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CBD helps your insomnia

According to a study done by Harvard, “CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.” CBD helps insomnia by addressing the root causes of insomnia. Many clinical trials on sleep and CBD include giving the people between 25 mg to 1,500 mg of CBD per day. However, for you, we recommend starting with a low dose and increasing as needed.


How CBD helps 


CBD, cannabidiol, is one compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD works with your endocannabinoid system to help maintain many functions in your body, including appetite, mood, and even sleep. What is the endocannabinoid system? Well, this system has a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain/nervous system that work to maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body. So, how does CBD help? Firstly, we need to look at the causes of insomnia.


Does everyone have insomnia

Now, all of us from time to time will go through bouts of insomnia for various reasons. Let us take a minute to remember those days. Like when you go to bed and sit there staring at the ceiling just waiting for sleep to come. Finally, you fall asleep and the next thing you know the alarm is going off. You wake exhausted, grumpy, and maybe even have a headache. You look at the clock and realize that you have only slept for two hours. Not even coffee is going to cure this.


So, what caused this disruption to your sleep? Well, it can be many things. For example, short-term insomnia is usually stress or trauma-related. However, those who experience this long term insomnia (a month or more) may be experiencing other serious issues and sleep in not the primary problem. CBD helps insomnia by treating some of the causes we will go over below.

There are many, many reasons that someone can be experiencing insomnia. We are going to look at some common causes of insomnia.


What causes insomnia

  • Who isn’t stressed! Work, school, money, health, family, etc. These things can keep you constantly thinking, actively planning, continuously problem-solving. This will definitely make it difficult to sleep.
  • Travel or work schedule. Your body has an internal clock. Disrupting this internal clock can lead to insomnia. Those that travel multiple times zones, experiencing jet lag, work schedules that constantly change, working graveyard or early morning shift can all cause disruption to the internal clock.
  • Poor sleep habits. I am totally at fault here. Come on who does not love a nap? When you are able to fit one into your schedule, who wouldn’t? So, it turns out those naps, irregular bedtimes, bedtime workouts are all contributing factors to insomnia. Apparently, we can’t even use our bed for work or gaming. Man, a lot of changes are going to need to be made.
Mental Health
  • Mental health disorder. Anxiety. Many of us suffer from anxiety, but this disorder can have a significant impact on your sleep. Depression can sometimes cause you to wake to early. Insomnia is not limited to these two disorders. Many mental health disorders can cause insomnia.
  • Oh, this one is not a surprise. This has to be common. Many medications, prescribed or over the counter, can interfere with sleep. Some of these medications have stimulant (caffeine) that disrupt sleep.
  • Medical conditions. Yes, this is also not surprising. There are many conditions that interfere with sleep; pain, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, acid reflux, overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s, and the list goes on.
  • Sleep-related disorders. Sleep apnea, this is the one that people stop breathing in their sleep. This can definitely interrupt their sleep. Restless leg syndrome is when someone has this unpleasant sensation in their legs that causes this irresistible urge to move them. Side note, this will affect those sharing a bed as well. (memories)
  • Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Okay, don’t come for me. I am not trying to take your caffeine away. I am just the messenger. So, drinking these in the afternoon or evening can make it more difficult to sleep at night. Now, let’s look at another vice that has an effect on sleep. Nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant that also may interfere with your sleep. Okay, one more… alcohol. Now, this may seem wrong, but hear me out. Alcohol may prevent you from reaching those deeper stages of sleep causing you to wake up early.


What CBD research says about insomnia

409 people that suffer from insomnia participated in a study from June 2016 – May 2018. The subjects rated their symptoms on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst. The average rating for the group was 6.6. The participants were given varying doses with different forms of administration. After receiving their treatments, participants average rating dropped to 2.2.

In another study 72 adults with anxiety and insomnia participated. They were all given an assessment on their anxiety and sleep at the start, and a follow up after one month. Each subject was given the same dose and administration method. At the follow-up appointment, it was determined that anxiety scores decreased by 79% and sleep improved for 66% of the subjects.

Now, there have been smaller studies on patients with post-traumatic stress disorder in kids mostly. These studies are tough to read. The details of their struggles are difficult. You are welcome to explore that information independently. The study we will discuss is from 2015 of a 10-year-old girl that was suffering from PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) caused by sexual abuse. Her issues included anxiety, insomnia, suicidal, aggression, difficulties in school, and self-destructive behaviour.

This patient was treated in 2012 with pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy for three years. Although she demonstrated some gains, she was still experiencing high levels of anxiety and insomnia. In 2015 CBD was introduced. Her sleep time increased gradually, and her anxiety decreased. After 5 months she was sleeping regularly in her own room and handling her new school with no difficulties. There were no side effects reported.


CBD and insomnia conclusion

These studies we discussed have shown the effectiveness of CBD. In conclusion, we show how CBD helps insomnia?. Although more research needs to be done to definitively state that CBD is an acceptable alternative to pharmaceuticals. We believe the evidence presented is indicative of CBD being a reasonable alternative to the pharmaceuticals. As always, talk to your doctor before starting to use CBD to ensure it doesn’t poorly interact with any other medications. We recommend you start with a low dose and increase as needed.







Harvard Health Blog



Kelly researches and writes about the use of CBD in the fitness and health community. She holds a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. When she isn’t running an in-school Bootcamp class for 7th and 8th graders, teaching science for 6th and 7th graders, or coaching kids classes at her local gym, she is chasing her son Dominic around and leading a life of example with regular training, food prep weekends, and an active, healthy lifestyle. She previously ran the athletic department for her Charter School but has since passed the torch to her Assistant Director so she can pursue other opportunities to spread the word of fitness and health in her local community.