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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 5 min read

    Does CBD Oil Help You Sleep Better?

    Studies suggest that high doses of CBD oil may improve one's sleep. While research is on, CBD oil may help treat various conditions that interfere with sleep, such as insomnia. Herein, you learn the ECS and sleep, how CBD oil can benefit sleep, and the risk of using CBD oil for sleep.

    CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has gained popularity in the medical industry, and most individuals are using it as a sleep aid. One of the most popular forms of CBD is CBD oil which improves sleep. All you need to do is place a few drops under your tongue before you sleep, and you are good to go. Many adults hardly get the recommended hours of sleep because of their busy lives. What is better than using CBD oil? CBD is a good alternative to sleeping pills since you do not have to be worried about side effects or dependency since it is all natural and hence tolerated by most bodies. Also, you do not have to worry about getting high since it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which gives psychoactive effects.

    Does CBD Oil Help You Sleep Better?

    The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Sleep

    CBD interacts with the ECS to support some functions like memory, mood, pain, and sleep. Knowing how the ECS works is vital since it will help you know how CBD affects sleep. The ECS is a complex system in the body that maintains various functions like emotions and sleep, as mentioned earlier. The body produces its endocannabinoids; however, external cannabinoids like CBD may affect the body through the ECS. The hypothalamus in the brain plays a huge role in the endocannabinoid system, impacting sleep. This peanut-size structure has various cannabinoid receptors that manage the circadian rhythm responsible for the sleep-wake cycle.

    How CBD Oil Can Benefit Sleep

    CBD is one of the abundant chemicals in the cannabis plant. Various studies suggest it indirectly improves sleep. The good thing about CBD is that it does not have any psychoactive effects and has been proven to help with various sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome. It also helps with various conditions that may interfere with sleep, like anxiety. However, if you undergo pain or face anxiety, CBD oil helps curb these two conditions that interfere with your sleep. Below are various ways how CBD can help curb sleeping disorders hence improving sleep:

    CBD Oil and Insomnia

    Shannon et al. (2016) noted that CBD oil helps individuals with insomnia since it interacts with the hypothalamus to manage stress. The hypothalamus plays a role in various sleep-related functions, such as synchronizing sleep patterns. Insomnia is a result of an overactive stress reaction. CBD oil helps regulate stress hormones and balance the sleep-wake rhythm by counteracting hormones. Angarita & Emadai (2016) suggested that CBD oil is a better sleep aid than THC when dealing with insomnia.

    Circadian Rhythm Disorders

    The sleep-wake disorder, also called circadian rhythm disorder, happens when our bodies misalign when to wake up and fall asleep. They develop when sleep habits change due to work or a medical condition.

    Perez –Pozeulo et al. (2020) stated that CBD oil helps improve sleep quality by helping the body progress through sleep stages without interference; it is a good choice for people with circadian rhythm disorders. CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors and helps the body return to its natural sleep timing. CBD oil is a great choice for individuals who experience circadian rhythm disorders because their work shift interrupts their sleep windows.

    CBD Oil and Anxiety

    Orsolini et al. (2019) revealed that CBD has anti-anxiety properties that help alleviate anxiety and its related disorders, helping improve sleep. According to Skelley et al. (2020), CBD helps reduce anxiety without causing any mind-altering effects like THC; it is a good option to help you calm your thoughts before going to sleep. CBD interacts with the limbic system cannabinoid receptors of the ECS. The limbic system plays various roles, such as emotional regulations, olfaction, and memories. It may lead to anxiety when it is at disequilibrium because of an intrusive memory. CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors that repress memory hence facilitating sleep. It acts as an equalizer.

    CBD Oil and Restless Leg Syndrome

    Restless leg syndrome is a condition that affects sleep by causing an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Current et al. (2017) noted that since it is a neurological condition, CBD has been proven to help with it since it reduces nerve firings frequency that causes involuntary muscle movement. However, if limb movement disrupts your sleep, taking CBD oil can greatly benefit you.

    Chronic Pain

    Boyaji et al. (2020) suggested that CBD oil is a great pain reliever because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Taking CBD oil is a great alternative for pain relief if you cannot tolerate the psychoactive effects of THC. Pain is one of the causes of sleep disruptions. Having enough pain management helps your body relax, making you sleep better.

    Risk of Using CBD Oil for Sleep

    The good thing about CBD products is that most bodies tolerate them and rarely have any side effects. It is recommended to talk to your doctor before using CBD oil, especially if you are under any other medications, since it increases liver enzymes. THC causes sleep interruptions, and talking to your doctor before taking CBD oil containing little amounts of THC is recommended.

    Factors to Consider Before Buying CBD Oil for Sleep

    Since CBD products, including CBD oil, are unregulated, it is a target for most manufacturers who want to profit from low-quality products since they are cheap to produce.

    Below are various factors to look for before buying CBD oil;

    • Check its actual CBD levels and ensure it has gone through third-party testing since it helps you know the quality and purity of the product.
    • Check its Certificate of analysis (COA). It will help you know whether it is free from toxic contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. The COA is available by scanning the product's QR code, or you can also check on the brand's website.
    • Whether the brand is reputable and trusted, knowing where a brand lies is easy by asking around or checking other customers' reviews. Only purchase from a brand that other customers trust since you are assured that the product is high quality.


    CBD oil has various benefits, improving sleep being one of them. Since CBD interacts with the body's ECS, it helps manage various sleep conditions that disrupt our sleep, such as insomnia, pain, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome. If it's your first time taking CBD oil for sleep, you must communicate with your doctor to help you know its effects on your body. Begin with a lower dose to see how your body reacts to it. FDA does not yet approve CBD oil, and you should be careful where you purchase it. Only buy products from brands with proof of third-party lab test results and the Certificate of analysis (COA). It will help you know the contents of the product.


    Boyaji, S., Merkow, J., Elman, R. N. M., Kaye, A. D., Yong, R. J., & Urman, R. D. (2020). The Role Of Cannabidiol (CBD) In Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment Of Current Evidence. Current Pain And Headache Reports, 24(2), 1-6.

    Current, R. L. S. (2017). Cannabis For Restless Legs Syndrome: A Report Of Six Patients. Sleep Medicine, 36, 182e183.

    Orsolini, L., Chiappini, S., Volpe, U., De Berardis, D., Latini, R., Papanti, G. D., & Corkery, J. M. (2019). Use Of Medicinal Cannabis And Synthetic Cannabinoids In Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review. Medicine, 55(9), 525.

    Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness Of Cannabidiol Oil For Pediatric Anxiety And Insomnia As Part Of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4).

    Skelley, J. W., Deas, C. M., Curren, Z., & Ennis, J. (2020). Use Of Cannabidiol In Anxiety And Anxiety-Related Disorders. Journal Of The American Pharmacists Association, 60(1), 253-261.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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