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Many people consider CBD for sleep, and a wide range of products is available online. Some evidence suggests that CBD may help with sleep-related issues, but research is limited overall.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder affecting around 10–15% of people in the United States. The condition can be acute or chronic. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate the condition in some people. However, others may want to try CBD to help them relax and fall asleep quicker.

This article discusses the research behind cannabidiol (CBD) and sleep. It also explores several CBD products that may help people get a better night’s sleep.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

While research into the effects of CBD on sleep is relatively new, early indications show promise.

A 2021 study found that a CBD-rich treatment made improvements in the following health issues:

  • pain
  • anxiety
  • depression

These problems can affect a person’s sleep.

CBD may also help manage levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol, which usually peaks in the morning. However, people with insomnia may have elevated cortisol levels at night, which can increase wakefulness and impact sleep quality.

A 2019 study on the effect of CBD on anxiety and sleep found that people taking between 300 and 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD oil had lower cortisol levels. The findings suggest that CBD oil may inhibit cortisol release, functioning as a sedative.

The researchers note that these high CBD doses may be cost-prohibitive. They also note several study limitations, including the lack of a control group and that many participants were taking psychiatric medications that may have affected the results.

Medical News Today’s methodology

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. There should be confirmation that they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.
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Below are seven of the best options a person can order online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

A note on CBD and melatonin

Medical News Today does not feature CBD products that contain melatonin. Melatonin products do not have FDA approval, and there is very limited research into how CBD may interact with added ingredients such as melatonin, vitamins, or minerals. There are also safety concerns around melatonin use in children.

In April 2023, researchers published a study showing that out of 25 melatonin gummy products, 88% had inaccurate labeling, and many did not contain the advertised melatonin dose.

The products in this article have passed Medical News Today‘s strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Below, we compare each product on price, CBD dose, and more.

Price Volume Type of CBD CBD dose
Cornbread$55.99750 mg per bottlefull-spectrum25 mg per capsule
Joy Organics$19.95four bath bombsbroad-spectrum25 mg per bath bomb
Medterra$39.99–$199.9930 or 60 ml bottleisolate16 – 100 mg per 1 ml serving
3Chi$79.9930 mL per bottlebroad-spectrum33.3 mg/mL
Lazarus Naturals $40–$12030 or 120 mLfull-spectrum30–60 mg/1–2 mL dose
Aspen Green$84.9960 mL per jarfull-spectrum1,000 mg per jar
Charlotte’s Web$44.9960 gummiesfull-spectrum15 mg per two gummies

When talking about CBD, people may use unfamiliar words or terms. The below table details some common CBD terminology.

CBDA compound within the C. sativa plant that does not create the high sensation individuals commonly associate with cannabis use.
THCA compound in the C. sativa plant. It is the psychoactive compound that creates the high sensation from cannabis use.
Full-spectrumA full-spectrum product will contain all of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on full-spectrum CBD products.
Broad-spectrumBroad-spectrum products contain natural compounds of the cannabis plant. However, while manufacturers remove all or most of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it may still be present in trace amounts.
CBD isolateThis is the purest form of CBD and should contain 0% THC.
CannabinoidsThe compounds within the cannabis plant, of which there are over 120. CBD is the second richest compound in the plant after THC.
TerpenesAnother compound of the C. sativa plant, terpenes typically give plants their specific aromas. Some terpenes, such as limonene, may have specific health benefits.
Certificate of analysis (COA)Reputable manufacturers of CBD products should ensure a COA is available for inspection. A COA provides information on the third-party testing that independent labs conduct on a particular product. Sometimes, products have a scannable smartphone code directing people to the COA online.

Read more about terminology and other important CBD information here.

Individuals looking to purchase CBD products may want to consider the following factors:

  • THC levels: People who receive regular blood tests may want to choose CBD isolate or CBD products that do not contain traceable THC levels.
  • Cost: Some CBD products can be expensive, with costs often depending on CBD dose and the volume of product. People should consider how regularly they will use their chosen product to ensure it is cost-effective.
  • Formulation: Some people may prefer a lotion or cream they can massage into their skin, while others may prefer gummies or oils that they can take orally.
  • Reputation: Brand reputation and third-party testing are essential to reduce safety risks. These risks may include compound strengths that do not match those on the label or the formulation being contaminated with toxic minerals. People should only choose products from companies with strict testing regimens using third-party labs with public certifications.

While some people may find that CBD relieves insomnia, not everyone will experience the same results.

Other natural ways to help with insomnia include:

  • Improving sleep hygiene: Improving sleep habits may help people with short-term insomnia. Helpful tips include:
    • going to bed at the same time each night and setting the alarm for the same time each morning
    • ensuring a relaxing and comfortable sleep environment that is cool, dark, and quiet
    • removing electronic devices from the bedroom
    • avoiding consuming large meals or caffeine before bedtime
    • being physically active during the day
  • Natural supplements: People can take melatonin to help with sleep issues. The body produces this hormone naturally to help prepare the brain for sleep. People should speak with a doctor before trying melatonin.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a talking therapy that may help those with chronic insomnia.

Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. While sleep time is important, sleep quality is also critical, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A person who experiences insomnia may wish to consider natural sleep aids before inquiring about prescription medication.

The British National Health Service (NHS) recommends people with insomnia see a doctor if they experience any of the following:

  • sleeping difficulties lasting several months
  • persistent insomnia despite attempts to maintain a regular sleep schedule
  • insomnia that causes difficulty with daily functioning

People who experience side effects from CBD products should stop taking the product and consult a healthcare professional.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about CBD for sleep.

What CBD actually works for sleep?

There is limited research into CBD and sleep. However, recent research suggests that medium-high dosages of CBD may benefit sleep.

How much CBD do I need to take for sleep?

One 2022 review suggests that short-term use of medium-high dosages of CBD may be beneficial for insomnia. However, further scientific research is necessary to determine the effect of CBD on sleep, and products containing THC may have a negative effect on slow-wave sleep, which is a state of deep sleep.

People should never exceed the recommended dosage on a product’s packaging. It is also advisable to start with a low dose and work up until a person gets their desired effect.

When is the best time to take CBD oil when taking for insomnia?

Insomnia raises cortisol levels at night, which keeps a person awake. Research suggests that CBD may inhibit cortisol release, providing therapeutic relaxation. The best time to take CBD oil is shortly before going to bed. However, it’s important that a person considers the absorption time on the individual product label.

Is CBD better than melatonin for sleep?

A 2022 study found that a combination of CBD and melatonin may work as well as traditional sleep medication. The authors write that the antioxidant activity of melatonin may help to restore a person’s sleep cycle. CBD can reduce pain perception and promote relaxation.

It’s important that a person speaks with a doctor before trying melatonin or CBD for sleep.

Is it good to take CBD for sleep?

Research from 2019 suggests that clinical trials have shown CBD to improve sleep, although many studies focus on the effects of CBD on other health problems.

However, research is limited. Scientists are still working to fully understand how effective CBD can be for sleep.

Insomnia is the medical term for difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing quality sleep. It is a common condition that can present as acute or chronic.

Treatment for insomnia typically involves lifestyle changes to help improve sleep hygiene. In some cases, doctors may also recommend psychological therapies or prescription medication.

Research suggests that CBD has relaxing properties that may benefit people with insomnia. When choosing a CBD product, people may want to consider several factors, including the CBD’s type, strength, and source, as well as the cost of the final product.