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Insomnia is a sleep condition in which a person experiences difficulty falling or staying asleep, or experiencing good quality sleep. Some evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may help with sleep-related issues.

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.

This article discusses the research behind CBD and insomnia. 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.

A quick look at 5 of the best CBD products for insomnia

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

TermMeaning
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 will have a scannable smartphone code that directs people to the COA online.

Read more about terminology and other important CBD information here.

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

A 2019 study found that a CBD-rich treatment made improvements in the following health issues:

  • pain
  • anxiety
  • depression

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 different 2019 study on the effect of CBD on anxiety and sleep found that people taking between 300 to 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 impacted 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.

Below are five 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.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best starter gummies: Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies: Daily Wellness

  • Price: $44.99
  • Volume: 60 gummies
  • Type of CBD: full-spectrum
  • CBD dose: 15 mg

Each of these CBD gummies from Charlotte’s Web contains 15 mg of full-spectrum CBD.

This product contains a relatively low dose of CBD, meaning it may be a suitable choice for people using a CBD product for the first time.

Reviews are not available on Better Business Bureau. On Trustpilot, the company received an average customer rating of 2 out of 5 stars. Negative reviews mention poor customer service and lost products. However, positive reviews mention high quality products.

Learn more about Charlotte’s Web here.

Pros

  • more affordable than some brands
  • contains a dose of CBD suitable for those new to using CBD

Cons

  • limited online reviews
  • may contain THC

Best full-spectrum capsules: Cornbread Full Spectrum CBD Capsules

  • Price: $69.99
  • Volume: 750 mg
  • Type of CBD: full-spectrum
  • CBD dose: 25 mg

These capsules are a convenient way to take CBD. Each capsule contains 25 mg of CBD and 1 mg of THC. They also contain coconut oil. Due to the gelatin, they are not suitable for vegans.

The company claims that the ratio of THC and CBD can help a person fall asleep easier as well as reduce stress.

There are no reviews available on BBB, but on Trustpilot, the company has an average customer rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. The number of reviews is very limited.

Pros

  • convenient to take
  • may help with stress and sleep
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • flavorless

Cons

  • very limited online reviews
  • THC can show up on drug tests
  • unsuitable for vegans

Best organic CBD oil: FabCBD CBD Oil

  • Price: $99
  • Volume: 30 mL
  • Type of CBD: full-spectrum
  • CBD dose: 20 mg

FabCBD’s full-spectrum CBD oil offers 20 mg of CBD per dose.

The company states that it uses organic hemp and includes natural terpenes and cannabinoids in the formula. The oil may contain up to 0.3% THC. FabCBD also writes that this oil is pesticide- and GMO-free.

The company has no reviews on BBB, but on Trustpilot, it has an average customer rating of 4 out of 5 stars. However, the number of reviews is limited and may not represent the experience of a wide group of customers.

Pros

  • contains terpenes
  • GMO- and pesticide-free
  • organic

Cons

  • very limited online reviews
  • unsuitable for people with coconut or sunflower seed allergy

Best CBD bath bomb: Joy Organics CBD Bath Bombs

  • Price: $19.95
  • Volume: four bath bombs
  • Type of CBD: broad-spectrum
  • CBD dose: 25 mg

These CBD bath bombs from Joy Organics are an alternative way to try CBD. People can use these in a bath before bed to relax. It includes lavender alongside the 25 mg of CBD in each bath bomb.

Although it is a broad-spectrum CBD, Joy Organics writes that the formula does not contain THC.

This product may suit those who do not wish to consume CBD and those with sensitive skin who do not want to try topical CBD creams or oils, as any residue from the bath bomb will wash off the skin more easily.

There are just four reviews on Trustpilot for Joy Organics. The average rating is 3.4 out of 5 stars. Customers comment that the products can be low quality, but others praise the customer service team.

Pros

  • affordable
  • does not contain THC
  • may suit people who do not want to try edible or topical CBD
  • contains lavender

Cons

  • unsuitable for those with tree nut allergies
  • one strength available
  • limited online reviews

Best oil for easy absorption: 3Chi Natural CBD Oil

  • Price: from $49.99–279.99
  • Volume: 30 mL
  • Type of CBD: broad-spectrum
  • CBD dose: from around 3.3–166 mg per mL

3Chi describes this CBD oil as fast-acting. The company claims the MCT oil in the formula makes it easier to absorb.

It contains terpenes and the bottle includes a metered dropper so people can accurately measure their dose.

The company recommends a person keep this oil in the refrigerator to extend its useable life.

It contains up to 0.3% THC.

The company has a mixed reputation online. On Trustpilot, 3Chi has an average customer rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars. Customers note that while the customer service team is good and some of the company’s products work well, many people found 3Chi CBD to be low quality.

Pros

  • comes in a range of strengths
  • MCT oil may make it easier to absorb
  • includes terpenes

Cons

  • may contain THC
  • higher strengths are at higher price points
  • buyers need to keep it in the refrigerator
  • mixed online reviews

The table below provides a comparison of the different CBD products listed above.

Price Volume Type of CBD CBD dose
Charlotte’s Web$44.9960 gummiesfull-spectrum15 mg
Cornbread$69.99750 mgfull-spectrum25 mg
FabCBD$9930 mLfull-spectrum20 mg
Joy Organics$19.95four bath bombsbroad-spectrum25 mg
3Chifrom $49.99–279.9930 mLbroad-spectrumaround 3.3–166 mg

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 isolates or forms of CBD products that do not contain traceable THC levels.
  • Cost: Some CBD products can present higher price points, while others can present lower price points depending on how often a person uses them.
  • Formulation: Some people may prefer an oil they can massage into their skin, while others may prefer gummies or terpenes that they can take orally.
  • Reputation: Brand reputation and third-party testing are essential to reducing 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.
  • 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 insomnia.

What is the CBD oil dosage for insomnia?

One 2019 study suggests that an optimal CBD dosage may be between 300 and 600 mg. However, further scientific research is necessary to determine the ideal dosages and whether higher strengths can cause negative health effects.

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 or melatonin better 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.

Does taking CBD before bed help 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.