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Can CBD Oil Help with Sleep Problems

General Medical Disclaimer
NCSM and its employees and partners do not represent the medical establishment and our information is not a replacement for your doctor’s advice.

Food and Drug Administration Disclaimer

CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Drug Screening Disclaimer

CBD products should contain little to no THC; however, no product can guarantee you that you could not fail a drug test due to contamination or a false positive for THC.

Is CBD oil Good for Insomnia?

CBD stands for cannabidiol.  It is the most abundant cannabinoid in industrial hemp.  Industrial hemp is a form of cannabis sativa which has been bred for high levels of non-psychoactive cannabidiol and low levels of psychoactive THC.  Industrial hemp products produce no high like marijuana.  They first spread in popularity due to their ability to alleviate certain types of childhood seizures.  Latterly, they were found to have other beneficial traits.  One of these was in maintaining healthy sleep architecture and in helping with symptoms of non-medical sleeplessness.

How is CBD Oil Good for Sleep?

Cannabidiol isn’t thought to bind tightly to CB1 or CB2 receptors but to modulate the endocannabinoid system indirectly.  It can decrease pain sensations and sensations of anxiety.  The relaxation can make it easier to sleep.  It is also thought to help modulate circadian rhythms.

Can CBD oil help with sleep problems associated with headaches?

How exactly does weed help with headaches?

It has long been observed that weed could help with headaches including migraines.  This led to inquiry into if CBD can help with headaches that make it difficult to fall asleep.  At the moment there are few studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD alone for migraine headache, but much evidence points to the efficacy of medical marijuana for headache.  CBD has shown efficacy in other chronic pain conditions however.

Will CBD Oil Help Me Sleep?  What the Research Says

A 2007 review in Chemistry and Biodiversity looked at a medication called Sativex which contains THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio (Russo, Guy and Robson).  They looked at studies compiling data on 2000 people with 1000 patient years.  The patients had chronic pain conditions like MS, peripheral neuropathy, cancer, and arthritis.  They found overall improvement in subjective sleep experience.  There were few side effects and no tolerance, addiction, or dependence.  Half of patients reported good or very good sleep quality on follow up of up to four years.

A 2014 cause series in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics studied 4 patients with REM Sleep Behavior disorder.  This is a disorder which causes people to physically act out their dreams.  This can lead to kicking partners out of bed or even molesting bed partners while asleep.  Below is a popular funny viral video showing a cute canine with the disorder who runs into a wall in his sleep.

This can be a serious disorder in animals and dogs.  Four patients were given CBD and reported fast reductions in symptom severity with no side effects (Chagas, Chagas and Eckeli).  Further studies are warranted.

A study of 490 participants, published in a journal called Medicines, evaluated symptoms of insomnia in patients who were treated with hemp flower.  Different methods of combustion were used, including herbal blunts and vape.  The flower contained an average of 20 percent THC and 5.7 percent CBD.  The study found a significant reduction in symptoms of insomnia.  However, the study did not use cbd hemp oil for sleep but instead whole marijuana flower containing THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids so it is not clear if a single ingredient, CBD, was the cause of improvements in sleep quality.

A study in Permanente Journal studied adults with insomnia associated with anxiety disorders (n=72).  The 72 patients were given a capsule with 25 mg of CBD.  They were given sleep assessing surveys to gauge sleep quality at the beginning of the study.  Participants were assessed after one month.  Participants whose main concern was anxiety dosed in the mornings, those primarily concerned with insomnia dosed in the evening.  Anxiety decreased in a whopping 79 percent of participants.  The treatment was associated with improved sleep in 66 percent of participants.

Various case studies and anecdotal reports show users vouching for CBD as an effective supplement to improve sleep quality.

Pros and Cons of CBD versus the usual treatment

Pros of CBD Cons of usual medical treatment
1.      CBD has few side effects.

2.      CBD is not addictive

3.      CBD may be safe for children.

4.      CBD is all natural.

5.      CBD can be delivered as oil, gummies, vapes, and edibles.

Meds like Ambien can cause overdose.

Meds like Ambien can be addictive.

Meds like Ambien may not be safe for kids.

Many sleep medications are synthetic.

Many sleep medications are delivered only in the form of a pill.

Cons of CBD

·        CBD can raise liver enzymes.

·        CBD has not been well studied for insomnia.

·        CBD can be wakefulness activating in some contexts.

·        CBD may not be as effective as THC for sleep.

Q and A:

Q: Can children with sleep disturbances and insomnia be treated with CBD?

A:  It appears as of now that CBD dosages of up to 25 mg for sleep may be safe for children.  CBD was first used as a treatment for epilepsy in children.  New information that CBD may raise liver enzymes at higher doses suggests that doses for OTC use be kept low.

Q: Risks. Does CBD have any side effects?

A:  CBD appears to have a low risk profile.  However, CBD has not been long studied.  There appear to be very few acute side effects.  Sedation, sleepiness, and dizziness can occur.  Also, liver enzymes can rise due to high doses which could indicate the possibility of liver damage over the long term.

Q:  Can CBD oil be used for ADHD?

A:  CBD does not have many studies showing efficacy for ADHD, but it can help address non-medical side effects of the disorder or of the medications used to treat the disorder.  CBD can calm the anxiety and hyperkinetic movement that occurs due to ADHD or the medications like Vyvanse used for it.  It can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.

Q:  What is the dosage of CBD for ADHD-related insomnia.
A:  The dosage for insomnia used in one of the studies is 25 mg.  This is a reasonable dosage associated with few if any side effects.

Q:  How do you use CBD oil for sleep and insomnia? Are there alternative methods for Getting CBD for sleep problems?

A:  You can use CBD oil sublingually by placing drops under the tongue, holding there for 30 seconds, then swallowing.  CBD can also be used in the form of vape e-liquid (do not vape oil), gummies, pot flower blunts, and dabs.

Conclusion

Preliminary studies have shown CBD is a promising avenue of research for studying the benefits of hemp on sleep.  It can help in treating everyday stress and pain, making sleep easier to ease into.  Check out our CBD oil reviews to find the Best CBD oil For Sleep.

Bibliography

Chagas, M. H. N., et al. “Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: A case series.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 39.5 (2014): 564-566. 23 10 2019. 

Russo, Ethan B., Geoffrey Guy and Philip Robson. “Cannabis, Pain, and Sleep: Lessons from Therapeutic Clinical Trials of Sativex®, a Cannabisā€Based Medicine.” Chemistry & Biodiversity 4.8 (2007): 1729-1743. 23 10 2019.  2018 Update