Does CBD Make You Sleepy?

The question of whether CBD makes you sleepy is a common one. Most people associate CBD with cannabis and are aware that marijuana causes a sedated effect. What people don’t know is that even though CBD comes from the same plant variety as cannabis, you can’t assume it has the same psychoactive effect.

Now, this doesn’t mean that CBD and sleep don’t go together. In fact, that’s not true either. Well, not a lot of approved studies have been done on CBD and sleep yet, but tons of anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oils definitely help you fall asleep faster. In a nutshell, CBD doesn’t make you sleepy but instead relaxes your body enough to encourage a restful slumber.

In order to understand why CBD doesn’t make you feel sleepy but encourages a relaxed state, we need to look at the Endocannabinoid System.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Did you realize that we have a whole system named after pot? In fact, if it wasn’t for medical marijuana research, the Endocannabinoid System might not have been discovered. Basically, what endocannabinoid means is the presence of cannabis-like substances in our bodies. We produce cannabis compounds naturally.

ECS is made up of three crucial parts:

  • Endocannabinoids
  • Receptors around the nervous system
  • Enzymes that help break down cannabinoids

When a cannabinoid like CBD enters the bloodstream, receptors in the ECS connect the molecule with essential enzymes to break it down. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid system for homeostasis. The end goal of ECS is to bring the body back into continuous balance. When you’re feeling hot, ECS attempts to cool you down. When you’re feeling anxious, ECS tries to help you manage stress. When you’re wide awake at midnight, ECS seeks to provide relaxation. CBD is like the missing ingredient or the key needed to turn off or on the engine.

Difference between THC and CBD

One area to think about when looking at whether CBD makes you sleepy is the difference between THC and CBD. Okay, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of many compounds found in marijuana plants. Unlike CBD is does cause psychoactive effects, including possible sedation. Under the influence of THC, it isn’t wise to operate a vehicle or undertake a difficult exam. THC works on all areas of your brain and nervous system to slow things down and alleviate pain. THC also works with the Endocannabinoid System to help balance bodily functions.

CBD has a similar effect as THC in terms of possible medical benefits, but it doesn’t cause a trance-like state and can be taken throughout the day, regardless of activity. It provides a relaxed state without the sleepiness. CBD and THC come from the same plant family but are different compounds.

Some people argue that the best form of CBD uses the full-spectrum approach. The full-spectrum approach uses the entire plant in the treatment, instead of isolating the CBD. Others argue that CBD plus THC provides the best medical benefit. As more research is conducted in the near future, the capabilities of CBD by itself or in combination with other cannabinoids will hopefully be revealed.

DIfference between hemp oil, hemp extract, and CBD oil.

At first, there might not seem to be much difference between hemp oil, hemp extract and CBD oil, but there are some significant contrasts. All three come from the hemp plant. The hemp plant contains minuscule amounts of THC, making it safe and popular in everything from food products to clothing.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is made from crushing the seeds of the hemp plant. The oil contains natural levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. The antioxidant effect of Omega-3s makes hemp oil a healthy addition to one’s diet. Technically, hemp oil is not CBD.

Hemp Extract

Hemp extract is made from the seeds, stalk, and sometimes flowers of the hemp plant. Besides the Omega-3 fatty acids it also has high levels of minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and more. Depending on the brand, the hemp extract may not contain CBD at all.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. Plants are usually bred to contain higher amounts of CBD. Currently, CBD is still illegal on a federal level, but legal in all 50 states for purchase. Pure CBD oil is the best form you can purchase and is by far superior to hemp oil and hemp extract.

Possible Health Benefits of Pure CBD

  • Promotes a deeper sleep cycle
  • Reduces anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Lowers inflammation
  • Provides relief from psoriasis and other skin conditions
  • Stimulates brain function
  • Provides pain management by relieving chronic pain
  • Sharpens memory and focus
  • Reduces blood pressure

How to Choose CBD for Sleep

Now that we know that CBD helps you sleep better without causing sedation let’s look at how to choose CBD products every day for sleep.

Products Ingredients

Real CBD products will state CBD as one of the main ingredients. If it says hemp oil, there won’t be any CBD at all. Hemp extract may contain low levels of CBD. Look for a brand with organic CBD listed directly on the label.

Size of the Bottle

CBD is generally sold in small containers or bottles when it’s highly concentrated. Tinctures are typically a few ounces because a small amount goes a long way. Be careful of CBD for sleep that comes in olive oil like sizes. Usually, this means there is only hemp oil in the product or very little CBD.

Manufacturing Process

Like with any product, how it’s handled and processed matters. You want CBD made from hemp plants that use few chemicals and care about the quality of the CBD. The higher quality CBD, the better it works with your endocannabinoid system to help you get the zzzs you need.

Now you know that taking CBD doesn’t make you sleepy, but instead has a positive effect on your nightly sleep, you’ll rest easy.  CBD has been shown to help you do the things you love like . . . sleep.

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Johnson-Sasso, C. P., Tompkins, C., Kao, D. P., & Walker, L. A. (n.d.). Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction. Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199705

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