How Do These CBD Products Help With Sleep?
Everyone is trying to get better sleep today and there are no shortage of products that promise to help ease you into deeper slumber, from weighted blankets to fancy sound machines. But more and more people are adding CBD to their sleep checklist as well.
When Travis Barker had trouble falling asleep on tour, after a grueling schedule had him in a different city and different bed each night, the drummer started to look for more “natural ways to wind down.” That’s when he discovered CBD.
“I used to have trouble with sleep,” Barker tells Rolling Stone, “and I would take a ton of melatonin, valerian tea, Tylenol PM, or Nyquil,” he admits, “but CBD was like the best kind of result that I got.”
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The immediate benefits that Barker found with CBD led him to create Barker Wellness, a new line of cannabinoid-infused products that includes a unique CBD tincture for sleep. While CBD is not a medically-approved solution for sleep, experts say a little CBD could go a long towards promoting more soothing, stress-free slumber.
How Does CBD Work for Sleep?
“CBD is a compound that supports a powerful, yet widespread network of receptors in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is known to help regulate energy, mood, sleep, and more,” explains Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody, the newly-rebranded company that now includes the popular Theragun percussion devices as well as a line of lotions and tinctures for recovery and relief. “Researchers have found that CBD, found naturally in the hemp plant, interacts with ECS receptors throughout the body much like molecules the body naturally produces.”
Experts say the best CBD products for sleep also help you wind down by addressing some of the root causes of restlessness and stress.
“Most people don’t realize the quality of sleep is closely related to stress and maintaining a strong immune system, and you need both systems properly in check if you want an optimal immune response to anything,” adds Jay Hartenbach, CEO of CBD brand Medterra. “If your cortisol levels are elevated, it can keep you awake. CBD is thought to decrease this and keep your body in a homeostasis state.”
If you’re just easing into CBD, Hartenbach suggests finding CBD products that also contain other ingredients that work together to help you feel more restful and relaxed. “CBD, amino acids, L-theanine and 5-HTP, and relaxing herbs like passion flower, chamomile, and lemon balm have each individually been shown to help with providing a full restful night and have been expertly formulated to work together for desired results to address the most common issues,” Hartenbach says. “Proper sleep and circadian control are absolutely essential to an optimally functioning immune system. If your body lacks restful sleep, so does your immunity.”
Will CBD for Sleep Make You Drowsy or High?
The best CBD for sleep is designed to help you ease into slumber — not knock you out. And unlike THC, which may have some psychoactive effects, Wersland says “CBD is non-intoxicating and will not make you feel high.”
If you’re new to CBD, trying a CBD gummy for sleep is an easy way to test out its effects in an easy-to-take format (basically like a gummy bear or gummy vitamin). Many brands also have flavorless CBD oils (or “CBD tinctures”), which come out of a dropper, letting you control exactly how much you want to take. Wersland’s suggestion: start small and then see how the tincture affects you. “If you’d like to take one full dropper that’s 33mg of full-spectrum CBD you can,” he says, “or you can take a ¼ of a dropper which is about 8mg of CBD.”
Of course CBD is primarily meant for therapeutic benefits and is not meant to replace any doctor-recommended prescriptions if you suffer from serious insomnia. You should also see a doctor if you have a severe sleep disorder, restlessness or anxiety, as CBD is not meant to treat those issues.
What is the Best CBD for Sleep?
If you’re looking to try out CBD products for sleep, we’re rounded up some of our favorite options below. These have all been tested by our editors for ease of use and efficacy, though CBD will affect everyone differently. All the products on our list have also been tested by independent third-party labs for quality assurance and safety but you should read the ingredient list and labels before using to find the right products for your needs.
1. Cornbread Hemp AM/PM CBD Oil Bundle
One of the easiest ways to get into CBD is with this AM/PM CBD oil bundle from Cornbread Hemp. Take a drop or two of the Distilled CBD Oil in the morning to start your day, and chill out at night with the Whole Flower CBD Oil. To use: place a few drops under your tongue and hold for 30 seconds before swallowing, or mix a few drops into a glass of water or your bedtime tea (it’s virtually tasteless and it dissolves easily).
Cornbread uses only USDA-certified organic ingredients, with no preservatives, flavors or sweeteners. Choose from an original strength or extra strength pack. What we like: the included dropper has four size markings (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1ml) so you can easily control your dosage and work your way up (for reference, one serving is 1ml).
BONUS: Use coupon code RS20 for 20% off your purchase at CornbreadHemp.com.
2. Prima Sleep Tight Soft Gels
Take one or two of these Prime Soft Gels before bed each night as part of your wind down routine. In our experience, the easy-to-swallow capsules have worked wonders in helping us fall asleep faster — and stay asleep without waking up in the middle of the night.
While other CBD blends for sleep use melatonin to help you doze off, Prima’s formula is melatonin-free, swapping the popular sleep aid for other natural remedies, like the amino acid compounds 5-HTP and GABA (which promote relaxation and mood enhancement), plus natural herbs like passion flower, California poppy and lavender to help calm and sedate without the need for a prescription.
We woke up feeling less groggy too and the CBD capsules don’t give you that intoxicated feeling you get from cheaper generic CBD brands.
3. Sunday Scaries “Side Piece” Bundle
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the CBD choices out there, Sunday Scaries’ “Side Piece” bundle is one of the easiest and least intimidating ways to get into a CBD routine. The bundle includes a bottle of fruit-flavored CBD gummies for when you want to chill out, and then a bottle of CBD oil for sleep. Typically $98 when you buy each item separately, the bundle gets you both for just $43 right now (a $55 savings).
Aside from being an incredible value, both the gummies and tincture have rave reviews online. Start with one gummy (10mg of CBD) after work, while you’re watching a movie, or when you want to zone out while doing chores or housework on the weekend. The CBD tincture, meantime, can go directly under the tongue, or in your tea, water, mixed into a smoothie or even mixed into your favorite lotion. Sunday Scaries also recommends trying a few drops of the CBD oil in your bath to help you relax. One bottle for the day and one bottle for night – your CBD routine just got a whole lot easier.
4. Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies: Sleep
We’re big fans of these raspberry-flavored CBD gummies from Charlotte’s Web, which has helped us ease into sleep with less tossing and turning (or anxious thoughts). Each gummy contains 10mg of CBD, along with other natural sleep aids like 3mg of melatonin. We’ve found that these work fast, so take them just before bed (like 15-20 minutes before you hit the sack).
Each pack contains 30 servings. Not sure how your body will react? We started by taking half a gummy, before slowly graduating to taking the full piece.
5. Terravita Sleep CBD Capsules
If you prefer the ease of a capsule, we like Terravita’s Sleep CBD Capsules. These easy-to-swallow capsules include a broad spectrum hemp extract that contains 30mg of broad spectrum CBD (that’s also THC-free).
In addition to the hemp extracts, these capsules contain natural ingredients like L-Theanine (for stress), Valerian root (to fall asleep faster), melatonin (to help regulate the sleep cycle) and chamomile (which helps you get deeper sleep). Because this comes in a capsule format (rather than say, an edible or tincture), it can be great if you’re looking for a natural sleep aid, but hate the “grassy” flavor of traditional gummies.
Each order gets you 15 capsules. Take one at night about 30-45 minutes before bed. You can increase dosage to two capsules per day if you need something stronger.
6. Barker Wellness Sleep Tincture
Travis Barker’s new CBD line includes this easy-to-take sleep tincture. The unique formula combines CBD and CBN (another naturally occurring cannabinol said to help with insomnia), along with melatonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid believed to have stress-relieving properties. Take half a dropper to start and put it under your tongue or dissolve the drops into water. In our experience, we’ve found that a full drop under the tongue works best, though it takes an hour or so before you start feeling sleepy, so time it accordingly.
7. Zolt “Dreamy” Drink Mix
Nothing helps you unwind and get ready for bed quite like a hot, soothing drink, which is why we like these “Dreamy Mixie Sticks” from Zolt. Essentially a drink mix with CBD, each individually-wrapped pack contains 20mg of Kentucky-grown hemp, 3mg of melatonin and adaptogens (think aswagandha to help you de-stress). Natural honey, lemon and orange gives this a light citrusy flavor.
To use: pour one stick into about 8oz. of water. We like taking it with hot water about 20-30 minutes before bed. Prefer a more refreshing treat before you sleep? The Zolt drink mix blends easily into cold water too.
8. TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture
Another easy-to-take CBD product that actually helps with sleep, from our experience, is the TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture. Along with USDA-certified organic CBD, the TheraOne tincture also contains organic lavender, organic
lemon balm oil and organic chamomile, which the company says is “designed to help encourage deeper, more restorative sleep.”
TheraOne also touts its unique “Biosorb technology,” which it says can help increase the effectiveness of the CBD, so you can fall asleep faster — and stay sleeping more soundly.
To use: take one full dropper under the tongue, which delivers 33mg of CBD. You can also start with half a dropper to see how the formula affects you. Each bottle contains about 30 full servings.
Want the full-body experience? Get Therabody’s exclusive “Better Sleep Set,” which includes the Theragun Elite Smart Percussive Therapy device (a.k.a. a massage gun), soothing CBD Massage Oil, and a bottle of the TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture. This all-in-one set is available for $574 at Theragun.com. It makes a great gift idea too.
9. CBDFX CBD Gummies with Melatonin for Sleep
These CBD gummies are the easiest options on our list to take, and the least-intimidating way to get into CBD for sleep. Take two of these gummies 30 minutes before bed for best effects. The lemon-flavored chews combine CBD with melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid. The company says the addition of magnesium helps to promote calmness.
Each serving of two gummies contains 50mg of broad spectrum CBD. Everything is certified vegan, all-natural and gluten-free, so it’s easy on the stomach too. A bonus: they actually taste pretty good too.
10. cbdMD Bath Bombs
A relaxing bath is always a good way to destress before bed, and many companies are now making CBD bath bombs for sleep. This one, from cbdMD, is made from a mix of USA-sourced hemp CBD and calming essential oils like frankincense, lavender, eucalyptus. The addition of epsom salts adds further restorative benefits.
This multi-pack contains six bath bombs in different colors and scents. Get 100mg of CBD per bath bomb. The effects of this are mild, so you’ll want to throw the entire CBD bomb in the water and let it slowly dissolve.
11. Terravita Sleep Better Bundle
Get the benefits of a bath and an ingestible with this Sleep Better Bundle from Terravita. The premium CBD company is known for their unique and potent formulas, which combine full-spectrum CBD with plant-based ingredients (think coconut oil, lavender oil and aloe vera in the bath soak, and hempseed oil and grapefruit in the tincture).
This set gets you a CBD bath soak to help with relaxation and recovery after a long day; a sleep CBD tincture to help you wind down; and a bottle of sleep CBD capsules that the company says promotes better sleep.
Use each item separately or as part of your nightly wellness routine. You’ll want to start with 3-4 scoops of the CBD bath soak and let it dissolve in warm water before getting in the bath. We like using it after a workout or travel, to help detox the body. For the tincture, take one full dropper and hold under your tongue for 30-60 seconds. The recommended dosage for the capsules, meantime, is one capsule, about 30-45 minutes before bed.
12. NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBN Oil
Colorado-based NuLeaf Naturals makes some of the most straight-forward and fast-acting CBD products on the market, with easy-to-take formulas that promise to help clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep. We like their full-spectrum CBN oil, which uses CBN, another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that is said to have sleep benefits. While some CBD can have energizing effects, researchers have found that CBN is used more as a natural sedative.
This bottle contains 60 servings of CBN oil – about 30mg per dropper. Start with half a dropper to see if you feel sleepy; gradually increase to a full dropper for maximum effect.
Organic cbd oil full spectrum for sleeping
To choose the best CBD oil for sleep, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on more than 50 products that are:
- Made from plants grown in the U.S.
- Have a certificate of analysis (COA)
- Are third-party tested by ISO 17025-compliant laboratories
- Are made with all natural ingredients
We then ranked CBD oil based on price, potency and the inclusion of sleep-promoting ingredients, such as melatonin, L-theanine and/or botanicals like chamomile.
Why Use CBD Oil for Sleep?
Using CBD oil for sleep may allow for faster and more predictable absorption because it’s administered via mucosal dosing, says Mark H. Ratner, M.D., the chief science officer at Theralogix, a nutritional supplement company.
“Tinctures or oils that are placed under the tongue provide absorption directly into the bloodstream and avoid the first pass effect,” he says, referring to what happens when a drug loses potency by the time it reaches its target or systemic circulation.
CBD oils are typically administered through a dropper, which makes it easy to know the dose you’re taking. This method also allows users to start with a low dose and work their way up as needed.
In addition to helping facilitate sleep, CBD can potentially help relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, opioid addiction and chronic pain.
By helping someone get more sleep, CBD oil can tangentially help improve other areas of life, according to Mikhail Heifitz, the chief operating officer of CBD product company Unabis. He notes that people who get better sleep may enjoy other benefits, such as:
- Increased focus during the day
- Weight control, as feeling more awake and energized can lead to increased physical activity and balanced eating habits
- Anxiety relief
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Potential side effects of CBD include sedation, sleep disturbances, anemia, diarrhea, fatigue and vomiting. CBD may also interact with other drugs you take.
“We suggest starting with small amounts of CBD, then slowly increasing the dosage to test how your body reacts and adjusting the dosage accordingly,” says Heifitz. You should also talk to your doctor about adding CBD to your wellness routine, especially if you take any other medications.
You may also have a reaction to other ingredients in CBD oil products, such as MCT oil, which is often used as a carrier oil in CBD products.
Pure, Premium, Powerful CBD
FAB CBD’s products are made from organically grown, lab tested, Colorado hemp. Their range of products include CBD oils, gummies, topical CBD cream, dog treats and more.
Ingredients to Look for in CBD Oil for Sleep
While CBD alone can lull some people to sleep, especially in higher doses, CBD oils for sleep often include other sleep-promoting ingredients, such as:
Cannabinol (CBN). Another increasingly popular cannabinoid, CBN can help treat epidermolysis bullosa (rare diseases that cause the skin to blister easily), glaucoma and chronic muscle pain.
Cannabigerol (CBG). This cannabinoid may have antibacterial properties and may help treat neurologic disorders and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Melatonin. This hormone can be created artificially to help relieve jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, sleep disorders in children and pre- and post-surgery anxiety.
L-theanine. A common amino acid, L-theanine can cause relaxation in high doses.
Chamomile. This herbal flower is often used to treat sleeplessness, anxiety and gastrointestinal issues.
Lemon balm. Another botanical, lemon balm may contain antioxidant properties.
Valerian root. A plant native to Europe and Asia, valerian root is historically used to treat insomnia, migraines, fatigue and stomach cramps. Today, it’s used sporadically for insomnia, anxiety and depression.
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). A natural chemical that’s been used in treatments for depression, 5-HTP may help with insomnia and anxiety due to its relationship with serotonin.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).This neurotransmitter may help with sleep and anxiety when taken as a supplement.
Terpenes. These naturally occurring compounds typically found in plants form the majority of essential oil composition.
CBD Oil Dosage for Sleep
Experts recommend following the dosage instructions listed on the CBD product you choose.
A low dose of 10 to 20 milligrams of CBD is a smart place to start, according to Dr. Ratner. From there, you can increase your dose as needed.