CBD Oil for Sleep
Despite all of the improvements I’ve made over the last decade, sleep continued to be the one area I had the most trouble. I tried so many things, many of them helped for a while, but invariably it seemed like once my body got used to whatever supplement I was taking the insomnia would return.
In the end I was relying on muscle relaxers to help me fall asleep, and even then staying asleep was often an issue. I didn’t want to have to rely on prescriptions to get me to sleep.
But, that finally changed when I tried CBD oil. My first experience with CBD oil was in a topical form to treat pain. It worked well for some pains that nothing else seemed to touch. When I was approached about trying CBD oil tincture, I figured it was worth a shot, but I didn’t really expect anything.
CBD oil for pain and sleep
Cannibinoid oil (CBD) has been the focus of a lot of research as well as a lot of scrutiny. CBD is one of two main chemicals in marijuana. CBD is the chemical that provides both stress and pain relief benefits of marijuana (basically all the good stuff) and THC is what creates the high feeling.
The legality of CBD oil varies from state to state (and even county to county within states). The 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD oil from Hemp at a nationwide level in the US. However, some municipalities have continued to forbid sales. In the few years since the Farm Bill passed, CBD oil has been popping up everywhere. You can find it in most pharmacies, as well as many random places. However, because it is sold as a supplement, the testing isn’t rigorous and the quality of the product varies greatly.
It’s important to understand that CBD oil from hemp is not the same as marijuana, or even CBD oil from marijuana. Hemp is a very close “cousin” of the marijuana plant, bred to remove the THC. Although, there are still trace amounts of THC in the Hemp plant. Marijuana-based CBD oil is still illegal anywhere that marijuana isn’t legal. So, it’s important to know what you are buying and make sure you are getting CBD oil from hemp, if legality is an issue.
Big Pharma has been working to create synthetic cannibinoid medications as well. A study by Ware, Fitzcharles, Joseph, & Shir (2010) compared the effects of a synthetic CBD medications to amitryptiline on sleep among fibromyalgia patients. (Amitryptiline is a common antidepressant used to help improve sleep in fibro patients.) The synthetic CBD medication outperformed amitryptiline on sleep improvement.
Another study by Chagas et al (2014) looked at the effects of CBD oil on REM sleep disorder. REM sleep disorder is associated with night terrors and active behavior during dreaming (brings to mind night terrors).
While this study was small they found that the patients had “prompt and substantial reduction” in REM sleep disorder events. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a ton of research on this, but personal experiences seem to indicate that what these two studies show is true.
With most CBD oils on the market there are very small trace amounts of THC still in the oil. This is a result of the extraction process. Even CBD oil from hemp may have tiny traces of THC, but it is low enough that it shouldn’t register. Again, know the source of your CBD oil, if you are at all concerned.
CBD oil for improved sleep!
I’ve continuously used CBD oil for sleep since about 2016. When I first tried CBD oil I had no idea what to expect. But, the first thing I noticed was that I was sleeping better. Within just a few nights of taking a single dose of CBD tincture before bedtime I was falling asleep within minutes (instead of hours) and sleeping through the night. The best part is that it didn’t stop. CBD oil has continued to help me sleep for the last five or so years.
But, all CBD oils are not created equal. While I’ve tried some really great brands that I saw excellent benefits from, I’ve also tried some brands that did nothing for me. That’s the difference between high-quality CBD oil and low-quality. I can judge the quality of a CBD oil within a couple of nights, as I see the insomnia return.
I’ve tried quite a few brands over the years, but tend to return to a couple of favorites. And, because there are so many bad brands on the market, I’ve hesitant to even try new ones anymore. While there are some cheap brands in stores now I will continue to pay a little more for something I know is high quality.
My favorite CBD oil brands
Vital Plan Select offers both a 500mg and a 1000mg tincture, both in a 1oz (30ml) size. This is the my go-to, not just for their tincture, but also for their muscle rub, which they provide in an awesome convenient stick, making it easy to apply without getting your hands greasy
Understanding CBD oil tincture dosing
CBD dosing is weird. I didn’t really understand it until the owner of a local health food store explained it to me. Tinctures are usually labeled in milligrams, but to understand what the actual amount of CBD oil is that you are getting in a dose you have to divide the mg by the size of the dose. So, if it’s a 500mg product, using a 1ml dropper, the dose you are getting is 33mg of CBD oil. If it’s a 1000mg tincture with the same size dropper then you are getting 66mg of CBD oil per dose.
You can increase the dosage by taking more. So, if it’s listed as a 500mg tincture you could technically double the dose and it would give you twice as much, you’d just go through the bottle faster.
Pricing also tends to increase with the higher mg tinctures. If you are just starting out, I’d suggest starting with a lower mg tincture and just increasing the dosage until you get the results you want. This way if you need less you can buy the cheaper tincture. However, if you find you are needing to take more it’s probably worth it to buy the higher dose.
I know these aren’t the only great products out there, and several of you have reached out to tell me about the products that you love.
- Review: Vital Plan Select CBD oil products
- Review: Every Day Optimal CBD Oil Tincture
- Frida Botanicals CBD for Fibro Relief
- CBD for Fibro Relief
Chagas, M. H. N., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena‐Pereira, M. A., Sobreira‐Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., … & Tumas, V. (2014). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep‐related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 39(5), 564-566.
Ware, M. A., Fitzcharles, M. A., Joseph, L., & Shir, Y. (2010). The effects of nabilone on sleep in fibromyalgia: results of a randomized controlled trial. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 110(2), 604-610.