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Sleep and CBD: How to find a product that works for you



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By Neil Tunbridge, Co-Founder, mellow

Better sleep is a common motivation for giving cannabidiol (CBD) products a try. But with many different products aimed at improving sleep, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here we’ll answer a few pressing questions around CBD and sleep, and share some practical advice on how to choose the right product for you.   

How is CBD linked to achieving better sleep?

The association between CBD and sleep seems to be the way it makes us feel. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for maintaining balance within the body. It regulates elements such as temperature, hormone levels and heartbeat to keep our internal environment stable. This means CBD can induce feelings of balance and calm, potentially assisting with a good night’s sleep.

Does research support a link between CBD and sleep?

When people explore CBD to help with any issue, including sleep, it is essential to understand the scientific evidence available. Knowledge is power and can help users make informed decisions around which products to try.

Research into a link between CBD and sleep looks promising. A large case series was designed to determine whether CBD can help to improve sleep and anxiety measured sleep-related concerns using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Within the first month of taking CBD, two-thirds of participants improved sleep scores.

Also, a paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found ‘systemic acute administration’ of CBD appears to increase total sleep time, while positively impacting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency. There’s more research to do to further explore the impact of CBD on sleep, but these initial results are encouraging.

How do I choose the right CBD sleep products?

There is unclear legislation around CBD which can be confusing, but there are a number of ways to choose between low and high quality CBD products.

For a start, in the UK legal CBD products must contain ‘no trace’ of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD products containing this compound cannot be legally traded. Also check whether the product is tested by a third-party laboratory, whether the hemp is grown organically, and whether the product is certified by a relevant authority, such as the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). Reputable sellers and marketplaces will provide this level of detail.

You can also look for CBD products that are created with improved sleep in mind. These are likely to be formats such as oils, supplements or edibles, where the CBD needs to enter the bloodstream, rather than topical formats such as creams which are designed for issues such as pain.

What CBD dosage is necessary to assist with better sleep?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) – who is responsible for regulating CBD as a novel food – recommends that healthy adults take no more than 70mg a day, unless under medical direction. This equates to roughly 28 drops of 5% CBD. This guidance is based on recent findings by the UK government’s Committee on Toxicity (COT).

Be mindful that each individual may also have different CBD sensitivity, impacted by factors such as weight, height and metabolism speed. In tandem, the way people take CBD will be different, for example some may take CBD multiple times throughout the day and others just once in the evening. Keeping a sleep diary will help track how sleep patterns and quality are changing.

There are no right and wrong answers around using CBD for sleep, as long as users check out the science behind the products, know how to look for high quality products, and stay within the recommended daily dose of 70mg or below a day.

Thanks to Neil Tunbridge of for putting this article together.