If you're looking to try hemp-derived CBD to relax, here's what experts want you to know about when, how, and how much of it to take at a time.* It is no surprise that oftentimes, we all find it hard to relax. With the stresses that we all experience on the daily it can be difficult to wind down, shut off and take time for ourselves. But it is so important to find the time, as giving yourself space to release tension from the day is essential for both your phys By now you already know that high-quality sleep is critical for physical and mental recovery. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough rest. Finding natural products to help can be confusing, as it can be hard to know where to start. With more supplements becoming available, the task becomes even more difficult. For thos
How Much Hemp-Derived CBD Do You Actually Need To Relax? Doctors Weigh In*
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.
Many people find hemp-derived CBD useful for reducing physical and mental stressors and encouraging feelings of relaxation.* If you’re looking to try hemp-derived CBD to relax, here’s what to know about when, how, and how much of it to take at a time.*
How hemp-derived CBD works.
There are two main types of CBD—hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD—and if you’re confused about the difference between the two, you’re not alone. Both kinds of CBD are sourced from the cannabis plant, but similar to how your thumb is a finger but not every finger is a thumb, hemp is cannabis, but not all cannabis is hemp.
What sets these two sources of CBD apart is their distinctly different levels of phytocannabinoids (e.g., cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, etc.). In fact, by definition, their levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that gives you a sense of high, are very different. Hemp has negligible, trace amounts of THC (less than or equal to 0.3%), while marijuana contains higher amounts of THC (much more than 0.3%). That’s per U.S. law.
“It’s primarily an issue of the legal classification,” says Babak Larian, M.D., clinical chief of the Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, and co-founder of MDbio.
So, how does nonpsychoactive, hemp-derived CBD work to promote relaxation? According to Larian, it works in tandem with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for restoring homeostasis (balance) in the body.*
“The feeling of taking a hemp product is one of achieving a state of balance more easily or more fully if you’re having a difficult time doing so (whether physically, emotionally, or both, in many cases),”* he tells mbg. “In short: [Hemp-derived CBD encourages] balance, equilibrium, and harmony.”*
A note on FDA regulations: The 2018 Farm Bill states hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are “no longer controlled substances under federal law.” The FDA does, however, continue to regulate cannabis or cannabis-containing products, including industrial hemp.
And in addition to this helpful oversight, the scientific evidence is growing for cannabis, with studies showing that the hemp plant offers a slew of health benefits, from easing stress to promoting healthy sleep cycles.*
Does CBD relax you?
It is no surprise that oftentimes, we all find it hard to relax. With the stresses that we all experience on the daily it can be difficult to wind down, shut off and take time for ourselves.
But it is so important to find the time, as giving yourself space to release tension from the day is essential for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Relaxation looks different for everyone, but whether it is crashing on the sofa after a long day, grabbing drinks with a friend or taking your dog for a walk, it is essential for our mental wellbeing.
With the last year having been more stressful than ever, it is evermore essential to find time to relax. In TRIP’s 2021 Survey it was found that 7 out of 10 people had the most stressful year of their life, with 70% of people indicating that they had the worst sleep of their lives. Many people found it hard to relax due to the stresses of everyday life, such as financial issues, not seeing friends and spending too much time on screens.
Now more than ever people are looking for easy ways to relax and shake off the day (and the year!). There are so many different strategies that we can take to relax, from finding time to meditate, doing some exercise and moving our bodies to journaling and spending time in nature.
You may have been hearing aboutCBD everywhere and anywhere for a while now, and the hype around it is still growing. Hailed for its calming properties, many users of CBD integrate into their daily rituals to help them de-stress and find their calm. Whether it is a few drops of CBD oilto start your day, a CBD Drink before a big meeting or a can of TRIP to wind down in the evening, many use CBD daily to help them relax.
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and is one of the many active compounds found in hemp plants. Unlike THC it is not psychoactive, so can’t get you high and is mostly known for its calming effects. Used commonly in the wellness world for its wide range of benefits.
Many CBD fans rave about CBD’s calming effects and claim that it helps them relax. Whether they are feeling anxious, wound up from the day or just looking to find some calm in the everyday chaos.
CBD (Canndabidiol) is well known for its calming properties, but how does it work?
CBD works with a system in our body called our Endocannabinoid system (our ECS), a system of nerves and receptors that works to help our body stay in balance. CBD helps to regulate this system, which can affect our levels of stress and anxiety, can help to alleviate pain, soothe inflammation and even support our immune systems. It has also been said that CBD can help promote better sleep, reduce fatigue and improve focus!
When trying to relax, we need to soothe stress, release tension and rest. Everyday stress, long hours at the desk staring at screens and trouble sleeping can be big barriers to relaxation.
When trying to restore this balance, CBD can be a very helpful tool, helping us to reduce anxiety, inflammation and tension that we may have in our body, while also helping us to wind down ahead of bedtime and gain a good night’s sleep – essential for wellbeing.
If you are struggling to relax, CBD may be for you. Whether that is with a CBD oil, a CBD drink or even CBD capsules you can create your own ritual. The process of taking CBD can itself become relaxing, for example when you place a few drops of Wild Mint CBD Oil under your tongue and hold for a minute, that minute gives you a moment of headspace and calmness to reflect and take a moment for yourself.
Or perhaps you might grab an Elderflower Mint CBD drink in the evening instead of a glass of wine, and as you are sipping on it find some time to breathe, relax and take a break.
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
By now you already know that high-quality sleep is critical for physical and mental recovery. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough rest. Finding natural products to help can be confusing, as it can be hard to know where to start. With more supplements becoming available, the task becomes even more difficult. For those seeking a safe and natural solution to help them sleep, finding natural products can be time consuming and confusing.
As CBD has become more widely available, more people have started to integrate it into their daily lives, particularly to see if CBD can help them sleep. At Champions + Legends we take the science of CBD seriously. We get these types of questions a lot and we’re here to help you answer the question: does CBD make you sleepy? Furthermore, can CBD oil help you sleep better and more deeply?
Introduction to CBD
CBD is one of one of at least 120 identified plant compounds, known generally as cannabinoids, which exist in the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you “high” like THC does. Instead, it has shown a variety of health benefits without causing negative effects in most.
CBD works by interacting with receptors in the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help enhance its responses to factors such as stress, pain, inflammation, and fatigue. A few potential benefits of CBD include:
- Supporting healthy sleep cycles
- Helps with managing and recovering from inflammation and pain
- Improved blood flow and circulation
- Relief from everyday stress
- Sense of calm or focus
- Improved athletic performance
Does CBD make you sleepy?
As to whether CBD oil can make you sleepy, it’s still open for discussion. Although more research is needed to definitely answer whether or not there is a direct link between CBD and feeling sleepy, research has shown that CBD can support better sleep.
Feelings of relaxation and the diminished anxiety brought on by a regular evening CBD routine can be effective as a sleep aid for people seeking to calm down and relax before bed.
Does CBD make you sleepy during the day?
No research has shown that that CBD makes you sleepy during the day. CBD’s ability to support feelings of calm can lead to improved focus and well being, whether you’re gearing up for a big day at work or preparing for athletic training or competition.
Studies (Blessing et al, 2015; Berger et al, 2009) show that CBD’s anxiety-reducing properties make it a useful tool to manage stress levels, boost focus, and improve mental clarity, all without experiencing drowsiness or lethargy. CBD also supports increased serotonin levels in the brain and can help decrease levels of cortisol, a natural byproduct of stress that can have harmful effects on the body.
CBD vs THC for Sleep
Some cannabis users depend on THC as a sleep aid, however, evidence suggests that CBD has definite advantages over THC (and other sleep aids) when it comes to helping you get a good night’s rest. CBD does not have intoxicating properties like THC, so it won’t cause any negative effects like excessive sedation, drowsiness or feelings of fatigue.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to be a safer alternative to over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications, which can cause undesirable side effects and lead to dependence. Research studies (Iffland & Grotenherman 2015) have shown that CBD is safe to use for sleep, with no major side effects.
THC can also have other negative effects on sleep cycles as well. According to a 2008 study (Schierenbeck et al, 2008) ingesting marijuana strains with higher levels of THC typically reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. This is key because REM sleep is extremely important for healthy cognitive and immune functioning, and ultimately using THC as a sleep aid could impair your sleep quality over the long term.
Can CBD help with sleeping disorders?
For many, trouble sleeping goes beyond difficulties letting go of the day and relaxing or getting sustained deep and restful sleep. Many suffer from more severe sleep disorders like insomnia, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. In many cases people struggling with sleep disorders don’t want to resort to medication or intoxicants, leaving them to wonder: can CBD help with sleeping disorders and other serious sleep issues?
In addition to supporting better sleep in general, CBD has shown to be a great option for many people with sleep disorders. Because CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system (responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, within the body), it can help regulate sleep patterns and support the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
A 2019 study (Shannon et al, 2019) showed that CBD can also serve as a natural solution to combat insomnia, helping individuals fall asleep. The research also demonstrated that CBD helped reduce the number of instances of waking up and other night time disturbances.
How does CBD make you feel?
Overall, your response to CBD will depend largely on factors that are specific to you. This includes your body type, weight, gender, and metabolism. Additionally, the effects of CBD can be influenced by other variables including how you consume CBD (such as ingesting oil or applying a topical to your skin) as well as existing medications or supplements you may be taking.
Another important factor to consider is the type of CBD you’re using. CBD comes in three primary types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum contains over 120 of naturally-occurring plant compounds found in the hemp plant. Research shows that full-spectrum CBD can offer the maximum potential of benefits because all of the compounds from the plant interact together, referred to as the “entourage effect”.
Other types of CBD include broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum contains most of the other cannabinoids and compounds within the plant, with the exception of THC, which is removed after the initial extraction.
CBD isolate is the most simple form of CBD and results from the removal of all of the plant compounds found in hemp except for just CBD. While some people prefer these forms of CBD because they do not include THC, they’re commonly seen as less effective than full-spectrum CBD because they do not benefit fully from the “entourage effect” mentioned earlier.
With this in mind, some of the ways CBD can affect your body and make you feel include:
- Feeling relaxed
- Sense of calm and focus
- Decreased anxiety
- Sense of improved well being
It’s also important to know that, per a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, different doses of CBD may affect you in different ways. Lower doses can cause feelings of focus and alertness while higher doses may be relaxing.
Additionally, a 2017 study showed that CBD can have anxiolytic effects, meaning that it can reduce anxiety and be calming. When this potential for reducing anxiety and enhancing calm is combined with CBD’s potential to help muscle relaxation, many experience feelings of relaxation in both the mind and body.
The Bottom Line
In order to answer the question “Does CBD make you sleepy?” you need to understand how CBD works within the body and the factors which affect how you will respond to it.
If you’re considering a CBD routine to help you sleep, it’s important to determine the dosage that’s right for you. While we recommend starting with 12mg – 20mg twice daily, there is no standard dosage or ‘official serving size’, as it varies based on individual factors mentioned earlier. You will need to adjust your dosage in response to how you are feeling to find the amount and form of CBD that’s right for you. If you are interested in know more about CBD dosage tips and guidelines, we have another blog post on this subject that you can read by clicking here.
As with any supplement or nutrition product you’re considering adding to your regular routine, consider speaking to a health professional first.
Solutions For Quality Sleep & Recovery
Now that you have read through facts and research, how about some potential solutions if you are looking for all-natural sleep aid supplements? Our RECOVER Tincture 500mg, RECOVER Tincture 1000mg, and our RECOVER SoftGels 750mg are great to take post-workout or 60 minutes before bed.