Mixing Cannabidiol (CBD) with Melatonin: What We Know

One type of sleep aid gaining notoriety as of late are CBD products with added melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps our bodies fall asleep. But is it safe to combine melatonin with CBD oil? 
Written by 
Alexa Peters, Cannabis Writer.
|Check IconMedically reviewed by 
Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC.
|Last Updated:

   Here are our key findings:

  • CBD research into sleep is still preliminary, but has shown promise in some people for treating insomnia
  • Melatonin can help regulate sleep and wake cycles in some people
  • Mixing Melatonin and CBD is generally safe and several combination products are available
  • Certain populations, including pregnant women, those with seizure disorders, diabetes, or anyone taking blood pressure medications are advised to consult their doctors before using melatonin

What We Know About Cannabidiol (CBD) and Sleep

50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic insomnia every year. That could be why the sleep aid market is estimated to be worth $162.5 billion by 2030.

Despite its retail popularity, the data available on CBD for sleep “is in its infancy,” according to researchers.

There is some information on the behavioral effects CBD can have, though. Authors of the aforementioned paper sought out to investigate CBD’s role on anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients. They discovered that sleep scores improved for 66.7% of patients in the first month but fluctuated over time. 

Another clinical trial comparing CBD with Nitrazepam, a benzodiazepine with hypnotic properties, found administration of doses of CBD 160 milligrams or higher significantly increased the duration of sleep. Other studies show that cortisol levels decrease with CBD administration at doses as high as up to 600 mg. The decrease in cortisol levels yielded a sedating effect for patients. 

Another review of the literature on cannabinoids like CBD for sleep published in 2017 “suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia” as well as showing promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.

While CBD’s exact mechanism of action is still unknown, the working theory behind how CBD works for sleep suggests its reduction in anxiety plays a part. 

CBD can also impact sleep by helping our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems better maintain circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the internal process by which our bodies regulate our sleep and wake cycles. Available data suggests endocannabinoid signalling is implicated in the circadian process, and if we know CBD impacts our endocannabinoid systems its possible CBD can, “…serve as a chronobiotic [an agent that can cause phase adjustment of the body clock] therapeutic compound for individuals with disrupted circadian function.”

In other words, if your body struggles to naturally wake and fall asleep every day, CBD may be able to help. 

 

What We Know About Melatonin and Sleep 

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone. Produced by the pineal gland at night, its primary function is to regulate circadian rhythms and help promote sleep.

Melatonin’s reputation catapulted it to becoming one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market today. It’s marketed as a sleep aid, but is the research there to support the idea?

Yes and no. A 2021 review examining the safety and efficacy of melatonin found that melatonin could advance the time of sleep onset—making you feel sleepy more quickly—but the effect was “modest and variable.” 

“Most people’s bodies produce enough melatonin for sleep on their own,” explains sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins’ Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “However, there are steps you can take to make the most of your natural melatonin production.”

Buenaver recommends using melatonin supplements for a specific set of circumstances—on a short term basis for insomnia, overcoming jet lag or for those looking to fall asleep and wake up earlier. 

 

Can I mix CBD and Melatonin?

Though there is little to no research into the long-term effects of combining cannabis and melatonin, the general consensus from brands and consumers who create CBD and melatonin products have found that, generally, yes, you can combine CBD and melatonin safely. 

That said, according to Leaf Report Medical Reviewer Eloise Theisen, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, melatonin should only be used for the short term and is not considered a long term solution to sleep issues. 

“If you need help staying asleep rather than falling asleep, the addition of melatonin may not be necessary. Melatonin can cause a drugged, groggy effect in some and may not be necessary to add to a CBD regimen for sleep,” she said.

At Elevated Wellness, a CBD brand founded by health care professionals based in Austin, TX, their CBD-melatonin products are some of the brand’s top sellers. In using these products, the brand’s Marketing Manager Daniel Britt stresses the importance of understanding dosing is unique to each person. 

“It’s not just about weight, which is what we first assume because of other pharmaceuticals,” says Britt. “It actually doesn’t have to do as much with weight as it does with body chemistry.”

Finding the right dose then, can take some trial and error. Going overboard on dosing can result in “hangovers” the next day, or feelings of immense grogginess that can accompany too much CBD or melatonin, says Britt. In fact, Thiesen adds, “CBD can be stimulating at low doses, so adding in melatonin may counteract that effect and make low-dose CBD more suitable for sleep.” So, you shouldn’t require a super high dose of CBD-melatonin product to see effects.

Thus, experts like Britt suggest a low and slow approach to trying CBD and melatonin—especially if you already know you’re very sensitive to CBD or melatonin’s effects. For instance, Elevated Wellness’ products suggested dose is 1 ml of the tincture under the tongue, but if you are concerned about how it might affect you—do half of that and increase from there based on how you feel.

Additionally, both Thiesen and Britt emphasize that if you have never taken CBD or melatonin before, it is best not to mix them until you have tried them separately to see how you respond to them individually.

“It may be wise to try CBD products without melatonin first to see how that works for you,” said Britt, adding that taking the two together may enhance the strength of the overall effect. 

Thus, in the end, melatonin may not be necessary to add to a CBD regimen for sleep, Thiesen says.

 

How to find quality products containing CBD and Melatonin

In addition to taking a “low and slow” approach to dosing, it’s essential consumers ensure the efficacy and safety of their CBD/melatonin product by vetting its quality. Here’s how:

  • Ensure the safety and quality of your CBD/Melatonin product by checking out the companies’ reputation here at LeafReport’s Brand Reviews and/or by ascertaining if the company has been issued an FDA warning letter.
  • Look over the lab reports produced by the company. Here are some points to look for in the “Certificate of Analysis” or CoA.
  • Make certain that the lab used has a state license, is ISO accredited and that the CoA is signed and dated—this information is usually found on the last page and sometimes in a header or footer.
  • Make sure the product received a “passing grade” when it comes to the levels of heavy metals, pesticides, microbials, mycotoxins, residual solvents and debris. 
  • Look for less than 0.3% THC in the product. This is the legal limit for THC in any CBD product. This is especially important for those concerned about drowsiness or other undesirable side effects of cannabis. 

Elevated Wellness, for instance, third-party tests both their CBD and the melatonin that they use in their combination products,  and they source all the extracts used in their products from pharmaceutically regulated labs to ensure the utmost quality of their products. They also third-party test for heavy metals, pesticides, microbials, mycotoxins, residual solvents and debris.

All of this information is readily available on their website, or through contacting their team for a CoA—and that’s the kind of transparency you want in whatever brand you’re purchasing your CBD/melatonin product from.

Safety of CBD and Melatonin 

Certain populations, however, are not advised to use melatonin including pregnant women, those with seizure disorders, diabetes, or anyone taking birth control pills, blood thinners, or blood pressure medications. Some melatonin supplements can raise blood pressure levels in those taking certain medications.

This can be a risky interaction with CBD as a 2017 research study found taking CBD with antihypertensive medications may change blood concentrations of either substance. The same goes for taking CBD and blood thinners.

As such, at risk populations should speak to a healthcare professional before using products that contain CBD and melatonin. 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY READING? SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Alexa Peters
Alexa Peters
Cannabis Writer
Alexa Peters is a Seattle-based freelance writer and editor with a specialty in arts & culture, wellness, and lifestyle journalism, as well as content writing. My cannabis and CBD-focused work has appeared in Leafly, CannabisMD, Healthline, Green Valley Nation, and many other publications.
Eloise Theisen
Eloise Theisen
RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
Eloise Theisen is a board certified Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner who specializes in cannabis therapy. For over 20 years, Eloise has worked primarily with cancer, dementia and chronic pain patients. In the last 6 years, Eloise has focused her efforts on cannabinoid therapies. Eloise has worked with over 6500 patients to help them effectively treat age-related and chronic illness with cannabis.

Read More

FOLLOW US
Important Disclaimer
All contents of the LeafReport Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the LeafReport Site are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the LeafReport Site!