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Settling the Debate: Does CBD Promote Sleep or Increase Energy?

CBD for sleep
Written by Alexandra Hicks

Are you the type of person who takes CBD in the evening to get a full night’s sleep, or do you prefer mixing it with your coffee for a little extra pep in morning?

There’s a lot of information out there claiming that CBD can help promote better sleep and even offer relief from insomnia. On the other hand, there are also multiple studies saying that CBD is an excellent wake-promoting agent and many people use it to boost their energy. So which one is it? Short answer: both. As it turns out, it’s all a matter of choosing the right dose.

CBD for Better Sleep

cbd sleep

CBD helps many patients improve their sleep patterns

If you’re planning to use CBD to help you get better sleep, higher doses will be your best bet. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology looked at the effect of multiple doses of CBD on the sleep-wake cycles of rats. It was tested against a placebo control group.

Researchers tried doses of 2.5, 10, and 40 milligrams per kilogram. The rats treated with either 10 or 40 milligrams spent more time sleeping than the low dose or placebo group. Also observed, the rodents taking 40 milligrams took longer to reach REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the dream state that occurs before waking.

Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that high doses of CBD can be helpful for insomniacs. Additional information from our very own Dr. Leah Zachar explains in detail how CBD blocks the TRPV-1 receptors and improves serotonin release which leads to less pain and swelling, reduced anxiety, and increased stage 3 (deep) sleep.

CBD for Increased Alertness

cbd sleep

Many people choose CBD with their morning coffee for extra alertness

If you’re lacking energy and feeling sluggish, low-dose CBD might be just the thing to perk you up a bit. Research on using CBD as a wake-promoting agent dates back all the way to 1977 with a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Rodents given a 20 milligram dose of CBD were more energized and spent less time in the slow wave sleep cycle. Additional research from 2014 echoes the 1977 results.

Furthermore, a 2004 study suggested that CBD can mitigate the sedative effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is known to induce sleep in many users. This study was actually conducted on humans, so the results are considerably more relatable.

The human subjects were given either 15 milligrams of THC, 5 milligrams of each THC and CBD, a combination of 15 milligrams of THC and CBD, or a placebo. It was determined that with both doses of the combined treatment, THC and CBD together actually promoted alertness as opposed to making the subjects tired.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. You can use CBD to stay awake or fall asleep, it just depends on what you need it for and what dose you’re using. Keep in mind that, like with any substance or medication, CBD can have varying effects on different people. Try out different doses and different cannabinoid combinations to see what works best for you.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.