If you haven’t already heard, CBD oil and CBD products are sweeping the nation. People are excited by CBD and its potential to help manage their health symptoms like anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation. But can CBD also make you sleepy?
One of the best parts about CBD is the few side effects it has. This is one of the reasons why people are choosing to use CBD. However, CBD is not entirely without side effects. A common question people have is whether CBD makes you sleepy or not.
In this post, we will explore all of CBD’s potential side effects, including if CBD can cause drowsiness, as well as if there are strategies to mitigate these effects.
To answer the question, “Can CBD make you sleepy?” we will need to take a more in-depth look into how CBD affects the brain and what the potential side effects of CBD are. Let’s begin with how CBD affects the brain.
How Does CBD Affect the Brain?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a molecule that is found in the industrial hemp plant. This plant is in the same family as the marijuana plant: the Cannabis sativa family. However, these plants are very different.
The marijuana plant also has CBD; however, it also contains tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC.” This is the psychoactive component of marijuana. The industrial hemp plant only contains traces of THC, to begin with, and CBD products sold in the United States are purified to contain less than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. This means CBD does not have the psychoactive effects that marijuana has.
CBD activates the endocannabinoid system. This system influences pain perception, inflammation levels, as well as stress and anxiety levels.
When CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system, it modulates anxiety, stress, and pain. It is well known that the endocannabinoid system exists throughout the body, brain, and skin and has many roles in a person’s physiology. Scientists are finding more and more roles the endocannabinoid system plays in human health and research on CBD shows it does have some effect on sleep, wakefulness, and fatigue.
Also, CBD stimulates the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical in the brain) that is associated with anxiety and depression.
Some people who have used medical marijuana products already know that it is common to become sleepy after using. Does CBD have the same effect?
Can CBD Make You Sleepy?
The medical community has determined that CBD is a safe product even at very high doses. However, this doesn’t mean that it has no side effects whatsoever. Studies that look at what side effects people report when using CBD found that the most commonly reported side effects are:
- Changes in appetite
What’s interesting is, fatigue or drowsiness is the most common side effects people report in CBD studies. However, there is research on both animals, and humans to suggest that CBD promotes wakefulness.
This is in contrast to THC and marijuana. It has been well established that THC, which is found in marijuana, can cause drowsiness. Studies have found that fatigue is prevalent when using cannabis, with 7/10 users reporting fatigue in one study.
The exact mechanisms of how CBD promotes wakefulness is still yet to be discovered. It seems that the answer to whether CBD can make you sleepy is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.
Another consideration is mistaking feelings of calm and relaxation for sleepiness. CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. Many people are used to feeling anxious and stressed every day. When they begin to feel relaxed and calm after using CBD, they may not be used to these feelings and might believe they, instead, feel tired.
For the most part, research suggests that CBD can make you sleepy as it is the most commonly reported side effect. However, it has also been shown to improve wakefulness in animals and people. All this to say that more research and a better understanding of how exactly CBD affects this part of the brain is needed.
How Do I Avoid Getting Sleepy with CBD?
At this time, we don’t quite know if CBD promotes wakefulness or sleepiness. The answer is likely more complicated than what meets the eye and depends on individual differences between people.
If you are interested in using CBD but do not know if it will make you sleepy or not, it is a good idea to try it for the first time when you have free time during your day. Avoid trying CBD for the first time when you have to drive, operate machinery, or tend to responsibilities like work.
After trying CBD, you will have a better idea if CBD makes you sleepy or not. Keep in mind, different dosages or delivery forms (vape, tinctures, oil, gummies, etc.) may have a slightly different effect on you than other forms or dosages.
Look at the CBD product label. Some products also contain other herbs or constituents like melatonin which are known to cause sleepiness.
Remember that if you are already tired, or it is late at night, CBD may have a different effect on your fatigue level than during other parts of the day.
Always trust products which have been third-party tested. These products are tested for their CBD levels, THC levels, and other contaminants. It is essential to know your product does not contain more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. THC is also known to cause drowsiness.
In short, each person is different, and each of them will respond differently to different CBD dosages. Always look at the label and read the mg of CBD per serving, the other ingredients, and review for third-party testing. Try CBD when you have free time and can lay down and relax if needed.
Can CBD Help with Sleep Issues?
- Anxiety and racing thoughts
- Uncomfortable bed or bedroom
CBD has the potential to help with some of these issues. No, CBD won’t make an uncomfortable bed comfortable, but it may help with sleep deprivation due to anxiety, stress, or pain. This is why some people actually use CBD as a sleep aid.
For instance, a recent study found that CBD can help with sleep issues due to anxiety disorders and improve sleep quality in people who suffer from anxiety. Also, research shows that CBD helps manage anxiety symptoms.
As far as pain goes, a recent review study concluded that CBD can help with chronic pain in people.
In short, CBD may help people sleep better if CBD improves the underlying reason why they are having issues with sleeping.
Researchers are still investigating whether or not CBD can make you sleepy. Some animal and human studies indicate that CBD actually promotes wakefulness; however, the most common side effect reported with CBD use is drowsiness.
CBD is also commonly used as a sleep aid and has been shown to help with stress and anxiety levels.
Each person is unique, and CBD can affect people in different ways. Remember that if you are going to try CBD, ensure you have read the label to assess the ingredients and look for third-party testing verification.