Can CBD Help You Sleep?



As the popularity of CBD continues to skyrocket, sleep is one of the big reasons why people take it. How does it work? The jury is still out on a final answer, but preliminary research has unearthed a few clues.

The Calming Effect of CBD

Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, molecules that have a calming effect on the nervous system and make us feel good—the runner’s high, for example. CBD is a plant source of phytocannabinoids: molecules that are so similar to our own endocannabinoids that our bodies react in much the same way.

These cannabinoids, whether they’re made by our bodies or obtained from CBD supplements, seem to play a role in regulating sleep. A study of cells in the central nervous system found that CBD influences certain genes that regulate our circadian rhythms.

Early research published in 1981 tested different doses of CBD on 15 volunteers with insomnia. It found that people slept significantly more after taking a single 160-mg dose of CBD. A few of the volunteers felt drowsy the next day, but there were no other side effects, no signs of toxicity, and no psychotropic effects of a “high.”


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