Can CBD make you tired?
It’s a commonly-asked question. But the answer takes a little explaining.
For at least some of the roughly 30% of Americans who struggle to get to sleep most nights, CBD may present a possible solution.
Certainly, it has far fewer side effects than the pills and medication commonly bought and prescribed for insomnia and sleep-related conditions.
Let’s take a little look at how it works:
What is CBD?
CBD is more properly referred to as cannabidiol. It is one of the 120+ cannabinoids – a type of organic compound – found in the cannabis plant.
One of the two best-known cannabinoids (the other being THC, the compound chiefly responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effect), CBD is the subject of a great deal of ongoing research.
As its potential benefits and advantages are becoming better understood, it is also becoming wildly popular, helped by the fact that it is completely non-intoxicating and non-addictive.
What is CBD used for?
There is a lot of experimentation currently being done on cannabidiol. But that hasn’t stopped people starting to use it for all sorts of purposes:
- Sleep aid – while CBD oil can make you tired at higher doses, low doses may actually serve to provide a slight energy-boosting effect. This seems to depend on dosage and individual reaction.
- Stress and anxiety relief– the most popular current use of CBD is to provide relief from stress and anxiety.
- Joint and muscular pain relief– CBD is also widely used to provide relief from inflammation as well as joint and muscular aches and pains.
- For epilepsy – the only purpose for which CBD is currently approved by the FDA is as a treatment for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two types of medication-resistant childhood epilepsy. It is currently the only cannabis-derived medication to be approved in this way – and the results, when used by patients suffering, are both amazing and uplifting to see.
- Chronic pain– there are also many people who use CBD to treat chronic pain conditions. This is an area in which a lot of research is currently being undertaken.
Does CBD help you sleep?
Does CBD oil make you tired? The current evidence seems to say no, not exactly. But does CBD help with sleep? That’s a whole different story.
Though CBD may not necessarily make you tired on its own, it has a number of reactions and combinations that research seems to show will be beneficial for many people trying to get a good night’s sleep:
1) Inhibits anxiety and depression
Many people with anxiety or depression find sleeping very difficult. Racing thoughts and other problems can make lying down to sleep every night just the start of a battle with fatigue.
CBD potentially offers a solution here. It binds to the body’s 5-HT1a serotonin receptors, blocking other molecules from binding with them. As these molecules can include those linked to anxiety and depression, this can be part of a good defense against these conditions.
2) Reduces stress
Cortisol is sometimes referred to as the “stress hormone”. People with insomnia typically have high cortisol levels at night – and anyone with high cortisol levels is likely to awaken repeatedly during their sleep cycle.
Research done on CBD’s effects on cortisol found that it dramatically reduced levels if taken in doses of 300 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil. This reduction in cortisol levels is good for anyone seeking to get a good night’s sleep.
3) Modulating adenosine
Adenosine is a substance that builds up in the brain over the course of a day. It deactivates neurons in the part of the brain responsible for keeping you awake.
CBD may serve to modulate adenosine pathways in large doses, potentially also increasing the chance of restful sleep.
4) As a helping hand for other medication
In one experiment, researchers used CBD to magnify the effects of a small quantity of an insomnia drug. The researchers discovered that 40 mg, 80 mg or 160 mg of CBD in combination with 5 mg of the drug increased the duration of sleep.
Another experiment, conducted on anxiety sufferers, found that 25 mg of CBD was a beneficial addition to the treatment regimes of the 103 sufferers surveyed and that higher doses helped with sleeping difficulties.
However, it is important to note that this research conducted over a timeframe that showed CBD was beneficial in the short term (with 67% of participants reporting better sleep) but possibly less useful in the long term (with only 56% reporting better sleep). In both cases, roughly 25% of the subjects reported worse sleep.
5) For people with autism who struggle to sleep
Someone who has autism and sleep disturbances – a common combination – may find CBD oil a beneficial addition to their treatment regime.
A huge 71% of patients in one 2019 study found it improved their ability to sleep uninterrupted.
CBD and sleep – is it safe?
CBD has certain advantages over other types of medication:
- It is generally well-tolerated by most people, even at unnecessarily high does
- Using CBD cannot create any dependence or addiction
- There is currently zero reported public health problems related to pure CBD
- There appears to be no danger of lethal overdoses
- Taking CBD does not result in any impairment
That said, CBD research is still in its infancy. There is some concern that CBD may come to be over-used by many people with no underlying health conditions. It is also known that for people with schizophrenia, high doses of CBD can possibly increase cognitive deficits.
CBD vs THC for sleep
According to most sources, rather than directly causing drowsiness itself, CBD works as a sleep enhancer because it serves to address stress, anxiety, pain and other related issues that may prevent someone from getting to sleep.
On the other hand, anecdotally, THC does seem to cause drowsiness. But its effectiveness will differ from person to person. It also often leads to a comparatively lighter level of sleep that is easier to awaken from rather than the deep sleep that is desired by most people.
This can mean that CBD is actually a better choice if a sleep aid is what is desired. Another alternative is a combination of CBD and THC, weighted in favor of CBD.
It has been observed that CBN – which THC changes into after exposure to light and heat – is almost as powerful as diazepam in small doses.
Is CBD right for me?
Everyone reacts to CBD and other medication in different ways. How you react may be affected by your body’s natural tolerance, the method you use to consume it (CBD tincture as opposed to gummies, for example) and many other factors.
The terpenes present in your particular edibles, pills, organic CBD tincture or whatever – and thus whether your chosen product is an isolate or a full-spectrum product – will also play a role in how it affects you.
The best solution is to firstly, rather than going with the top search results for “CBD tincture 500 mg” or “CBD gummies”, is to properly research a reputable supplier of high-quality cannabidiol products. Always look for indications of quality processes. For example, all K.I.N.D. cannabidiol is made from organic, All-American CBD extracted from hemp plants using natural practices.
Secondly, if in doubt, consult your doctor before you start searching for CBD edibles, CBD supplements or CBD tincture for sale online. Your doctor will soon be able to advise you if cannabidiol might be something that’s worth you trying.