With research suggesting Cannabidiol (CBD) can enable better sleep, many people ask if it will also make you drowsy during the day? So can CBD make you tired when you need to be alert? Or just when you're settling down to rest?
CBD is provided as a supplement, so you'll feel the most potential benefits as part of a general wellbeing regime. And while it won't remove underlying reasons for any sleep problems, such as stress or anxiety, you may find you can cope more effectively with their symptoms, and be in a better position to tackle the root cause of your issues.
How does CBD work?
Throughout each day and night, your body is constantly regulating and managing your responses to hunger, thirst, tiredness, noise, light, stress, pain and more. In recent decades this has been linked to the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of transmitters and receptors in your nervous system.
If this is all in balance (called homeostasis), things should be going pretty well. But many of us may find it's harder to acheive. This can be down to internal factors such as genetics, or external issues such as stress from problems at work or home.
As a natural compound extracted from hemp plants, CBD is non-psychoactive and won't get you high or stoned. It's also non-addictive. But it does interact with the endocannabinoid transmitters and receptors, and appears to help your body regain the homeostasis it needs.
How can CBD improve your sleep?
If your natural body clock (also called a circadian rhythm) is disrupted, you tend to know about it. It's common among airline pilots and crew, shift workers, and anyone who has spent all night staring at their laptop to meet a work deadline or finish binge-watching a TV servies.
Most people will have struggled after an occasional late night. The next day you'll feel tired, lethargic and a little disorientated. Your mood is likely to be more temperamental. And junk food becomes a lot more tempting.
If you're able to catch up on sleep and get back to a normal routine, it's not a problem. But if it starts becoming a regular occurence, then it can lead to more serious longterm health effects, as well as impacting on your home and work life.
CBD is believed to have positive effects on how your body reacts to serotonin and melatonin, which are the signals for your body to feel awake or sleepy. And studies of people suffering with Parkinson's disease have shown CBD can help reduce restlessness, particularly when you're dreaming during the REM part of your sleep cycle.
For more details on how CBD could improve your sleep, we have a detailed guide on CBD oil for sleep and insomnia.
Can CBD make you feel drowsy?
Based on all existing medical research, and the feedback from our own customers, side effects from CBD are typically fairly minor and rare. But adding any supplement or medication to your system could potentially affect your body.
Many medications prescribed for sleep conditions can have significant side effects, and you should always check with your doctor if you're on an existing treament before adding a supplement to your diet.
A very small number of people do report feeling a little drowsy during the day when they first start taking CBD. This tends to pass fairly quickly, and CBD has been judged safe by the WHO. It's also perfectly legal to drive in the UK after taking CBD, although if you do feel slightly drowsy when you start adding CBD to your diet, we'd strongly recommend staying away from operating a car or heavy machinery.
How to take CBD for better sleep and less tiredness
It can take some time for your body to become accustomed to CBD. We always recommend some patience in starting with a low dosage in the morning and evening for a few weeks before deciding if you've seen any improvements in your sleep and wellbeing.
Starting with 1-3 drops of 4% CBD oil under your tongue every morning and evening will allow you to acclimatise to any effects. And combining this with a better health and sleep routine will maximise any potential benefits.