. Over the last years, CBD oil and other products have become enormously popular. There's research that supports the theory that there are CBD health benefits. While more research needs to be done, CBD can potentially decrease your insomnia symptomsand help you get better quality sleep.Some experts suggest cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia, which focuses on changing habits that disrupt sleep. They suggest that it's more effective and safer than over-the-counter drugs, which cause dependence and poses a risk of overdosing and death.


    Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena‐Pereira, M. A., Sobreira‐Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., ... &Crippa, J. A. S. (2014). Cannabidiol Can Improve Complex Sleep‐Related Behaviors Associated With Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder In Parkinson's Patients: A Case Series. Journal Of Clinical Pharmacy And Therapeutics, 39(5), 564-566.

    Fine, P. G., &Rosenfeld, M. J. (2014). Cannabinoids For Neuropathic Pain. Current Pain And Headache Reports, 18(10), 1-9.

    Scott Shannon &Janet Opila-Lehman, Effectiveness OfCannabidiol Oil For Pediatric Anxiety And Insomnia As Part Of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report (2016)

    Sagredo, O., Ramos, J. A., Decio, A., Mechoulam, R., &Fernández‐Ruiz, J. (2007). Cannabidiol Reduced The Striatal Atrophy Caused 3‐Nitropropionic Acid In Vivo By Mechanisms Independent Of The Activation Of Cannabinoid, VanilloidTRPV1 And Adenosine A2A Receptors. European Journal OfNeuroscience, 26(4), 843-851.

    Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., &Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol In Anxiety And Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23.