Not getting the sleep you need can not only be maddening, but it can be bad for your health, too. There’s all kinds of different tools that people look to when trying to get better sleep, and one of the more popular options in recent years has been CBD.
Let’s take a look at what CBD is, how you can use it, and what kind of impact it has on sleep.
Getting Started with CBD for Sleep
If you’re brand new to using CBD, it’s a good idea to be familiar with what exactly CBD is, the different ways you can take it, and what to look for when you’re shopping for CBD products.
Before you start taking CBD, you should always talk with your doctor first. CBD can interact with certain prescription medications, so you’ll want to make sure that taking CBD is compatible with your current health plan.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis. While cannabis with high levels of THC has varying legal status depending on what country you’re in, a strain of cannabis, called hemp, is legal in most places. Hemp is naturally high in CBD, which is why hemp is used as the source for the vast majority of CBD products.
Does CBD Get You High?
While other cannabinoids, like THC, will get you high, CBD has no inebriating effect. Regardless of how much you take, you’ll never feel high or stoned, which is why many people use CBD to help manage chronic ailments throughout the night and day.
In fact, it’s safe for most people to take CBD during the day for most people, since it won’t cause dangerous drowsiness like other medicines (including opioid painkillers) will. Keep in mind that CBD can relax you, which may cause a sedative effect, so we recommend trying CBD safely at home until you know for sure how it will impact you.
Ways to Take CBD for Sleep
There are several ways you can choose to take CBD for sleep, each with their own pros and cons. You may choose to combine CBD methods to take advantage of multiple benefits, too.
Finally, customers may choose to use CBD transdermal patches. These patches are applied directly to the skin, where CBD is absorbed and makes its way to the bloodstream. This method also allows for precise dosing and avoids issues with swallowing and taste.
Customers may look to transdermal CBD patches for sleep because:
- They are the longest lasting products (lasting 8+ hours)
- They are easy to use (simply apply the patch to the skin)
- They are discrete, easy to travel with, and can be used indoors.
Customers may look to a different CBD product, or combine patches with other products, because:
- Patches can take a while to start providing relief (up to an hour)
- Even though adhesives are usually very gentle on skin, some may have skin that can’t tolerate any adhesives
- You can’t take a smaller dose than what’s on a patch (which can make it difficult to lower your dose as needed)
Another way to take CBD is by ingesting (or eating) it. In this method, CBD is infused into a capsule, gummy, or oil, and is swallowed. This method allows for precise dosing, which is helpful when you’re trying to find what your ideal CBD dose is.
Customers may look to ingestible CBD for sleep because:
- It’s easy dosing (especially capsules)
- It’s easy to travel with
- It can be taken indoors (where you may not be able to vape)
- It lasts for 6-8 hours, which is ideal for using to help with staying sleep
Customers may look to a different CBD product (or look to combine ingestibles with another form of CBD) because:
- Ingestible CBD takes longer to kick in (up to 45 minutes to an hour)
- If using oils and gummies, some customers don’t like the taste
- Customers may struggle to swallow pills or capsules in general
Ingestible CBD has low absorption rates (unless it’s a product specifically designed to survive the digestive system)
Inhaled CBD is one of the oldest, and most popular ways, to use CBD. In this method, CBD is heated in a vaporizer, where it turns to vapor and is inhaled. There’s no dosage to measure out, so instead, you’ll need to keep track of how many puffs you take, and how large those puffs are.
Customers may look to use inhaled CBD for sleep because:
- It’s fast and easy
- It enters the bloodstream quickly
- It is most effective in helping people fall asleep
However, customers may want a different CBD product, or may want to combine inhaled CBD with another form, because:
- It’s hard to measure precise doses with inhaled CBD.
- Since it’s absorbed so rapidly, the effects only last for around four hours.
- Not all places allow you to vape inside, which can be a hassle.
Can I take CBD Topicals for Sleep?
CBD topicals are products like creams or lotions that are applied directly to the skin. However, unlike transdermal patches, the CBD in these products won’t pass through your skin into your bloodstream. If you’re looking to use CBD for sleep, then topical products won’t be a good option for you.
CBD Quality and Impacts on Sleep
The quality of a CBD product will impact its ability to help with sleep. Unfortunately, in most countries, the CBD market isn’t strictly regulated, which means claims to purity or potency of a specific product isn’t controlled by the government. There’s a few things to consider to make sure you get a CBD product that’s safe, pure, and potent:
Third Party Lab Tests
Third party lab testing means that a CBD brand has sent samples of their products to an outside, unaffiliated laboratory for purity testing. Generally, labs will make sure that a CBD product:
- Contains the percentage of cannabinoids as advertised
- Does not contain certain cannabinoids (this is generally with CBD isolates, which should be THC-free)
- Does not contain dangerous impurities, especially heavy metals
Reputable brands will have the results of third party lab results available online, usually in the form of a Certificate of Analysis. If they don’t, then you should avoid that brand.
A product’s bioavailability refers to how much of its active ingredient makes its way into your bloodstream. When we use the term for CBD products, we’re describing how much CBD actually gets into your bloodstream.
The purer a CBD product is, the higher its bioavailability will be (which is another good reason to make sure you check for a Certificate of Analysis). The form of CBD you choose will also impact bioavailability, regardless of product purity. Below, we have the bioavailability of the most popular forms of CBD:
- Transdermal patches (up to 80% bioavailability)
- Inhaled forms of CBD (up to 35% bioavailability)
- Capsules (6% bioavailability, if not specifically formulated for absorption, like PhenoGel)
- Oils (6% bioavailability)
The lower the bioavailability, the higher dosage you’ll end up needed to get the best relief.
How CBD Works for Sleep
What exactly is happening in your body when you take CBD? Since it’s a cannabinoid, it can interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating functions like mood, appetite, and sleep.
The research on specifically how CBD interacts with your body to help with sleep is still new, we are starting to see how it can help.
CBD May Help Unrelated Conditions Preventing You From Sleeping
Do you struggle to sleep because of challenges like chronic pain or anxiety? If so, CBD might provide the relief you’re looking for. Studies have shown that CBD is paramount in helping to manage anxiety disorders, as well as pain issues, and without the negative side-effects of more traditional medication, like SSRIs and opioid painkillers.
CBD May Help with Insomnia
If your sleep issues aren’t directly tied to anything, like anxiety or pain, CBD may still be able to help. Research has suggested that potent doses of CBD are correlated to improved sleep, and in that specific study, provided better sleep results that THC alone.
When Does CBD Start to Help My Sleep?
While research has shown very promising results about how CBD can help with sleep, there’s still a few things to keep in mind when you start taking it. First, CBD will impact different people in different ways, and you may need to consider different intake methods or different CBD formulas that might provide the best results.
Next, it will take time to find your ideal dosage. While we recommend customers start with low doses to help their bodies get used to CBD, the dose they end up with may be considerably higher.
Finally, while you may feel some effects from the CBD immediately, it will take several days of consistent use to feel the best results from CBD. For most customers, that can be anywhere between 3-4 weeks of daily use. Keep in mind individual results will vary.
CBD and Sleep: Takeaways
CBD may be just what you need to help you get consistently, high-quality sleep. Let’s take a quick look at what we talked about in this article:
- CBD is the dominant cannabinoid found in hemp
- CBD is legal in most countries
- CBD doesn’t get you high
- There are several ways to take CBD
- Any CBD product should be third party lab tested
- CBD will impact different people in different ways
- Talk with your doctor first before starting CBD
If you have any questions about using CBD for sleep, we’d love to help. You can contact us directly with questions, or if you’re ready to start shopping, you can take a look at the CBD products we offer (including those specifically designed to help with sleep).