If you’ve searched for CBD products online or in-store, you’ve probably noticed that the doses on the packaging can really vary. Often, labels will have figures such as 750mg/1000mg/2000mg written in big letters on the bottles.
This is a little misleading because, on closer inspection, these numbers usually relate to how much CBD is contained in the entire package, not the dose of the individual gummies, drops or capsules. Most individual doses will be between 5-25mg/dose.
Different doses of CBD have been trialled for different ailments but there’s still a lack of scientific data available. This means a standard dose to help you sleep hasn’t been established. The FDA recommends that you don’t exceed 70mg of CBD per day.
Research studies have shown CBD to be safe at doses up to around 1500mg1114 but more data is definitely needed here to know how it can affect you long-term and to look at the effects in larger populations of people.
Plus, we probably don’t need to remind you again that what’s on the label may not accurately reflect what you’re getting in the product.
So if you’re looking for what dose of CBD you should take for sleep then the truth is you’re really going to have to wait until good research studies have examined this further. What we can tell you is what the studies so far tell us about the effects of CBD on sleep and sleep disorders.
CBD is the second most abundant compound in the cannabis sativa plant, and many studies suggest it may indirectly benefit sleep. In fact, CBD—which doesn’t cause the intoxicatingly psychoactive “high” associated with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—might help people with different sleep disorders, including insomnia and restless leg syndrome, as well as other conditions known to negatively impact sleep, according to research.
For instance, CBD may help people relax by easing anxiety and pain, two factors that may make it difficult for someone to fall or stay asleep, says Dr. Strachan.
The hypothalamus plays a role in several sleep-related functions, including regulating body temperature and synchronizing sleep patterns. CBD can help people with insomnia because it works with the hypothalamus to regulate stress, says Dr. Whitelocke. “Insomnia results from an overactive stress reaction that’s spilling into a rest time when we’re not trying to process conscious trauma,” he adds. “CBD can suppress this dysregulated cycle of stress hormone overactivation and equalize the sleep and wake rhythm through counteracting hormones.”
In a study examining the effects of cannabis on insomnia, researchers found CBD more effectively decreased symptoms of insomnia than delta-9 THC, which is the most abundant active constituent in the cannabis sativa plant that has an intoxicatingly psychoactive effect.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian rhythm disorders, also known as sleep-wake cycle disorders, occur when the body’s internal clock, which dictates when you fall asleep and when you wake up, is misaligned with your environment. Circadian rhythm disorders can develop when there are changes in sleep habits, often due to travel or work, or as a byproduct of a medical condition, aging or genetics.
CBD may improve both the quality and quantity of sleep by ensuring the body progresses through the normal stages of sleep and REM sleep without undue interruption, which would help people with circadian rhythm disorders, says Dr. Whitelock. “CBD’s action on cannabinoid receptors initiates a cascade of events that culminates in a more natural timing of sleep relative to the diurnal rhythm of night and day,” he explains. However, more research is needed.
CBD can be especially helpful for people like nurses who experience circadian rhythm disorders due to shift work, where sleep windows change depending on a person’s work schedule.
Many studies have found CBD to be a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. While more research is needed, studies link CBD use to improved sleep due to its ability to decrease anxiety.
“CBD’s well-established role in reducing anxiety—without causing stony lethargy that can accompany THC products—makes it an ideal tool to calm intrusive thoughts before laying down to sleep,” says Dr. Whitelocke. More specifically, CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors in the limbic system—a set of brain regions known to play a role in many important functions, including the regulation of emotions, storage of memories, sexual arousal, olfaction (or our sense of smell) and forming of learning patterns. When the limbic system is out of equilibrium, such as when an intrusive memory leads to anxiety and insomnia, CBD activates the ECS to help repress that memory and, consequently, facilitate sleep. “By restoring hormone balance,” says Dr. Whitelocke, “CBD acts as the great equalizer.”
According to UK Mental Health, nearly 20% of people in the UK suffer from unhealthy sleep habits. CBD has many benefits, and helping to regulate sleep cycles is one of them. CBD is a commonly used as a natural sleep aid. And unlike many prescription sedatives, you need not worry about the risk of an overdose or interaction with other medications.
CBD can help you fall asleep, but it is especially effective when combined with some of the lifestyle changes that we discuss below.
There are many different remedies on the market that aim to improve sleep. Some are natural supplements, and there are also pharmaceutical options available. If sleep problems are a chronic issue for you, your doctor may even prescribe stronger medication than is available over the counter. Some people like to mix different sleep remedies as they feel it gives them the best chance of success. However, there’s limited research on the topic of mixing CBD products with sleeping pills. Current research on mixing CBD with other medications shows that CBD can interact with and impact the effectiveness of many medications.
Due to the potential for interactions, we always recommend leaving a 2-hour gap between CBD and any medications or supplements. It’s also important to note that a 4-hour gap is necessary if you’re taking anything that’s contra-indicated with grapefruit. As for sleeping pills in particular, it’s best to speak to a medical professional about mixing them with CBD. This is the only way to ensure that it’s safe to mix them. Your doctor will also have a clear understanding of any other medications you’re taking and ailments or conditions you may have. This full picture allows them to give you an informed answer about a suitable approach to sleep remedies.
When taking CBD for sleep, it’s advisable to do so around an hour before going to bed to give it some time to absorb and take effect. However, as everyone’s experience with CBD is different, the best time to take CBD for sleep may differ between individuals. If you typically take a shorter or longer amount of time to feel the effects of CBD, you should adjust your dosage timings for sleep accordingly. If you’re just getting started with CBD, it will likely take some trial and error to determine the best timings for you. Once you establish a routine that provides you with the results you’re looking for it’s important to remain consistent.
We want you to get the most out of our products and reach your desired results. If at any point you feel unsure about how or when to take your CBD for sleep, feel free to reach out for support. Our Simply Experts are always happy to help guide you in any way you need. In addition to our internal support channels, we also have a support group on Facebook which is run by our customers. It has now amassed over 48,000 members, all of whom are CBD users. This friendly community will be pleased to help you in any way possible. You can choose to post your question for others to answer or learn from previous group discussions on similar topics. It’s completely private, so anything you post will remain within the group.