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CBD for Sleep: The Sleep Benefits Of CBD Oil

CBD sleep

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CBD oil plays a very interesting role in sleep… and it’s NOT what you might think. There are a lot of “bloggers” out there right now touting that CBD and hemp extract are great for helping you sleep well. However, that is not the total truth.

CBD is indirectly responsible for better sleep mostly because CBD stops inflammation on the cellular level. As a potent antioxidant, it keeps free radical stress in check. This can definitely improve the quality and restfulness of your sleep.

However, the CBD molecule itself has actually been found in the medical research to induce wakefulness… quite the opposite of sleep.

I will show you these studies today.

A basic understanding of the role that CBD plays in the sleep-wake cycle will help you to make the right decision about what time of day to take your CBD supplement.

What Is CBD?

If you’re new here to then, maybe you just landed here from a Google search for example, and maybe you don’t quite know exactly what CBD is, then I highly recommend you start off by reading this article so you understand the basics.

CBD is a cannabinoid, known as cannabidiol, that is found in both hemp and marijuana.

It has many amazing therapeutic benefits for human health, many of which I’ve written about in detail on this blog. If you’re interested in learning the healing secrets locked inside the hemp plant, check out our pillar article on how to use hemp as medicine.

CBD Oil and Sleep: The Research

Let’s take a look at what the science has to say about how CBD may help improve your sleep.

To summarize, before we dive into the details, the following appears to be true:

  • CBD may help reduce anxiety,1 which is a major cause of insomnia
  • CBD induces alertness,2 but also appears to help increase overall sleep time at night3
  • CBD helps with sleep onset in pain patients4
  • CBD correlates with less dream recall5
  • CBD may help reduce insomnia5
  • CBD’s alertness promoting property is powerful enough to counteract the sedative properties of the same dose of THC6
  • CBD may help improve REM Sleep Disorder7

CBD and Anxiety

Anxiety is an interesting beast. Most of us suffer from differing levels of anxiety at one time or another in life, but some individuals cannot seem to shake it, developing deep anxiety issues that negatively affect their life, and can even lead to insomnia where they are tossing and turning all night long, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep.

CBD has show some promise in the research for helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety.1 The endocannabinoid system may play a very important role in regulating emotion and emotional memory processing, and is quickly becoming an exciting area of research for behavioral neuroscientists.

CBD as an Alertness Promoting Agent

Across the board, it would appear as though CBD is a natural wakefulness promoting compound. Because of this, it seems smart to recommend to take your CBD supplement or full spectrum hemp extract supplement in the morning, so as to keep you alert all day and not interfere with falling asleep.

Interestingly enough, when subjects do this, it appears that not only do they stay alert and awake throughout the day, but they also fall asleep at night more quickly (without any additional sleep aids) and stay asleep longer (see the research referenced above).

This would appear to be because CBD is known to modulate the microglia activation of the inflammatory cycle, keeping your body in a less-inflamed state and lowering your stress.

CBD May Improve Sleep Onset

In this review of studies done on chronic pain patients, which I definitely recommend reading in its entirety if you’re interested in the subject of pain and cbd or pain and hemp extract, the reviewer found adequate evidence to correlate CBD oil consumption with improving multiple sleep biomarkers including sleep onset, which is basically how quickly someone falls asleep.

cbd sleep onset
Table summarizing cannabis applications for pain and sleep

CBD Correlates with Less Dream Recall, Reduction In Insomnia

This study5 saw a repeating incidence of lower dream recall in CBD subjects, which is very interesting. It’s difficult to point to a mechanism here since very little is known about the nature of dreams still in the field of neuroscience. However, this does point to the idea that dream recall may be regulated by the endocannabinoid system to some degree.

That same study also saw a decrease in insomnia symptoms amongst subjects.

Conclusion on CBD Oil and Sleep Parameters

To sum things up nicely with regards to the subject, it appears as though CBD, cannabidiol, is positively correlated with improving sleep parameters, but funny enough… NOT by actually making you sleepy, as it is a wakefulness promoting agent and not a sedative like THC.

In fact, it appears to promote sleep improvements due to the fact that it can lower stress levels as a powerful antioxidant, where it’s benefits with controlling free radical induced inflammation are well-documented. This is great news, as you can consume your CBD supplements in the morning to keep you stress-free and relaxed, but focused, throughout the day, then you may fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer throughout the night.

For help sleeping, we recommend a product with melatonin in it. CBDistillery offers a nighttime gummie that’s perfect for sleep issues.

If you want to learn about more recommended retailers, check out our page on Where To Buy CBD.

Medical References

Lee J, Bertoglio L, Guimarães F, Stevenson C. Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. Br J Pharmacol. 2017;174(19):3242-3256. [PubMed]
Murillo-Rodríguez E, Millán-Aldaco D, Palomero-Rivero M, Mechoulam R, Drucker-Colín R. The nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent cannabidiol is a wake-inducing agent. Behav Neurosci. 2008;122(6):1378-1382. [PubMed]
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. [PubMed]
Evans H, Taylor J, Ernst J, Graefe J. Methods to evaluate the wellbeing of laboratory primates: comparisons of macaques and tamarins. Lab Anim Sci. 1989;39(4):318-323. [PubMed]
Carlini E, Cunha J. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981;21(8-9 Suppl):417S-427S. [PubMed]
Nicholson A, Turner C, Stone B, Robson P. Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and early-morning behavior in young adults. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2004;24(3):305-313. [PubMed]
Chagas M, Eckeli A, Zuardi A, et al. Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014;39(5):564-566. [PubMed]
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Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker has a degree in Neuroscience from Duke University, and is the research writer for The Universal Plant. He has dedicated his life to helping men and women around the world educate themselves and take action to improve their health with natural plant-based and nutrient therapies. Follow him on Instagram @_christopherwalker

7 thoughts on “CBD for Sleep: The Sleep Benefits Of CBD Oil”

  1. Hi Christopher, I like all your info about the use of cbd. I’ve used it and it helps. I can not always afford it though. I can’t make my own because marijuana is illegal. I can’t afford to buy enough pot to make it. Lol! But I wouldn’t want to get myself in trouble with that anyway it would take way to much pot to make a small amount of the oil plus loads of steps to make it. Not sure why it’s called pot or even Mary jane. Lol! But the cbd oil had helped me. I’m a female 51 years old with chronic pain all over my body. I suffer from a bad liver, hiatal hernia, hyperthyroidism, lupus, bad headaches, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, all joint inflammation, foggy brain due to so much pain, pelvic floor discomfort due to several surgeries, auto immune disease, skeletal muscular problems, nerve pains threwout my body, muscle spams, eye problems, ringing of the ears, heart flutters…which it probably the hernia, anexity, depression, insomnia, as the list seems non-stop! I have been to so many doctors and specialist that only and have always threw me into the pain clinic options of taking pain drugs. Just as I do because I had to find some type of give to get my body easy and rest. I take the oxycodone they give me. I want to stop this drug so bad! I take several other drugs that help with my panic attacks as well. I have great insurance. Do any doctors and if so what types of doctors write or can write cbd oil so insurance would pay? Do you have any idea if this is an option at all? Thanks & bless you for your hard work. 💜Sondra

  2. Thanks for these insights. I’m the mother of 5, so my sleep issues are really hard on me during the day when I’m trying to hold it down. After being a daily ganja smoker for 20+ years, I’m finding that cbd and I get along really well, and have been smoking less and less. Fascinating medicine, and I’m stoked to be learning more about it.

  3. How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd oil? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

  4. How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd oil? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

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