Many of us have trouble falling or staying asleep. CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) with science pointing to its ability to help people sleep. In this article written by Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN, Senior Editor of Health & Wellness Strategy at Remedy Review, an independent CBD reviews site, we dig into this research and track down the best CBD oil for sleep.
Here are seven hemp-derived CBD oils vetted for quality that may help support a good night’s rest. See more about how CBD can improve your sleep, and why these products made the cut, below.
Unlike the other famous cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. But by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, CBD is able to positively impact sleep as well as other health issues like pain and anxiety, which are common culprits of sleep loss.
Before we dive into each of these CBD products, let’s talk a bit more about how CBD may impact sleep.
Seven to nine hours per night is the recommended amount of sleep for adults. Easier said than done. Many factors compete with these evidence-based recommendations, making them feel more like an aspirational goal. As a result, 35 percent of US adults are experiencing a lack of sleep—most of them getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
Chronic lack of sleep has consequences. It can weaken the immune system, increase inflammation, and elevate risk for a variety of serious health conditions. These include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression, and even neurodegeneration associated with dementia.
The cannabis plant has thousands of years of medicinal use behind it, and CBD and sleep go way back too. In a medical journal publication from 1843, Dr. O’Shaughnessy describes hemp as a “powerful sedative.” Fast forward to present day, and research is beginning to build, supporting CBD’s calming impact on the central nervous system.
A 2019 case series recently found that CBD supplementation improved sleep within 1 month of treatment (25 to 175 mg CBD/day) in two thirds of patients receiving care at a psychiatry outpatient clinic. Whether this improvement also occurs in healthy adults is unknown. But, a 2019 review of clinical trials found that many studies indicated positive effects of cannabinoids on sleep quality.
CBD is most often found in the tincture format, but other product styles include gummies, capsules, and even CBD-infused tea. Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate are the three main types of hemp extracts used to make CBD products.
Full-spectrum hemp extracts contain the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including CBD, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD products have trace THC content, below 0.3% by law. The “whole plant” design of full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD is linked to the entourage effect.
But, when a THC-free approach is preferred or required (e.g., for those taking regular drug tests), broad-spectrum hemp extracts are a great option. Broad-spectrum hemp extract contains CBD and all the other beneficial compounds within the plant, except for THC, which is removed.
The last form of CBD you’ll see is isolate. Extraction and refinement processes remove the active compounds from the hemp plant and any residual plant matter, leaving only CBD.
Dosing guidelines are limited due to the lack of clinical consensus for CBD supplementation. A general approach is 1 to 6 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. But the best advice is to start low and work your way up to a dose that is right for you. Work with your doctor on this personalized approach.
When using CBD oil tinctures, a dropper is used to extract the solution from the bottle. Most CBD oil products have measurements printed on the dropper to easily measure the dose, typically 1 milliliter. Check the label for clear directions and CBD mg delivered per serving.
Once you have the oil in the dropper, squeeze the oil directly into your mouth under the tongue and leave in place for 30 to 60 seconds. This approach is thought to aid in the absorption of the cannabinoids. Alternatively, you can also add CBD oils to your favorite food or drink and ingest the product that way.
When taking CBD oil to help with sleep, a commonly discussed approach is to take it 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime. Do this consistently for a week or 2, and gauge if you feel any improvement. Then you can adjust your approach (timing, dosing) as needed.
Even though CBD is generally well-tolerated, uncommon side effects include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can interact with the metabolism of medications. Because of this herb-drug interaction, you may want to check in with your doctor before starting CBD if you take prescription medications.
What makes a CBD product high-quality? First, only consider CBD brands that conduct and report third-party lab testing. These independent tests confirm the presence of active ingredients (CBD, terpenes, etc.) and the absence of toxins (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals).
You also want to verify the hemp source, like hemp plants grown on U.S. soil. This is because U.S. industrial hemp is regulated per the Farm Bill and has at least 0.3% THC by law.
CBD may be an herbal strategy you’re interested in trying to support sleep. We landed on four high-quality CBD oils, in addition to some innovative capsule and gummy options.
Vetted for source and quality, all products are derived from industrial hemp grown in the US. Additionally, all products have been tested by independent third-party labs for quality and safety purposes.
Spruce CBD is organic, gluten-free, and vegan. We especially like these products for sleep because of the high-potency (80 mg CBD/ml strength), but the brand also offers a lighter 750 mg CBD oil. A higher dose of CBD that can make you drowsy during the day is just what you’re looking for at night. Spruce CBD is all made in the USA, third-party lab tested, and has natural peppermint flavorings.
Type: Full-spectrum CBD oil, contains less than 0.3% THC
To buy: 2,500 mg Lab Grade CBD Oil, $269; takespruce.com
Medterra isolate CBD oil has a THC-free guarantee, and it’s also available in lower potency options including a 500 mg and 1000 mg CBD oil. Formulated with organic MCT oil and 99% pure CBD extract, these CBD oils are highly recommended and thoroughly lab tested.
Type: CBD isolate tincture (THC-free)
To buy: 3,000 mg CBD Isolate Tincture, $133; medterra.com
Charlotte’s Web is a well-known CBD brand for its high-quality products, which are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. Its products are alsoU.S. Hemp Authority-certified, and come in a variety of flavors (like lemon twist, orange blossom, and mint chocolate) and strengths (7 mg, 17 mg, and 50 mg CBD per mL).
Type: Full-spectrum, flavored CBD oil
To buy: Max Strength CBD Oil, $120; charlottesweb.com
This cbdMD tincture contains 500 mg of broad-spectrum CBD (16 mg per mL), and it’s specially formulated with an additional 5 mg of melatonin in every milliliter (150 mg total) to aid in quality sleep. This CBD oil is also THC-free and features a pleasant mint flavor. At only $0.09 per mg of CBD, it’s also one of the better values on the market.
Type: Broad-spectrum CBD oil
To buy: Sleep CBD Oil Drops, $45; cbdmd.com
If you’re looking for an easy-to-take supplement with a daily dose of CBD to help promote better sleep, these vegan capsules are pharmacist-formulated and contain 5 mg of melatonin alongside 25 mg of CBD per capsule. Green Roads also has “Relax Capsules” if anxiety and stress is what keeps you up at night.
Type: CBD isolate (THC-free) + melatonin capsule
To buy: CBD Sleep Capsules, $50; greenroads.com
These gluten-free and vegan CBD gummies contain small amounts of melatonin in each (1.5 mg), which pairs perfectly with 30 mg of CBD hemp extract. These gummies feature natural fruit flavors for a tasty, consistent dose that promotes a restful night of sleep.
Type: CBD isolate (THC-free) + melatonin gummy
To buy: CBD PM Gummies, $55; cbdistillery.com
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