Best CBD Oil for Sleep Support in 2020: How Cannabidiol (CBD) Helps with Insomnia and Sleep Disorder?

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We have created two “top lists” with the best CBD oil for sleep and insomnia the first includes Best CBD oils with sleep supporting supplements and the second Best CBD oil only.

You can also read our in depth guide to understand better how Cannabidiol (CBD) helps with insomnia and sleep disorder

If you have ever had insomnia or any other sleep disruption, you probably know how difficult it can be. “Excessive daytime drowsiness” is one of the main symptoms, but that doesn’t really even begin to describe it! Other symptoms include brain fog, mental dullness, irritability, mood changes, fatigue, difficulty with learning and memory….and then there’s the lack of interest in sex, increased risk of accidents and the increased risk of serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

Research on CBD and its effects on sleep has been varied and inconclusive over the years. Studies so far do support CBD’s potential to interact with the sleep cycle. They reinforce the knowledge that CBD works on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in sleep regulation.

When it comes to choosing a CBD product for your insomnia and other sleep disorders, there are many brands out there. The market isn’t regulated, so you need to know how to find trustworthy products. We are here to help you!

Here are the criteria we use to rate the best CBD oils for sleep support:

  • Purity of the product – based on 3rd party (independent) lab testing results – This criterion also includes the method of extraction used and whether it contains other ingredients
  • Potency – how many mg of CBD is in the product Transparency – published, easy-to-access 3rd party lab testing results
  • Reputation – based on what is known about the company, the “people behind the brand”, how transparent they are, the web site and other factors about the company Customer
  • Service – how well they answer questions and concerns and how quickly and well the product is delivered
  • Other Supplements – There are a variety of supplements that can be used along with CBD to aid in sleep, mainly Melatonin.

Here are our choices for the best CBD oils with Melatonin and other supplements:

Learn more about how Melatonin can help you sleep better

Here are our choices for the best CBD only oils out there:

 

Best CBD products for sleep with sleep supporting supplements

The following CBD products are our choices for the “Best CBD oils” for sleep with sleep supporting supplements such as Melatonin and more:

cbdMD

78Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
100 mg - 7500 mg
Price Range
$9.99 - $339.99
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Vapes & Liquids, Gummies & Edibles, Creams & Topicals, Gummies & Edibles, Capsules, Pets - Tinctures, Pets - Edibles, Other
Extract Types
Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
100 mg - 7500 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 10-250mg/ml; Gummies & Edibles :10-25mg per gummy; Creams & Topicals:3.3-30mg/ml; Capsules:15-50mg per capsule; Pets: 5-100mg/ml
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.04 - $0.1
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, CO2
Hemp Source
Kentucky, Colorado
Customer Service By
Live Chat, Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
No
Samples
No

30% off over $99
Expires On: Oct 31, 2020

cbdMD is very well-known in the industry and rated well in our system. They have many different products and appear to be beginning to produce specialized products, like CBD PM for sleep.

As described, the CBD PM contains melatonin and several different herbs traditionally used as sleep aids. The melatonin level per dropperful is 5 mg, a bit higher than often recommended (1-3 mg) but reasonable. Each dropperful also contains 15 mg of CBD along with proprietary amounts of the herbs. Proprietary—they just list the total mg amounts of all the herbs—250mg.

The product is 3rd party test by an ISO-certified lab—that’s a big plus!

The cost of the CBD per mg is $0.09—very reasonable when you take into account the cost of other ingredients. One flavor—mint—is available in a 30mL bottle. The product also contains MCT oil.

Pros: Cons:
  • Affordable price
  • Wide range of products at similar or lower cost than competitors
  • Distinct, delicious flavors with little to no after taste
  • Quick, easy buying experience with no to low cost shipping options
  • ISO-certified lab testing
  • Detailed information regarding manufacturing and extraction process difficult to find
  • Some products missing ingredient information
  • CoA and other test results for each product are not readily available on website

 

Green Roads

87Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
100 mg - 3500 mg
Price Range
$4.99 - $420
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals, Pets - Tinctures, Capsules, Gummies & Edibles, Other
Extract Types
Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
100 mg - 3500 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 16.6-60.6mg/ml; Gummies & Edibles: 10-50mg per gummy; Creams & Topicals: 0.6-10mg/ml; Capsules: 25mg per capsule
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.06 - $1.2
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Organic, Pesticide Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, CO2
Hemp Source
NA
Customer Service By
Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US, WS, FM, GU, MH, MP, PW, PR, VG
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
NA

Save $20 on a purchase of $100 or more
Expires On: Oct 31, 2020

Green Roads has yet another delivery method for their “Sleepy Z’s”—gummies.

The sleep gummies each contain natural Terpenes, Pectin, Citric Acid, Sugar, Non-GMO Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Natural Coloring along with 25 mg of CBD and 0.5 mg of melatonin per gummy. Their recommended dose is two gummies, so you would get 50mg CBD and 1 mg melatonin. The product is vegan friendly, and each packet contains 2 gummies costing $9.95 (on the day I checked they were on sale for $7.30) making it $0.2 per mg of CBD.

Pros: Cons:
  • Well known company with good reputation
  • I really like the graphic display of “nutritional facts”. It gives you good information at-a-glance
  • The company has a “CBD compliance and Safety” tab along with a good description, lab report, Reviews and FAQs tab.
  • You can only buy packets with 2 gummies each
  • How “assorted” can the flavors be with 2 gummies per packet?

Watch our video review of green roads:

 

CBDfx

84Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
15 mg - 600 mg
Price Range
$6.99 - $174.99
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Vapes & Liquids, Gummies & Edibles, Capsules, Creams & Topicals, Pets - Tinctures, Other
Extract Types
Full Spectrum, Isolate, Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
15 mg - 600 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 16.6-50mg/ml; Capsules: 25mg per capsule; Gummies & Edibles: 5 mg per gummy; Creams & Topicals: 0.04 - 0.2 mg/gr
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.09 - $0.21
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Organic, Pesticide Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, CO2
Hemp Source
Kentucky, USA
Customer Service By
Live Chat, Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US, AT, BE, DK, FI, FR, DE, NL, NO, SE, CH, GB
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
Yes ,One free face serum trials on orders over $100

FREE SHIPPING ON PURCHASES OVER $25
Expires On: Unlimited

CBDfx rated well in our rating system, while there were concerns over accuracy and transparency.

CBDfx also uses edible gummies as their sleep aid—CBD Melatonin Gummies. They are a broad-spectrum and vegan-friendly gummy that is also available in a “CBD Snooze Set” – a bundle that provides a lavender night-time face mask, the CBD Melatonin gummies and a CBD topical balm all for $82.99.

The CBD gummies with melatonin contain 10mg cannabinoids with 5 mg of melatonin. Lemon is the only flavor currently available. Ingredients are: Organic cane sugar, organic tapioca syrup, purified water, pectin, tri sodium citrate, citric acid, hemp extract, natural color & flavors, melatonin. Each bottle costs $49.99—I couldn’t actually find it listed anywhere, but it looks as if that is for 30 gummies. (The bottle lists a total of 300 mg and each gummie is 10 mg so….) On that basis, the cost per mg of CBD is $0.17.

Pros: Cons:
  • The “Snooze Set” is a nice combo
  • Fair pricing for their products compared to competitors equivalent to market average
  • Produced in a cGMP certified facility
  • Reviews are by “Verified” buyers
  • Labeling and product descriptions need work
  • Testing results are not always found or available

Watch our CBDfx Video Review:

 

Charlotte’s Web

90Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
240 mg - 1800 mg
Price Range
$34.99 - $274.99
Visit Site
May Support
Sleep
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals, Gummies & Edibles, Capsules, Pets - Tinctures, Pets - Edibles, Other
Extract Types
Isolate, Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
240 mg - 1800 mg, Oil & Tinctures: 7-60mg/ml; Capsules:15-25mg per capsule; Creams & Topicals: 10-10.56mg/ml; Gummies & Edibles: 10 mg per gummy
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.07 - $1
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Organic, Pesticide Free, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, CO2
Hemp Source
NA
Customer Service By
Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
USA
Money Back Guarantee
No
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
N/A

10% Off - 10% Off Charlotte's Web Hemp When You Buy In Bulk
Expires On: Unlimited

Charlotte’s Web is very well-established and well-respected and have been around since the beginning—one could really say they ARE the beginning because the Stanley Brothers provided the original patient, Charlotte, with the CBD oil that reduced her seizures. Their business is named in her honor.

Charlotte’s Web has raspberry-flavored gummies with a minimum of 10mg of CBD along with 3 mg of melatonin. Each jar contains 60 gummies cut into cubes. These are full-spectrum extracts and also contain tapioca syrup, beet sugar, fructooligosaccharides (FOS: great for gut bacteria and overall health, by the way), natural flavors, water, pectin, MCT oil and natural vegetable juice along with the raspberry flavor. The gummies also contain less than 1% citric acid, sodium citrate dihydrate, sunflower lecithin and tapioca starch—these are mainly ingredients needed to keep the gummie…well, a gummie.

The recommended dose is 2 gummies 30 minutes before bedtime.

Each jar costs $54.99 ($0.09/mg CBD) and should last a month. You can also purchase a “Sleep 3-Pack” normally $164.97 ($0.09/mg CBD) but as I write this, on sale for $131.97 ($0.07/mg CBD)

Pros: Cons:
  • Affordable price
  • Great company with a great reputation
  • Easily accessible 3rd party results
  • The company follows cGMP practices and all hemp is locally grown
  • 3-packs available
  • Single flavor for sleep gummies
  • Unless on sale, you don’t get a price reduction for the 3-packs

 

Medterra

92Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
50 mg - 1500 mg
Price Range
$19.99 - $132.99
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals, Capsules, Pets - Tinctures, Gummies & Edibles, Pets - Edibles
Extract Types
Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
50 mg - 1500 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 16.6-100 mg/ml; Creams & Topicals: 2.4-7.3 mg/ml; Capsules: 25 mg per capsule
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.06 - $0.2
THC Concentration
< 0%
Offers Tastes
No
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, CO2
Hemp Source
Kentucky
Customer Service By
Email
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
No
Military Veteran Discount
No
Samples
No

CHECK OUT Medterra CBD'S OFFERS
Expires On: Unlimited

Medterra takes a slightly different approach with their sleep aid—it is in tablet form. The company is Hemp Authority certified—that is a very big plus and indicates serious efforts to be transparent and produce a high-quality product. 3rd party results are found at the bottom of the pages and listed as “Certificates of Analysis” or COAs. All products are made in the USA with zero THC. All are non-GMO as well and they provide “seed to sale” tracking.

Each tablet contains 25mg CBD and 10mg melatonin. That may be a bit high for the melatonin, but as mentioned, still in the well-tolerated range. The tablets are spearmint flavored. Tablets also contain D-Mannitol, Crospovidone, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Xylitol, Spearmint, Avocado Oil Powder, Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide. For those of you who are geeks, those are the excipients, sweeteners and fillers often used to make a tablet and are very common.

The cost for 30 tablets is $55.99 which works out to $1.87 per tablet—not cheap, but if they help you sleep better, probably well worth it! Most reviews were 5/5 stars, so there is a pretty good chance they will work. Still, it didn’t work for everyone.

Pros: Cons:
  • Tablet delivery—relatively unique to Medterra. The tablet can be taken under the tongue to dissolve
  • The website is easily navigable
  • Hemp Authority certified
  • The excipients and additives used may not appeal to everyone
  • 10 mg melatonin may be overdoing it

 

Best CBD oils with Melatonin and other supplements comparison table:

Scroll for more >
Best CBD products for sleep
cbdMD
cbdMD
Green Roads
Green Roads
CBDfx
CBDfx
Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web
Our Score
78 /100Read Review
87 /100Read Review
84 /100Read Review
90 /100Read Review
CBD Concentration100 mg - 7500 mg100 mg - 3500 mg15 mg - 600 mg240 mg - 1800 mg
Price Range$9.99 - $339.99$4.99 - $420$6.99 - $174.99$34.99 - $274.99
Price Per Mg CBD$0.04 - $0.1$0.06 - $1.2$0.09 - $0.21$0.07 - $1
THC Concentration< 0.3%< 0.3%< 0.3%< 0.3%
VisitVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

Best CBD-only Products for Sleep

The following CBD products are our choices for “Best CBD-only oils” for sleep:

SabaiDee

73Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
250 mg - 2500 mg
Price Range
$38.95 - $249.95
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals
Extract Types
Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
250 mg - 2500 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 8.33 - 33.3 mg/ml, Creams & Topicals: 5 mg/ml, Pets: 8.3 mg/ml, 2 mg per piece
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.15 - $0.2
THC Concentration
< 0%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Organic, Pesticide Free, CO2
Hemp Source
Colorado, USA
Customer Service By
Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
Yes ,We offer a free sample, just pay shipping.

GET 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE AT sabaidee
Expires On: Unlimited

The company is based in Los Angeles and uses CO2 and liquid chromatography to purify the CBD. They offer full-spectrum CBD products ranging in price from $0.10/mg to $0.39/mg.

SaibaiDee offers three potencies of CBD oils, all of which are peppermint flavored and contain coconut oil. All are full spectrum but contain less than 0.3% THC but do contain hemp terpenes, other cannabinoids, essential fatty acids and other nutrients.

  • Good Vibes containing 250+ mg of CBD at $0.20/mg of CBD. Each dropperful contains 8.33 mg CBD. These come with additional options—a 2-, 3- or 6-pack as well (ranging from $0.20- $0.14/mg CBD)
  • Super Good Vibes contains 1000+mg CBD at $0.12/mg of CBD with each dropperful containing 33.5mg CBD. The Super Good Vibes also come with additional options—a 2-, 3- or 6-pack (ranging from $0.12- $0.08/mg CBD)
  • Mega Good Vibes contains 2500+mg of CBD at $0.08/mg of CBD. Each dropperful contains 88.33mg CBD. Those multi-pack options are also available with the cost per mg of CBD ranging from $0.08 to $0.07/mg)

Finally—SaibaiDee has an unflavored 1000+mg CBD at $0.12/mg.

Bundles are available—you can get the Great Vibes bundle with a bottle of the Good and the Super Good and a bundle that combines the Good, Super Good and Mega Good along with their topical balm. If you are looking to get better sleep, SaibaiDee offers lots of good choices.

Pros: Cons:
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • Bulk order discounts
  • Multi-packs and bundles
  • Knowledgeable, friendly customer service
  • 3rd party lab tests and COAs available for all human products
  • Limited product selection; Oral products limited to only two flavors (Cool Mint and Unflavored)
  • There is some loss of accuracy in labeling things “1000+” or “2500+” and there were variations between what the lab reports stated vs. the label statements.

 

Receptra Naturals

85Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
376 mg - 3960 mg
Price Range
$5.95 - $249.95
Visit Site
May Support
N/A
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals, Capsules, Pets - Tinctures
Extract Types
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum
CBD Strength
376 mg - 3960 mg, Oils & Tincturs: 16.6 - 66.6 mg/ml, Creams & Topicals: 10.6-11.4 mg/ml, Pets: 16.6 mg/ml
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.06 - $0.11
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
Yes
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Organic, Pesticide Free, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, Ethanol
Hemp Source
Colorado Grown in Cañon City, CO
Customer Service By
Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
Ethanol
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
No

20% off Pet Products in October
Expires On: Oct 30, 2020

Receptra has a variety of CBD oils that can be used to aid sleep. They have a line of 3rd party tested 0% THC for those that are interested or need to be certain their products are THC-free. All products are 3rd party tested and you can find the results by entering the code from your product label.

Receptra also carries a variety of potencies:

  • “Active” products come in 15, 30 and 60mL droppers with each dropperful containing 15mg CBD. The cost per mg of CBD ranges from $0.11-0.09. The 15mL contains a total of 225mg CBD, the 30mL contains 450mg and the 60mL contains 900 mg CBD. The “Active” Oil also contains turmeric for its anti-inflammatory actions. It also contains oils from hemp, olive, avocado, grapeseed, and sunflower oils and MCT oil. Mint/Berry flavored
  • “Elite” products also come in 15, 30 and 60mL droppers and each dropperful contains 30mg CBD. (Cost range: $0.09-0.075/mg). The 15mL contains a total of 500mg CBD, the 30mL contains 1000mg and the 60mL contains 2000 mg CBD. The “Elite” oil contains turmeric along with the other oils. Mint/Berry flavored
  • “Plus” products come in the familiar 3 sizes with each dropperful containing 44 mg CBD. The cost range is $0.1-0.07/mg. The 15mL contains a total of 750mg CBD, the 30mL contains 1500mg and the 60mL contains 3000 mg CBD. “Plus” products contain Hemp, sunflower and MCT oil. Two flavors—unflavored or berry – are available
  • “Prime” products come in three sizes with each dropperful containing 22 mg CBD. The cost range is $0.11-0.09/mg. The 15mL contains a total of 375mg CBD, the 30mL contains 750mg and the 60mL contains 1500 mg CBD. “Prime” products contain Hemp, sunflower and MCT oil. Two flavors—unflavored or berry – are available
  • “Pro” products are intended for serious and or professional athletes. “Pro” products come in three sizes with each dropperful containing 60 mg CBD. The cost range is $0.06-0.08/mg. The 15mL contains a total of 1000mg CBD, the 30mL contains 2000mg and the 60mL contains 3000 mg CBD. “Pro” Products contain oils from hemp, olive, avocado, grapeseed, and sunflower oils and MCT oil.
Pros: Cons:
  • Affordable Price
  • Lots of good information on the labels
  • Recommended for moderate to intense exercise levels
  • Good variety of potencies in the oils—this can make life easier for you as you try to find the best amounts of CBD to use for the best amount of sleep
  • Not clear why there are multiple carriers used
  • Not clear—beyond different potencies—what some products have as their “goal”

Watch our video review of Receptra Naturals:

 

FabCBD

75Out of 100
Read Review
CBD Amount Range
150 mg - 2400 mg
Price Range
$24 - $129
Visit Site
May Support
Pain, Anxiety, Headaches, Inflammation, Seizures, Joint Support, Skin Care
Consumption Method
Tinctures & Drops, Creams & Topicals, Vapes & Liquids, Pets - Tinctures, Gummies & Edibles, Pets - Edibles
Extract Types
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, Isolate
CBD Strength
150 mg - 2400 mg, Oils & Tinctures: 10-40 mg/ml, Gummies & Edibles: 25 mg per piece, Creams & Topicals: 10 mg/ml, Vapes & Liquides: 10 mg/ml
Price Per Mg CBD
$0.05 - $2400
THC Concentration
< 0.3%
Offers Tastes
No
Third Party Lab Results
Yes
Additional Information
Non-GMO, Organic, Pesticide Free, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, CO2
Hemp Source
USDA Approved Farm in Colorado
Customer Service By
Live Chat, Email, Facebook
CBD Extract Method
CO2
Free Sheeping
No
Worldwide Shipping
US
Money Back Guarantee
Yes
Military Veteran Discount
Yes
Samples
No

15% Off site width - Only for Leafreport's users
Expires On: Unlimited

FabCBD are pioneering a “preventative wellness lifestyle” and want their products to mirror that mission. According to their websites, the team has over 25 combined years in the health, fitness and supplement industries. They believe that “We must practice what we preach or what good are we to the world.” Nice!

FabCBD oils come in a variety of flavors: Citrus, Mint, Natural, Berry, and Vanilla. Their full spectrum oils come in 3 strengths—300, 600 and 1200 mg. When I checked the website, they were running their “Black Friday” sale and the cost per mg of CBD ranged from $0.07 to 0.04. ($19.50-49.50) Good sale!

They also sell 3-packs of the various oils—another good sale—50% off!

If you are looking for a sleep aid, FabCBD can provide many good choices – and if you catch a sale, at a great price!

Pros: Cons:
  • Clean, non-glitzy and easy-to-navigate website
  • Clear options with no need to go back and forth from one product to another trying to determine the best choice—1-page shopping!
  • Bundles are available
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • It took a while to find ingredients for the oils. The ingredients are” Organically Grown Hemp Extract, Full Spectrum Cannabinoid blend, flavoring from natural sources, Terpenes, Medium Chain Triglycerides (May contain trace amounts of hemp derived THC <0.3%)”
  • The lab reports can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the page—this makes it harder to find and therefore a “con”.

 

Watch our video review of FabCBD:

Best CBD oils comparison table:

Scroll for more >
Best CBD oil for sleep
Sabaidee
Sabaidee
Receptra Naturals
Receptra Naturals
Fab CBD
Fab CBD
Our Score
73 /100Read Review
85 /100Read Review
75 /100Read Review
CBD Concentration250 mg - 2500 mg376 mg - 3960 mg150 mg - 2400 mg
Price Range$38.95 - $249.95$5.95 - $249.95$24 - $129
Price Per Mg CBD$0.15 - $0.2$0.06 - $0.11$0.05 - $2400
THC Concentration< 0%< 0.3%< 0.3%
VisitVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

 

How CBD Helps with Insomnia and Sleep Disorder

So what is normal versus disrupted sleep? And how can cannabidiol (CBD) and other supplements help to let you achieve normal sleep?

Table of Contents:

Normal Sleep: Some Basics

Before we can understand how CBD and other supplements can help with sleep, let’s go through what is understood about normal sleep.

Brains Areas and Chemicals Involved with Sleep

There are several areas of the brain involved with for healthy sleep. These include:

  • The Hypothalamus is a small structure located deep within the brain. It contains specialized nerve cells that receive information about light exposure and is involved with a normal sleep cycle based on light-dark cycles
  • The thalamus is important in processing information from the environment, with fluctuating activity during sleep. During a phase of sleep called REM (Rapid Eye Movement), the thalamus gets active again providing some of the sounds and images that we dream about.
  • The pineal gland is a tiny gland and is often called the “third eye”. It sits deep within the brain between the right and left hemispheres and secretes the sleep hormone, melatonin. Melatonin increases as the sun sets—signaling that it is time to sleep. It can decrease with aging, causing older people to have trouble falling asleep. Melatonin decreases wakefulness rather than helping you fall asleep—it’s a subtle difference, but melatonin promotes rather than induces sleep. Melatonin can be increased by decreasing light in the environment, avoiding electronic screens (the blue and green light neutralizes melatonin), getting enough sun during the day and by taking a hot shower about an hour or two before bedtime. Melatonin can also be increased by snacking on foods like Goji berries, walnuts, almonds, pineapple, bananas and oranges before bedtime.
  • The brain stem is located at the base of the brain and is one of the more ancient areas of the brain. Cells in the brain stem secrete and respond to a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) that calms the brain and allows sleep to occur—muscle-relaxing signals are sent out also.

Sleep Neurotransmitters

There are several other brain chemicals—neurotransmitters and hormones—besides melatonin and GABA that are important for healthy sleep. These include:

  • Orexin which is also known as hypocretin. Orexin functions to control waking up, wakefulness and…appetite.
  • Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands but it is also important in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Cortisol begins to increase during the pre-dawn hours and helps wake you up and get you ready for a new day. If you are living a high-stress-life, this cycle is easily disrupted.
  • Serotonin or 5-HTP acts both as a neurotransmitter and a precursor or building block for melatonin. Serotonin helps to regulate sleep, mood, appetite, memory and libido. While serotonin is found in many nerve and brain cells, the highest levels are found in the digestive system.

We are also finding that there are “clock genes” that help control sleep—many of these are clock genes influence the release of melatonin (as it becomes darker) or cortisol (as it becomes lighter).

Sleep Mechanisms

There are two main ways that the body uses to keep us on a healthy 24-hr wake-sleep cycle. These are:

1. Circadian rhythms include the melatonin and the cortisol cycles. Circadian or daily rhythms help control your sleep cycle, body temperature, your base metabolism and the release of certain hormones.

2. Sleep-wake homeostasis. Homeostasis is a term used to describe a balance. The sleep-wake homeostasis makes you want to sleep when you are tired, getting stronger and stronger the longer you stay awake. It also helps to regulate how deeply you sleep and how restful your sleep is.

Both circadian rhythms and sleep-wake homeostasis can be affected by your overall health, stress levels, your sleep environment and by your diet.

Phases of Sleep

Sleep can be either REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep or non-REM sleep, both of which are critically important. There are three stages of non-REM sleep that cycle with REM sleep. Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep while both REM and non-REM sleep are important for memory and processing the events and experiences of the day.

CBD and Sleep

Medical and recreational cannabis has been investigated for its effect on sleep more than many other effects, but many of the studies have used THC along with CBD—or synthetic cannabinoids.[1], [2],[3],[4] Some studies (You can read more here, here and here) have examined CBD directly, but we are still in the very early stages of research.

The Endocannabinoid System and the Sleep-Wake Cycle

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is centrally involved in the sleep-wake cycle, but it is far from clear exactly how it is involved. The ECS is a system of neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) that interact with receptors (CB1 and CB2) to regulate the sleep cycle, appetite, reproduction, the immune system, body temperature, mood, pain perception, inflammation and learning. Endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptor appear to make non-REM sleep more stable.[5], [6] Overall, endocannabinoids function under circadian control and, depending on the specific endocannabinoid, may either promote sleep or promote wakefulness. Some endocannabinoids promote non-REM sleep. In a rat model system of insomnia, endocannabinoids can restore sleep.[7] Once again—there is a lot to learn—we know that some endocannabinoid levels are affected when sleep is disrupted and we know that stress, pain and inflammation can all disrupt both sleep cycles and the ECS—but we don’t understand exactly how all these factors interact.

Studies on Cannabis and Sleep

Recent studies have indicated that the effect of cannabinoids on sleep may depend on the ratio of THC to CBD, the dose, the timing and the delivery method (ie. oral or by inhalation).[8]

Oral CBD given in a low dose may have a stimulating effect while higher doses (greater than 160mg) increases total time asleep and decreased the number of times a person wakes up during the night. [9] Much of the research has been done in animal models and much has used cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids and shows somewhat mixed results.

The number of studies using CBD alone are rare. One case study in a 10- year old girl with PTSD showed reduced insomnia and sleep disturbances with 25mg CBD plus a 3mg spray.[10] Another small study in patients with a sleep disorder related to Parkinson’s disease showed an improvement in sleep with 75-300 mg of CBD a day. [11]

Overall, CBD appears to act as an anxiolytic, reducing anxiety or as a hypnotic (defined as sleep-inducing). A sedative, on the other hand, reduces excitement or the “irritability” of the central nervous system (CNS). Medium to higher doses of CBD appears to increase total sleep time, at least in rats. [12], [13]

A case series review was recently published which examine the effects of CBD in anxiety and in promoting sleep.[14] Patients with anxiety or poor sleep were given 25mg of CBD per day, in the morning if they were experiencing anxiety or in the evening if they were experiencing sleep issues. Some patients received up to 175mg per day. Sleep was score using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index. Sleep scores indicated that sleep was improved for up to 3 months. Interestingly, anxiety scores improved more significantly that sleep scores, again indicating that improved sleep after CBD use may be related to decreased anxiety levels.

In summary, there are few studies directly examining the effects of CBD on sleep. The pre-clinical (animal) and clinical studies that do exist seem to indicate that CBD may promote sleep by reducing anxiety and acting as a hypnotic, promoting sleep.

Supplements Combined with CBD to Promote Sleep

There are a variety of supplements that can be used along with CBD to aid in sleep—but with the proviso that none of these has been tested with CBD. There is no reason to think these additional substances would not be helpful, but the fact is that there is no evidence that they are.

Melatonin

Melatonin is the most commonly added substance.

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced deep within the brain in the pineal gland. Melatonin levels rise as the day darkens and prepares you for sleep. Melatonin has been shown to be a safe and effective way to:[15]

  • Fall asleep faster
  • Sleep longer and more deeply

Melatonin does work for the young and the elderly—but generally works better in some conditions including primary insomnia. You can increase melatonin naturally by turning down the lights during the evening, avoiding electronic screens and by taking a hot shower. Melatonin is also used to treat jet lag and Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD). It should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or in elderly patients with dementia. If you are on any medications for a seizure disorder or are taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants or anti-platelet medications), talk to your physician about possible interactions with melatonin. Possible side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness

The recommended dose of melatonin varies, but it is usually effective to take 1-3 mg about 1 hour before you want to sleep.

The only company on our list with ingredients other than melatonin is cbdMD. Their sleep product also contains in addition to CBD and melatonin:

  • Valerian root
  • Passionflower
  • Hops
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon balm

All the herbs are traditionally used to aid in sleep. The blend is proprietary, so there is no way of knowing how much of any herb is included—but, given the number of ingredients, it is doubtful than any adverse effects would occur because the amounts of each herb is likely to be too low. However, this is an educated guess and no more—caution should always be used and you should always consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider before using any supplement.

Valerian

Valerian is a mild sedative and can ease tension and anxiety. It has been traditionally used, but modern scientific evidence has been somewhat contradictory.[16] There are few side effects reported but it should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or people on sedative medications such as barbiturates or benzodiazepines.

Passionflower has also been used traditionally to help people relax, to ease anxiety and for pain. It is generally considered to be very safe, but still should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women-there are no safety studies in these groups.[17]

Hops

Hops has long been used in making beer but has a parallel history in medicine to help induce sleep and reduce restlessness. Hops may make depression worse, but this is rarely seen. People with hormone-sensitive cancers or other conditions such a breast cancer, endometriosis should avoid hops. Hops has some estrogenic properties as well and can cause breast growth in men, though it is unlikely in small doses. It can also interact with contraceptives and other estrogen-containing medications.

Chamomile

Chamomile acts as a very mild sedative and is commonly used for insomnia and other sleep disorders. Chamomile has been used probably almost as long as cannabis—and for similar reasons.[18] Its effects on sleep may be due to the actions of apigenin which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Chamomile should not be used by anyone allergic to the aster plant. Safety has not been tested in small children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

References Cited

[1] Linares, Ila MP, et al. “No acute effects of cannabidiol on the sleep-wake cycle of healthy subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.” Frontiers in pharmacology 9 (2018): 315.

[2] Linares, I. M. P., J. A. S. Crippa, and M. H. N. Chagas. “Beneficial effects of cannabis and related compounds on sleep.” Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies. Academic Press, 2017. 877-882.

[3] Ferguson, G., and M. Ware. “Review article: sleep, pain and cannabis.” Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy 4.2 (2015): 191.

[4] Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabidiol claims and misconceptions.” Trends in pharmacological sciences 38.3 (2017): 198-201.

[5] Pava MJ, Makriyannis A, Lovinger DM.,Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 31;11(3):e0152473. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152473. eCollection 2016.

[6] Pava MJ, den Hartog CR, Blanco-Centurion C, Shiromani PJ, Woodward JJ. Endocannabinoid modulation of cortical up-states and NREM sleep. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2):e88672. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088672. eCollection 2014.

[7] Prospéro-García O, Amancio-Belmont O, Becerril Meléndez AL, Ruiz-Contreras AE, Méndez-Díaz M. Endocannabinoids and sleep. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Dec;71:671-679. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.10.005. Epub 2016 Oct 15.

[8] Babson, KA., Sottile, J., Morabito, D., Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2017) 19: 23

[9] Carlini EA, Cunha JM. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981;21(8–9 Suppl):417S–27S

[10] Shannon S, Opila-Lehman J. Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of post- traumatic stress disorder: a case report. Perm J. 2016;20(4):108–11.

[11] Chagas MH, Eckeli AL, Zuardi AW, Pena-Pereira MA, SobreiraNeto MA, Sobreira ET, et al. Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014;39(5):564–6.

[12] HsiaoYT, Yi PL, LiCL, Chang FC.Effect of cannabidiol on sleep disruption induced by the repeated combination tests consisting of open field and elevated plus-maze in rats. Neuropharmacology. 2012;62(1):373–84. 33.

[13] ChagasMH, et al. Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats. J Psychopharmacol. 2013;27(3):312–6.

[14] Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.

Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041.

[15] Xie, Z., et al, A review of sleep disorders and melatonin. NeuroRes, 39(6) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01616412.2017.1315864 (accessed 11/19)

[16] Stevinson C, Ernst E: Valerian for insomnia: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Sleep Medicine 1: 91-99, 2000.

[17] Miroddi M, Calapai G, Navarra M, et al. Passiflora incarnata L: ethnopharmacology, clinical application, safety and evaluation of clinical trials. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2013;150(3):791-804.

[18] Srivastava, J., Shankar, E., Gupta, S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1; 3(6): 895–901.

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About The Authors
Valerie Usher
Valerie Usher
Health & CBD Journalist
Valerie Usher is a health journalist who covers the topics of CBD, mental health, women’s health and careers. In 2017, she graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a degree in Integrative Studies. Her concentrations were in health and society. In college, Valerie excelled in scientific research study and soon began reading studies on CBD. She’s been ghostwriting and content writing about CBD and cannabis since 2017. Valerie is mainly interested in the way CBD aids in mental health.
Dr. Zora DeGrandpre practices naturopathic medicine (home visits) in rural Washington and is a professional medical and scientific writer and editor, specializing in naturopathic, functional, botanical and integrative medicine. Dr. DeGrandpre has degrees in drug design, immunology and natural medicine and has extensive research experience in cancer and molecular immunology. Dr DeGrandpre has found the use of CBD with elderly patients and others to be safe and clinically effective.
Leonard Haberman
Leonard Haberman
Physician & Chemist
Dr. Leonard Haberman is a physician and chemist who has been involved in solving chemical and medical problems for 43 years. He graduated from New York University as a dual major in chemistry and biology and went on to obtain a PhD in chemistry from the University of Minnesota where his focus was synthetic methods. He returned to the university in 2005, graduating with an MD degree in 2009. He has published in the open literature. He holds two patents and currently works as a consultant, assisting clients with projects within the disciplines of medicine and chemistry that have potential business applications.
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