CBD is one of 113+ identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Contrary to popular belief, only one of a total of 113 cannabinoids has psychoactive properties. It's not CBD. one of the main reasons to support the recent rise in popularity of cannabidiol (CBD).
Along with its non-psychoactive structure, CBD has a wide range of health applications. The most frequently mentioned include its positive effects on anxiety, pain, and, you guessed it, sleep.
It will be far from a surprise for most cannabis savvy consumers to see an article about CBD's positive effects on sleep quality and its potential ability to regulate sleep patterns. What is not often commented on is how these features characterize CBD interlink with the amount of CBD consumed and the application methods utilized.
Not every single consumption of CBD can help regulate and generate healthier sleep patterns or provide better sleep quality. This is mainly dependent on how CBD will be consumed, at what amounts, and your physiological conditions. Which prompts us to ask, what is the correct CBD dosage for sleep and how to use CBD oil for rest?
Top 3 CBD Products for Better Sleep
CBD products for sleep can belong to pretty much any category. Some applications can provide a faster onset and other advantages. Still, in terms of working as a sleep aid, the application method can be whatever works best for your specific situation.
1. CBD Sleep Aid by cbdMD
cbdMD is a company with a long history in the CBD industry specifically. This ‘sleep aid’ oil comes with 30ml infused with 500mg of CBD and a helping of melatonin to induce the body into the night phase of the sleep cycle.
2. Sleep Bath BOmb by Limitless CBD
The Limitless CBD infused bath bomb comes with a total of 50mg of CBD per unit. By mixing a CBD topical application with a relaxing evening bath, the body is relaxed and possibly into a state that benefits higher quality sleep.
3. Sleep Formula Capsules by Axton CBD
Capsules are known to be the CBD product category with the most accurate CBD dose. Since there is no mistake in consuming a tablet, the amount consumed is always the same. Axton CBD Sleep Formula comes with 60 capsules, each with a total of 10mg of CBD. The contents of each capsule also include valerian root extract and lemon balm extract, both of which are renowned for their positive effect on sleep patterns.
How Does CBD Work?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a complex cell signaling system within the human body. Mammals all share the same type of system structured in very similar ways. It is the ECS that takes responsibility for interpreting incoming cannabinoids (such as CBD).
'Interpreting' these cannabinoids means processing them and activating their effects on the body. The ECS has a handy way to do this, but we'll try to summarize it as best we can.
The ECS has a series of 'receptors' placed throughout the body. Two different kinds, to be exact, CB1, and CB2 receptors. When the body absorbs the cannabinoids, they latch onto these receptors. This triggers activation of the cannabinoid's effects. The started results do not depend on CBD itself. They rely on where the receptors that CBD particles latched onto are located at.
For instance, if you're looking for the best CBD oil for sleep, then the product's effectiveness will only depend on the product itself and the CBD dosage for sleep to a certain extent. The rest of the responsibility will lie on which receptors activate.
That is why the application method is also critical. For example, suppose you are using CBD topicals that are applied directly to the skin. The chances are the receptors you're using are also located on the skin, or maybe under the skin.
What Does the Research Say About CBD for Insomnia?
Insomnia is not alone in the realm of poor sleep. Insomnia is only a symptom of another underlying condition, which is the real root cause of the poor sleep experience. Before we can even think about using CBD as a sleep aid, we first need to understand what causes insomnia.
Some of the leading identified root causes of insomnia include:
- High levels of stress
- Uncontrollable anxiety
- Chronic pain
- Medication that may disrupt sleep
- Consuming caffeine above tolerance levels
- Sleep temperature
- Bad sleeping posture
- Other poor sleeping conditions
Research from Shannon et al. states that within the study, “Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time” . Sleep quality can be affected by CBD, but not only that, but it also means that sleep quality is strongly associated with anxiety. So, if CBD can prove to be helpful in anxiety management, by consequence, we could also be looking at potential uses in sleep enhancement.
In research from Vučković et al., a recap of several different CBD studies allowed the researchers also to state that "Recent meta-analyses of clinical trials that have examined the use of medical cannabis in chronic pain present a moderate amount of evidence that cannabis/cannabinoids exhibit analgesic activity, especially in neuropathic pain" . This conclusion is also essential because one of the most common claims is that CBD can help soothe pain and impact sleep quality, which would, on the contrary, be harmed by the existence of sleep impairing physical pain.
Other studies correlate CBD with a direct effect on sleep patterns. But most of these are research studies that use patients with specific conditions as subjects. For instance, in research from Chagas et al., researchers found that CBD can "improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior in Parkinson's disease patients" . This does seem like a direct relationship between sleep quality and CBD consumption, but this is a significantly reduced sample of subjects with Parkinson's.
Another study by (Pava et al., 2016)suggests that "...endocannabinoid signaling through CB1 is necessary for non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM)stability, but it is not necessary for sleep homeostasis." This means that the CB1 receptor (which can interact with CBD) plays a direct role in non-rapid eye movement sleep. But we don't know if CBD manipulates NREM sleep or not. We know it can and may interact with the receptor that does.
That's why the second part of the statement is so important that by not being able to confirm that sleep homeostasis is maintained, we run the risk of CBD acting negatively on sleep stability. If it does so negatively or positively, we do not know. We know that the possibility exists for either.
How to Use CBD to Achieve Better Sleep
Some users have noticed that consuming too much CBD can leave them feeling groggy or tired, and smaller amounts of CBD can promote focus and attentiveness. This symptom is the biphasic effect of CBD.
The main reason why many consumers choose to take relatively low amounts of CBD in the mornings and leave the higher doses for the evenings. The evidence to support the biphasic effect is not conclusive, but research supports the possibility of its existence. Not to mention the existing anecdotal evidence records that also suggest the phenomenon's existence.
Some people also say that they don't notice immediate results and sleep patterns when taking CBD, which makes sense because the body may take a while to permanently re-adjust sleep patterns that have been modified by any foreign substance. Other subjects notice immediate action over symptoms of stress like anxiety and pain that could damage sleep quality. CBD's sleep-enhancing attributes to its effects on pain and stress.
Best CBD Spectrum for Sleep
CBD extract is classified into three different groups; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum includes all cannabinoids at different levels, broad-spectrum is the same as a full-spectrum extract, but it lacks THC, and CBD isolate only has CBD and nothing more.
There isn’t any evidence to suggest that one is better than the next to treat sleep ailments. However, because full-spectrum includes more cannabinoids and other components naturally found in the cannabis plant, it is suspected that this could have an enhancing effect on how CBD interacts with the body.
To use full-spectrum CBD oil for sleep, you only need to follow the product you buy. If you’re purchasing full-spectrum CBD oil, then most likely, it’s meant to be applied under the tongue. A few drops that amount to 30mg or more should be a fair estimate of an appropriate dosage. However, this CBD dosage for sleep could vary depending on your size and preexisting conditions.
 Shannon, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 1. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041
 Vučković, S., Srebro, D., Vujović, K. S. ć., Vučetić, Č., & Prostran, M. (2018). Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9, 1. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
 Chagas, M. H. N., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena-Pereira, M. A., Sobreira-Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., Camilo, M. R., Bergamaschi, M. M., Schenck, C. H., Hallak, J. E. C., Tumas, V., & Crippa, J. A. S. (2014). 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), 564–566. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.12179
 Pava, M. J., Makriyannis, A., & Lovinger, D. M. (2016). Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability. PLOS ONE, 11(3), e0152473. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152473