CBD is known for a huge variety of uses, one of which is to encourage relaxation. But does this property make it an ideal aid to achieve deeper sleep?
by Chantelle Pattemore
We’ve all experienced lying in bed, unable to drift off, and feeling increasingly frustrated as we watch the minutes tick by on the clock. And, sometimes, counting sheep just doesn’t cut it. So what can you do to help make the most of your hours in bed and encourage a restful night’s sleep?
The solution could be easier than you think: CBD.
While some rely on this natural ingredient to help put a pep in their step on bleary-eyed mornings or during the mid-afternoon slump, for others it’s an essential aid in encouraging relaxation and languor. But can CBD really help improve nighttime rest? It’s time to take a closer look.
The Bigger Picture
Let’s start with the mechanics: When CBD enters the body, it affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to encourage states such as alertness or relaxation. However, this relationship is more than just a two-party affair, as CBD doesn’t actually influence the ECS directly. Instead, it’s thought to impact the receptors that bind to the ECS, which respond to chemical messages from all over the body relating to things such as aches, drowsiness and stress.
CBD is believed to engender sleepiness by influencing the brain’s serotonin receptors, which are linked to perceptions of worry and soreness — two things that often keep us awake at night.
In addition to anecdotal evidence, there are scientific studies to support this association. For example, when U.S. researchers gave CBD to a group of patients experiencing feelings of stress and worry, over two-thirds of participants saw their sleep scores improve.
The Right Dose for Dozing
Ultimately, when it comes to taking CBD to promote different energy levels, it’s all about finding the right dose to affect these receptors in the way we’d like — with higher CBD concentrations typically linked to better relaxation, and lower doses with improved energy.
Researchers in Brazil found that rats administered with the highest dose of CBD (40 mg, in this instance) slept for a longer duration and reached the deeper stages of REM sleep quicker than those that received lower amounts; and another study at the same dosage also revealed increased sleep time overall and improved levels of “deep sleep.” Meanwhile, a human trial yielded similar findings: In participants taking either 40 mg, 80 mg or 160 mg of CBD, those experiencing the highest of these doses saw significantly increased sleep duration.
For an extra helping hand toward total relaxation, CBD can be taken alongside a number of natural sleep-inducing ingredients, some of which are incorporated into our STOP and SLOW tinctures to help optimize their effectiveness.
Chamomile has been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid, and the results from modern day studies affirm its use: A Japanese study found that a dose of chamomile before bed can help significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Also in our STOP tincture are extracts of valerian root and lavender, both of which are believed to have positive effects on sleep quality and duration. And, for those using the SLOW tincture, extracts of sweet fennel are on hand to help you slip into a more relaxed, sleep-ready state.
So in answer to the original question, yes — CBD oil could help make you sleepy. However, it may be largely dependent on the quantity used, along with your body chemistry (as some people are believed to be more responsive to its effects), and on the additional combinations with complementary ingredients. If you take a dropper in the morning, you likely won’t have to worry about passing out on your desk during work, but enjoy two or three before bed (our Stop tincture contains 50 mg of CBD per dropper), and you may find yourself much better prepared for sleep.
Chantelle Pattemore is a London-based journalist and content writer. With a focus on health, well-being, fitness and food, she has written for titles including Women’s Health, Greatist, Men’s Fitness, Shondaland, Reader’s Digest and Stylist.