107k members in the insomnia community. Posts and discussion about insomnia and sleep disorders. They say cannabis helps with sleep, but what if you'd rather not get high? Learn more about the differences between THC and CBD for sleep, with expert weigh-in on strains to try out. From CBD oil tinctures and capsules to bath bombs, we review the best CBD products online to help you relax and sleep quickly and naturally.
What are your experiences with cbd oil for insomnia/anxiety?
Pretty great so far! I’m almost done with my transistion of of Mirtazapine and can’t wait to be done with it. Two drops of CBD and 30 mins later I’m out. I use 4:1 drops.
I’m wanting to try the oil for insomnia and for my chronic pain, but I’ve seen drops for sale. I’m not familiar with it very well, but could you tell me is it all the same dosage? Like 3 mg, 5 mg, ect. Also is there a better brand? Do you know where I could order online?
I’ve not used drops, just the “default” form, but it seems to work just fine for me.
First time I used it I was trying to watch something on TV and was like “what’s going on here, I can’t seem to keep my eyes open. Ohhhh, wait..”
Definitely will give you the munchies though.
tl;dr Try it. I bet it works for you.
Hey there! The online blog What is CBD does a really good in depth job about giving a basic understanding of CBD and basic ailments such as insomnia/anxiety. Also the company Heartland Holistics is currently running their 30% holiday sale. Code BlackFriday gets you the discount at checkout! Hope this helps.
Does CBD help or hinder sleep?
What most of us wouldn’t give for a good night’s sleep. Without it, we can’t function at peak emotional, physical, and mental levels, yet in today’s high-stress, plugged-in world, so many of us don’t get decent sleep.
Ailments like insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and excessive daytime sleepiness cause consumers to turn to over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals for relief, yet many of these medications have their own serious side effects and adverse risks.
Catching zzz’s with CBD?
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For that reason, many consumers are exploring natural sleep aids like cannabis. We know THC-rich varieties can help people achieve sleep, but what about those sensitive to or afraid of its intoxicating effects?
Can cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound, also offer sleep benefits?
CBD and sleep: What does the research say?
As CBD has exploded onto the market, consumers are turning to the cannabinoid to treat many ailments, including insomnia. The insurgence of CBD has also prompted a sizable uptick in the number of preclinical and clinical studies looking at CBD’s value in treating a whole host of disorders. However, very few studies center on CBD and sleep.
In a recent Consumer Reports survey on CBD, 10% of respondents report using CBD as a sleep aid. The majority of them said it worked, but that evidence is anecdotal. Without controlled studies, it is difficult to tell whether CBD is truly acting alone to induce sleep. There are several complicating factors.
First, high-CBD strains often contain myrcene , a terpene that is said to be sedating. Although controlled studies on humans are lacking, myrcene’s sedative effects are well established in the animal literature, and for centuries, herbalists have been using hops as a human sleep aid. As it turns out, hops have high myrcene levels.
Therefore, if a person uses a high-CBD strain and says it helps them sleep, it is hard to tell whether CBD, myrcene or the two working in combination is the active agent. However, it’s worth noting that most people aren’t smoking or vaporizing myrcene-rich CBD flowers for sleep. Rather, most are using a CBD concentrate that contains little to no myrcene whatsoever.
Very few researchers have looked at isolated CBD as a sleep aid. Instead, researchers have looked at CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids like THC. In a 2017 extensive literature review entitled Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, the research team found that CBD and THC were indeed the two cannabinoids most often cited as sleep-inducing aids.
Multiple cannabinoids muddy the waters
THC has a sedative effect and can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Some research shows that the entourage effect , or harmonized interaction between cannabis compounds like CBD and THC, seems to carry over to sleep.
Sulak explained that CBD may just be reducing symptoms like anxiety, which allows the person to relax so that their natural sleep mechanism can take over.
However, THC does not put a person in a sleep state. Neither does CBD. Instead, THC is a sedative and has other properties helpful to sleep. For example, THC makes a person feel comfortable while remaining still, called catalepsy.
Because CBD doesn’t alter consciousness in the same way that THC does, is it even possible that CBD can work alone as a sleep aid?
Dr. Dustin Sulak, DO, is the founder of Healer.com and Integr8 Health, a Maine medical practice that uses medical cannabis as a treatment for a variety of ailments. Sulak explained that CBD may actually just be reducing symptoms like anxiety, which allows the person to relax so that their natural sleep mechanism can take over.
To demonstrate Sulak’s point, here is one such published example, where a Colorado research team looked at outcomes of psychiatric patients who received CBD in a clinical setting to help with anxiety and sleep complaints. CBD was given as an adjunct to usual treatment. Within the first 30 days of CBD use, anxiety decreased in nearly 80% of patients and sleep scores improved by nearly 70%. CBD was well tolerated by the vast majority of patients.
But was CBD directly responsible for this outcome? And, given that a fairly large group of people with insomnia also have depression and anxiety , what exactly is CBD working on? This is where the waters become even more muddied.
Sulak’s practice has over 8,000 patients, so he sees the connection between sleep and chronic disease every day. “Sleep is extremely important,” he said. “Almost all of our most prevalent chronic diseases require healthy sleep for the patient to get better.”
Sulak said that if he can fix a patient’s sleep disturbance, it serves as a unifying treatment that can help multiple patient conditions like diabetes and chronic pain. While Sulak does treat sleep disorders, he very rarely does so with CBD in any form, whether pure CBD or a CBD-dominant cannabis strain.
Instead, Sulak often uses THC with a sedating terpene profile. He achieves excellent results, even when using low doses.
The dosing dilemma
Depending on who you ask, CBD has been reported as having either a stimulating or a calming effect, thus adding confusion to the overall equation. While there is very little published evidence regarding dosing, research to date indicates that at higher doses, CBD has a calming effect; yet at lower doses, CBD has a stimulating effect.
In a 1977 animal study, the “ hypnotic-like effects ” of CBD were first studied. Since then, very few CBD dosing studies have been performed, but the evidence seems to indicate that the effectiveness of CBD depends on whether the person has a normal sleep rhythm or whether the person has a sleep disorder.
In a 2018 study on 27 healthy subjects , a high CBD dose (300 mg) qualifying as a clinically anxiolytic dose had no effect on the sleep-wake cycle. CBD was given 30 minutes prior to bedtime and sleep recordings were made for eight hours thereafter.
In a similar study, very high CBD doses (600 mg) had a sedative effect, but in subjects with insomnia, much lower doses of 160 mg reduced sleep disruption and increased total sleep duration. Conversely, very low doses of 25 mg had no effect.
CBD and REM sleep
CBD has been found to help with certain sleep anomalies that occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. There are two types of sleep: non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep progresses through a 90-minute cycle leading up to REM sleep, in which brain wave activity increases and dreaming occurs. REM sleep is also the time when previously learned is solidified into a memory.
In normal REM sleep, the limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed so that a person cannot act out dreams. In Parkinson’s disease as well as REM behavior disorder , people are able to flail and act out vivid and violent dreams. CBD at doses ranging from 75 to 300 mg was shown in a preliminary study to help these patients, and in an early case study, high-dose CBD helped a pediatric PTSD patient .
Low-dose CBD formulations seem to keep people awake and not alter the sleep cycle. However, this may one day prove beneficial for circadian rhythm disorders like excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy because they may help people stay awake during daylight hours.
So, should you be using CBD for sleep?
Every individual’s body is unique, and therefore the effect of CBD will be highly individualized. Sulak explained that he would be open to using CBD in his own practice if a patient had not responded well to THC. Some patients are extraordinarily sensitive to THC and have symptoms during the night or still feel impaired in the morning. Sulak said he would likely select CBD strains that contained high levels of myrcene (luckily, there are plenty of options ).
Sulak said that CBD may offer benefit for people with sleep disturbances, and he feels it is important to move forward with pragmatically designed clinical trials, meaning a trial that does not provide every patient with the same exact treatment. Instead, an algorithm type approach would be used, starting with one treatment and moving to others if the previous ones are unsuccessful.
Sulak also stated that Americans are desperately in need of education on understanding sleep hygiene and the critical importance of sleep for health and happiness. “Most people don’t know that sleep disturbances are associated with decreased analgesic (pain-relieving effects) of opioids and antidepressant drugs, so it’s such a vicious cycle,” he said. “It’s wonderful to use cannabis to break that cycle,” Sulak said.
CBD is safe, even at high doses
Sulak said that he ensures his patients that CBD is extraordinarily safe, so if it is not effective at low to moderate doses of 10 to 50 mg, CBD is safe to try at higher doses of 100 to 200mg. In a 2018 study , single doses of 1,500 mg, 3,000 mg or 6,000 mg were administered to healthy subjects daily for six days. While the study was not aimed at researching CBD’s effects on sleep, it demonstrated that CBD is indeed safe.
However, it’s important to note that research has a long way to go in establishing drug interactions associated with cannabinoids. While CBD appears to be safe on its own, consider consulting a medical professional before adding CBD or other cannabis products to your regimen.
Despite the overall lack of CBD sleep studies, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded in a 2017 report that moderate evidence exists for cannabinoids to improve short-term sleep outcomes in a variety of conditions. As more research is conducted, CBD may well benefit patients who have ailments like obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and anxiety.
RS Recommends: How Do These CBD Products Help With Sleep?
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Everyone is trying to get better sleep today and there are no shortage of products that promise to help ease you into deeper slumber, from weighted blankets to fancy sound machines. But more and more people are adding CBD to their sleep checklist as well.
When Travis Barker had trouble falling asleep on tour, after a grueling schedule had him in a different city and different bed each night, the drummer started to look for more “natural ways to wind down.” That’s when he discovered CBD.
“I used to have trouble with sleep,” Barker tells Rolling Stone, “and I would take a ton of melatonin, valerian tea, Tylenol PM, or Nyquil,” he admits, “but CBD was like the best kind of result that I got.”
The immediate benefits that Barker found with CBD led him to create Barker Wellness, a new line of cannabinoid-infused products that includes a unique CBD tincture for sleep. While CBD is not a medically-approved solution for sleep, experts say a little CBD could go a long towards promoting more soothing, stress-free slumber.
How Does CBD Work for Sleep?
“CBD is a compound that supports a powerful, yet widespread network of receptors in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is known to help regulate energy, mood, sleep, and more,” explains Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody, the newly-rebranded company that now includes the popular Theragun percussion devices as well as a line of lotions and tinctures for recovery and relief. “Researchers have found that CBD, found naturally in the hemp plant, interacts with ECS receptors throughout the body much like molecules the body naturally produces.”
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Experts say the best CBD products for sleep also help you wind down by addressing some of the root causes of restlessness and stress.
“Most people don’t realize the quality of sleep is closely related to stress and maintaining a strong immune system, and you need both systems properly in check if you want an optimal immune response to anything,” adds Jay Hartenbach, CEO of CBD brand Medterra. “If your cortisol levels are elevated, it can keep you awake. CBD is thought to decrease this and keep your body in a homeostasis state.”
If you’re just easing into CBD, Hartenbach suggests finding CBD products that also contain other ingredients that work together to help you feel more restful and relaxed. “CBD, amino acids, L-theanine and 5-HTP, and relaxing herbs like passion flower, chamomile, and lemon balm have each individually been shown to help with providing a full restful night and have been expertly formulated to work together for desired results to address the most common issues,” Hartenbach says. “Proper sleep and circadian control are absolutely essential to an optimally functioning immune system. If your body lacks restful sleep, so does your immunity.”
Will CBD for Sleep Make You Drowsy or High?
The best CBD for sleep is designed to help you ease into slumber — not knock you out. And unlike THC, which may have some psychoactive effects, Wersland says “CBD is non-intoxicating and will not make you feel high.”
If you’re new to CBD, trying a CBD gummy for sleep is an easy way to test out its effects in an easy-to-take format (basically like a gummy bear or gummy vitamin). Many brands also have flavorless CBD oils (or “CBD tinctures”), which come out of a dropper, letting you control exactly how much you want to take. Wersland’s suggestion: start small and then see how the tincture affects you. “If you’d like to take one full dropper that’s 33mg of full-spectrum CBD you can,” he says, “or you can take a ¼ of a dropper which is about 8mg of CBD.”
Of course CBD is primarily meant for therapeutic benefits and is not meant to replace any doctor-recommended prescriptions if you suffer from serious insomnia. You should also see a doctor if you have a severe sleep disorder, restlessness or anxiety, as CBD is not meant to treat those issues.
What is the Best CBD for Sleep?
If you’re looking to try out CBD products for sleep, we’re rounded up some of our favorite options below. These have all been tested by our editors for ease of use and efficacy, though CBD will affect everyone differently. All the products on our list have also been tested by independent third-party labs for quality assurance and safety but you should read the ingredient list and labels before using to find the right products for your needs.
1. evn Sleep Powder
If you’re used to a warm drink before bed to calm you down, evn’s Sleep Powder will help you ease your way into some Zzz’s. Each serving (about a spoonful) contains 20mg of full spectrum CBD which you blend into milk (of any kind), tea or hot water about 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Not only is the hemp organically-sourced and lab-tested, but the powder also has a “sleep-enhancing” blend of magnesium, passionflower, L-theanine, melatonin, vitamins, and minerals to give you a deeper sleep that you wake up from feeling refreshed instead of zonked. If you don’t want the “grassy” taste of a CBD oil right before you knock out, evn’s Sleep Powder has a pleasant cocoa flavor that tastes more like a pre-bed treat than a medicinal tincture. While it can take have an effective boost to your sleep quality after one night, evn recommends trying it for 2-3 nights to get the best rest possible.
BONUS: Use coupon code ROLLINGSTONE20 for 20% off your order at Evn-CBD.com.
2. Cornbread Hemp AM/PM CBD Oil Bundle
One of the easiest ways to get into CBD is with this AM/PM CBD oil bundle from Cornbread Hemp. Take a drop or two of the Distilled CBD Oil in the morning to start your day, and chill out at night with the Whole Flower CBD Oil. To use: place a few drops under your tongue and hold for 30 seconds before swallowing, or mix a few drops into a glass of water or your bedtime tea (it’s virtually tasteless and it dissolves easily).
Cornbread uses only USDA-certified organic ingredients, with no preservatives, flavors or sweeteners. Choose from an original strength or extra strength pack. What we like: the included dropper has four size markings (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1ml) so you can easily control your dosage and work your way up (for reference, one serving is 1ml).
BONUS: Use coupon code RS20 for 20% off your purchase at CornbreadHemp.com.
3. Prima Sleep Tight Soft Gels
Take one or two of these Prime Soft Gels before bed each night as part of your wind down routine. In our experience, the easy-to-swallow capsules have worked wonders in helping us fall asleep faster — and stay asleep without waking up in the middle of the night.
While other CBD blends for sleep use melatonin to help you doze off, Prima’s formula is melatonin-free, swapping the popular sleep aid for other natural remedies, like the amino acid compounds 5-HTP and GABA (which promote relaxation and mood enhancement), plus natural herbs like passion flower, California poppy and lavender to help calm and sedate without the need for a prescription.
We woke up feeling less groggy too and the CBD capsules don’t give you that intoxicated feeling you get from cheaper generic CBD brands.
4. Sunday Scaries “Side Piece” Bundle
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the CBD choices out there, Sunday Scaries’ “Side Piece” bundle is one of the easiest and least intimidating ways to get into a CBD routine. The bundle includes a bottle of fruit-flavored CBD gummies for when you want to chill out, and then a bottle of CBD oil for sleep. Typically $98 when you buy each item separately, the bundle gets you both for just $43 right now (a $55 savings).
Aside from being an incredible value, both the gummies and tincture have rave reviews online. Start with one gummy (10mg of CBD) after work, while you’re watching a movie, or when you want to zone out while doing chores or housework on the weekend. The CBD tincture, meantime, can go directly under the tongue, or in your tea, water, mixed into a smoothie or even mixed into your favorite lotion. Sunday Scaries also recommends trying a few drops of the CBD oil in your bath to help you relax. One bottle for the day and one bottle for night – your CBD routine just got a whole lot easier.
5. Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies: Sleep
We’re big fans of these raspberry-flavored CBD gummies from Charlotte’s Web, which has helped us ease into sleep with less tossing and turning (or anxious thoughts). Each gummy contains 10mg of CBD, along with other natural sleep aids like 3mg of melatonin. We’ve found that these work fast, so take them just before bed (like 15-20 minutes before you hit the sack).
Each pack contains 30 servings. Not sure how your body will react? We started by taking half a gummy, before slowly graduating to taking the full piece.
6. Terravita Sleep CBD Capsules
If you prefer the ease of a capsule, we like Terravita’s Sleep CBD Capsules. These easy-to-swallow capsules include a broad spectrum hemp extract that contains 30mg of broad spectrum CBD (that’s also THC-free).
In addition to the hemp extracts, these capsules contain natural ingredients like L-Theanine (for stress), Valerian root (to fall asleep faster), melatonin (to help regulate the sleep cycle) and chamomile (which helps you get deeper sleep). Because this comes in a capsule format (rather than say, an edible or tincture), it can be great if you’re looking for a natural sleep aid, but hate the “grassy” flavor of traditional gummies.
Each order gets you 15 capsules. Take one at night about 30-45 minutes before bed. You can increase dosage to two capsules per day if you need something stronger.
7. Barker Wellness Sleep Tincture
Travis Barker’s new CBD line includes this easy-to-take sleep tincture. The unique formula combines CBD and CBN (another naturally occurring cannabinol said to help with insomnia), along with melatonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid believed to have stress-relieving properties. Take half a dropper to start and put it under your tongue or dissolve the drops into water. In our experience, we’ve found that a full drop under the tongue works best, though it takes an hour or so before you start feeling sleepy, so time it accordingly.
8. Zolt “Dreamy” Drink Mix
Nothing helps you unwind and get ready for bed quite like a hot, soothing drink, which is why we like these “Dreamy Mixie Sticks” from Zolt. Essentially a drink mix with CBD, each individually-wrapped pack contains 20mg of Kentucky-grown hemp, 3mg of melatonin and adaptogens (think aswagandha to help you de-stress). Natural honey, lemon and orange gives this a light citrusy flavor.
To use: pour one stick into about 8oz. of water. We like taking it with hot water about 20-30 minutes before bed. Prefer a more refreshing treat before you sleep? The Zolt drink mix blends easily into cold water too.
9. TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture
Another easy-to-take CBD product that actually helps with sleep, from our experience, is the TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture. Along with USDA-certified organic CBD, the TheraOne tincture also contains organic lavender, organic
lemon balm oil and organic chamomile, which the company says is “designed to help encourage deeper, more restorative sleep.”
TheraOne also touts its unique “Biosorb technology,” which it says can help increase the effectiveness of the CBD, so you can fall asleep faster — and stay sleeping more soundly.
To use: take one full dropper under the tongue, which delivers 33mg of CBD. You can also start with half a dropper to see how the formula affects you. Each bottle contains about 30 full servings.
Want the full-body experience? Get Therabody’s exclusive “Better Sleep Set,” which includes the Theragun Elite Smart Percussive Therapy device (a.k.a. a massage gun), soothing CBD Massage Oil, and a bottle of the TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture. This all-in-one set is available for $574 at Theragun.com. It makes a great gift idea too.
10. CBDFX CBD Gummies with Melatonin for Sleep
These CBD gummies are the easiest options on our list to take, and the least-intimidating way to get into CBD for sleep. Take two of these gummies 30 minutes before bed for best effects. The lemon-flavored chews combine CBD with melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid. The company says the addition of magnesium helps to promote calmness.
Each serving of two gummies contains 50mg of broad spectrum CBD. Everything is certified vegan, all-natural and gluten-free, so it’s easy on the stomach too. A bonus: they actually taste pretty good too.
11. cbdMD Bath Bombs
A relaxing bath is always a good way to destress before bed, and many companies are now making CBD bath bombs for sleep. This one, from cbdMD, is made from a mix of USA-sourced hemp CBD and calming essential oils like frankincense, lavender, eucalyptus. The addition of epsom salts adds further restorative benefits.
This multi-pack contains six bath bombs in different colors and scents. Get 100mg of CBD per bath bomb. The effects of this are mild, so you’ll want to throw the entire CBD bomb in the water and let it slowly dissolve.
12. Terravita Sleep Better Bundle
Get the benefits of a bath and an ingestible with this Sleep Better Bundle from Terravita. The premium CBD company is known for their unique and potent formulas, which combine full-spectrum CBD with plant-based ingredients (think coconut oil, lavender oil and aloe vera in the bath soak, and hempseed oil and grapefruit in the tincture).
This set gets you a CBD bath soak to help with relaxation and recovery after a long day; a sleep CBD tincture to help you wind down; and a bottle of sleep CBD capsules that the company says promotes better sleep.
Use each item separately or as part of your nightly wellness routine. You’ll want to start with 3-4 scoops of the CBD bath soak and let it dissolve in warm water before getting in the bath. We like using it after a workout or travel, to help detox the body. For the tincture, take one full dropper and hold under your tongue for 30-60 seconds. The recommended dosage for the capsules, meantime, is one capsule, about 30-45 minutes before bed.
13. NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBN Oil
Colorado-based NuLeaf Naturals makes some of the most straight-forward and fast-acting CBD products on the market, with easy-to-take formulas that promise to help clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep. We like their full-spectrum CBN oil, which uses CBN, another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that is said to have sleep benefits. While some CBD can have energizing effects, researchers have found that CBN is used more as a natural sedative.
This bottle contains 60 servings of CBN oil – about 30mg per dropper. Start with half a dropper to see if you feel sleepy; gradually increase to a full dropper for maximum effect.