Get the most out of your CBD for sleep by learning how long before bedtime you should take yours. Here's your guide to taking CBD before bed. CBD is a compound in cannabis that does not make you feel high — but some early research shows that it may relax you enough to fall asleep.
How Long Before Bed Should I Take CBD?
We all know the importance of sleep to good health and overall wellbeing. Studies show that regular and restful sleep is good for a strong body and a healthy brain.
Still, many overlook the importance of getting enough sleep. Modern life sometimes doesn’t give you enough time.
Not getting enough sleep has its fair share of health issues. People who tend to stay up late often wake up early feeling tired and lethargic due to insufficient rest. Sometimes there are too many things running in their minds that falling asleep becomes a chore.
Over time, their health starts deteriorating as the consequences of missing sleep catch up with them.
Fortunately, there are various solutions to resolve sleep problems and improve sleep. That said, some of these solutions are not ideal for long-term use because the body becomes tolerant after some time.
Other sleep solutions like antihistamines and sedatives may make you tired and groggy. But with the emergence of cannabidiol (CBD)—a generally non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from cannabis—the odds have improved significantly.
One of CBD’s endearing qualities is that it doesn’t give you a “high,” and there’s almost no chance of you becoming dependent on it. Other than helping with sleeping problems, CBD is being studies for its potential to also help manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Inflammation and chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Seizure disorders
- Skin conditions
Naturally, you may wonder when it is best to take CBD. Is CBD more effective in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Read on to find out.
How does CBD work to improve sleep?
There’s still a little research that needs to be done to understand how CBD helps improve sleep . However, mounting research-based evidence suggests CBD helps reduce anxiety and pain that prevent you from sleeping well.
Another explanation of how CBD improves sleep is the interaction between CBD and receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is an essential part of the body as it helps regulate various body functions and processes like inflammation, pain, mood, sleep, and memory.
The ECS produces endocannabinoids (natural cannabinoids produced by our body) to upregulate or downregulate cannabinoid receptors via intercellular communication. This modulates beneficial physiological processes such as sleep.
CBD, being a cannabinoid, is believed to influence the ECS like the endocannabinoids. The exact science behind CBD activity in the ECS is not entirely clear, but researchers hypothesize that it binds with G-coupled protein receptors like TPRV1 and GPR55 to influence bodily functions.
For example, CBD can improve sleep by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that controls the “fight or flight” response and other processes in the body like the sleep-wake cycle .
Some studies show that cortisol levels decrease when one takes a large dose of CBD. This indicates that CBD may act as a sedative.
When to take CBD oil before bed
For beginners, the best time to take CBD is in the evening. This time is ideal because it allows newbies to assess the effect of the compound. Should you respond negatively, you can sleep it off.
You also get a whole night to track your body’s response and determine if you’d need to increase the subsequent dosage.
Keep in mind that the effects of CBD are dose-dependent. In other words, a specific dose of CBD may influence your stress and anxiety levels, making you calm down and fall asleep much faster.
A different amount of CBD can induce the opposite effects and increase focus and alertness (for a night shifter, perhaps!).
Generally, CBD doses for health conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety tend to be higher than for overall health and wellness.
Further, the effects of CBD may take time to kick in, so you should ideally take it 1-2 hours before bedtime. CBD comes in different forms, and this affects its effectiveness.
For example, tinctures and oils are fast-acting because they enter the bloodstream immediately. Gummies and edibles take slightly longer due to taking a longer route (the GI tract) before entering the systemic circulation.
So, even though people take CBD for different reasons, nighttime consumption is often linked to relaxation and sleep. If these are your reasons, take CBD oil 30-60 minutes before bed. Of course, take note of the oil’s potency.
Stronger CBD oil kick in faster (20 minutes), while weaker oils might take up to 60 minutes.
How much CBD oil to take for sleep
CBD dosage is a problematic issue because there are no clear dosing guidelines.
People respond differently to CBD, so a dose that works for person A might not necessarily work for person B. So it always comes down to trial-and-error until you identify your “sweet spot.”
That said, the amount of CBD you take determines its effect on the body. Small doses typically have a calming effect, while large CBD doses can sedate.
You should also note that high doses of CBD are not always effective due to the biphasic effect . In fact, studies indicate that lower doses are usually more effective than larger doses.
A clinical study suggests that 25 to 75mg of CBD may improve sleep quality by affecting the duration of REM sleep. Another investigation established that CBD doses ranging from 40 to 160mg improved the participants’ sleep.
The rule of thumb with CBD is to start low and slow. So, start with the lowest dose and adjust upwards slowly (ideally weekly) until you get the quantity that works for you.
Tinctures and oils act fast, so starting with lower doses is advised.
Tinctures typically come in 30ml glass bottles with droppers for consistent and low-dose administration. The dropper is marked at intervals of 0.25ml, although the measurements may differ depending on the manufacturer.
You may perform basic calculations to get the correct amount of CBD from tinctures. For instance, 30ml of FOCL Premium CBD Drops contain 1000mg of CBD. This means 1ml (a full dropper) has roughly 33mg of CBD.
If, for example, your daily dose is 100mg of CBD, it means you take three full droppers.
When to take a CBD gummy before bed
Gummies, unlike tinctures, take longer before they are absorbed into the body. This is why it’s advisable to consume CBD gummies 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Most people integrate CBD into their bedtime routine . This gives them time to let the effects of CBD kick in as they shower, brush their teeth, do their night skincare routine, meditate or read a book, etc.
To track the effectiveness of CBD gummies, you can keep a sleep journal to track how you feel every evening and morning. Depending on your objectives, this makes it easier to know what amount of CBD works best for you.
CBD vs. other sleep aids
Many people swear by CBD’s effectiveness as a sleep aid. This cannabis compound is believed to help people sleep properly at night by, among other things, suppressing the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) at night, thus acting as a sedative.
Compared to synthetic sleep aids, CBD generally does not cause dependency or have major adverse side effects. While OTC sleep aids can help you sleep better occasionally, long-term use has been noted to lead to tolerance. So, the more you use them, the less effective they become.
Other sleep aids make you feel tired and groggy (hangover effect) when you wake up. It’s also noted that prolonged use of OTC sleep aids can lead to dependency, which is unhealthy.
So, widen your options and try other non-medication sleep-promoting techniques such as good sleep hygiene, relaxation, sleep restriction therapy, cognitive restructuring, and stimulus control therapy.
CBD vs. melatonin for sleep
Recent research shows that CBD is comparatively safer than melatonin regarding side effects. Even though both supplements can improve sleep quality and quantity, melatonin supplements have been noted for various side effects such as:
- Slowed breathing
- Daytime sleepiness
Moreover, people with certain health conditions are advised not to take melatonin supplements. These conditions include:
- Bleeding disorders
- High blood pressure
- Transplant recipients
Also, with melatonin, you may have to keep increasing the dosage as your body gets dependent. But with CBD, once you get your correct dosage, you don’t need to increase it.
Another advantage of CBD is that it offers an all-around effect. It addresses wide-ranging issues, often tackling the root causes of sleep problems.
For instance, research shows that CBD may influence serotonin activity, decreasing cortisol levels in the body, calming the central nervous system, and charging the endocannabinoid system to function more effectively.
CBD is also being studied for its ability to combat inflammation and pain, two major distractions that prevent people from sleeping well.
Moreover, CBD oil helps regulate the parasympathetic system, while melatonin helps regulate the circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock that tells you when to sleep). So a combination of CBD and melatonin can be more effective.
CBD for sleep: side effects
Despite its excellent safety profile, CBD has been noted to have some side effects. Indeed, when it glitters, it’s not necessarily gold.
Although research is still underway on CBD’s potential side effects, the following have been observed among long-term CBD users:
- Reduced fertility
- Poor drug metabolism in the liver
- Altered cell viability
- Reduced p-glycoprotein activity
Other minor side effects of CBD are dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and fatigue.
Because CBD is generally well-tolerated, scientists hypothesize that some of these side effects could be due to safety and quality issues. CBD is unregulated, so it’s a “Wild West” industry with manufacturers at liberty to do as they see fit.
Best CBD products for sleep
Are you having sleep problems and want to try something natural, safe, and effective? These Sleep Drops are the real deal. They are made with organic CBD and CBN to promote better, deeper sleep. The carrier element MCT oil supports brain function. What’s more? The product is THC free, meaning no worries about getting “high.”
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If you’re vegan, we have CBD tailored for you. These CBD + CBN Sleep Gummies , available in broad spectrum and full spectrum formulations combine CBD and CBN to help you sleep easy and wake up well-rested. With each gummy packing 25mg of CBD, 15mg of CBN, and potent organic ingredients, rest assured you’ll sleep better than ever.
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Are you looking to wind down slowly in the evening and gently fall asleep? With FOCL Night you get a host of benefits, including a relaxed body and mind, better sleep, relief from pain and inflammation thanks to the healing and therapeutic properties of premium hemp CBD and an assortment of botanicals for better quality sleep.
This product is THC-free, vegan, and non-GMO because we don’t want you worrying about getting “high” or consuming something that doesn’t work for you.
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Tried everything else, and nothing seems to work? Try the Sleep Bundle made in collaboration with Ali Manno that combines FOCL Night and Sleep Drops for a more powerful punch. Brimming with over 1000mg of pure natural ‘goodness,’ this potent CBD product is what you need for a more relaxed mind and body and the deep, restorative sleep you’ve been yearning for. Do you know why? Because over 100 5-star customer reviews cannot be wrong!
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Many people get disappointed when they don’t get the expected results after using CBD. What we know is that CBD is unconventional but effective. It responds differently in people, so it may take different durations before its effects kick in.
An explanation for this is that CBD activity is affected by various factors, e.g., body fat. CBD has a high affinity for fat, so a person with more fat in their body is likely to feel the effects faster than someone with lower fat content.
This is why we urge patience and consistency when using CBD. It’s worked for many others, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for you as long as you have an endocannabinoid system.
Can CBD help you sleep? Experts explain the current CBD research
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This article was medically reviewed by Mia Hazle, MD, a psychiatrist in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
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- CBD for sleep has limited research — though some early studies have shown promising results.
- CBD researchers theorize that CBD may help with sleep by alleviating anxiety and pain.
- Smaller doses of CBD may make you more alert, while slightly larger doses may aid in sleep.
Touted to relieve everything from acne and anxiety to pain and poor sleep, CBD (cannabidiol) is making waves in the wellness industry despite a lack of scientific evidence proving the compound’s overall effectiveness.
Medical term: CBD is a component of cannabis that does not cause you to feel high or stoned.
That said, a handful of small, preliminary studies have found that CBD may help improve the sleep quality of certain individuals. Here’s what researchers know so far.
Can CBD help you sleep?
There have only been a handful of small, trusted studies that look at pure CBD for sleep, says Jeff Chen, MD, MBA, Founder of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and Cofounder and CEO of Radicle Science.
What the research says
of 72 adults with anxiety and sleep troubles found that doses of CBD ranging from 25 milligrams to 75 milligrams improved sleep in 66.7% of participants. found that since CBD can reduce pain, it may improve sleep in people who suffer from chronic pain and related sleep problems.
- A 2018 study of 27 healthy participants found that a dose of 300 milligrams of CBD had no significant effect on sleep versus a placebo.
Though early results are encouraging, researchers aren’t sure why CBD may help with sleep — but it may have something to do with how it can help improve underlying conditions.
“Sleep disorders, mood disorders, and pain disorders are often co-occurring, and CBD could possibly indirectly improve sleep by improving an underlying anxiety or pain condition,” says Chen.
And to make things even more confusing, it’s possible that smaller doses of CBD may have a stimulating effect rather than a sedating effect, says Me Fuimaono-Poe, MSN, FNP, faculty at Pacific College of Health and Science, and the medical director for the Malie Cannabis Clinic.
For example, a 2014 study found that a dose of 15 milligrams of CBD may have an “alerting” effect.
The lack of large-scale clinical studies makes it difficult to draw solid conclusions. “There is no firm evidence regarding whether CBD may help with sleep, and if so, what dose of CBD is most appropriate,” says Chen.
How should I take CBD to sleep?
Since researchers haven’t determined a rule of thumb when it comes to CBD dosage for sleep, experts can only guesstimate. If you want to give CBD a shot, Fuimaono-Poe suggests starting with 25 milligrams and increasing as needed, taken one to two hours before bed.
There’s also the question of what form of CBD is best for sleep. Fuimaono-Poe says two common delivery methods are taking CBD oil or smoking CBD flower. CBD oil is preferable and healthier for your throat and lungs since smoking can cause throat irritation and coughing, says Fuimaono-Poe.
However, smoking CBD flower comes along with the benefit of having a more rapid onset than taking a dose of CBD oil, so you can use that closer to bedtime. You’ll feel the effects five to ten minutes after smoking, says Fuimaono-Poe.
Risks of CBD
CBD is typically well-tolerated, however, it is possible to experience some side effects. Some documented potential side effects of CBD (discovered during human studies of using CBD for epilepsy and psychiatric disorders) include:
- Drug interactions
Additionally, there are some groups of people who should avoid using CBD, such as:
- Women who are trying to get pregnant, women who are pregnant, and women who are breastfeeding: Chen says researchers don’t know the impact of CBD on human fetuses or babies, but animal studies indicate that it stunts fetal development. Therefore, it’s safer to err on the side of caution and avoid CBD.
- People with liver disease or people who drink heavily: It’s possible that CBD may damage the liver, Chen says, so it may be safer for these people to not take CBD. This is because drinking excessive alcohol also causes damage to the liver.
- People taking certain medications: CBD may cause drug interactions or increase your risk of adverse side effects, says Chen. Therefore, if you take any prescription drugs, check with your doctor before taking CBD.
At the end of the day, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of CBD for sleep, as well as the best dosage and most effective ways to consume it.
However, in the meantime, it likely won’t hurt to give CBD a try if you’re experiencing trouble with sleep.
If CBD doesn’t help and your sleep problems persist or worsen, be sure to see a doctor for guidance.
Ashley Laderer is a freelance writer from New York who specializes in health and wellness. Follow her on Twitter @ashladerer