The time a person chooses to take cannabidiol (CBD) largely depends on their reason for using it and their personal preferences. Current evidence does not suggest there is a best time to use CBD.

CBD is one of over 500 compounds present in the cannabis plant. When a person takes CBD, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in their body. These receptors are a part of a person’s endocannabinoid system. This system plays a role in many bodily functions, including:

  • appetite
  • sensing pain
  • memory

According to a 2018 study, there are a number of reasons people take CBD, including:

A person may choose to use CBD at any time during the day, depending on what they are trying to treat and their own preferences.

In this article, we outline which times during the day a person may wish to take CBD.

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.

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Some reasons a person may opt for taking CBD in the morning include:

As a wake-inducing agent

There is some evidence that CBD may be an effective wake-inducing agent.

A 2015 review aimed to determine whether CBD had wake-inducing properties to help improve sleepiness. Researchers state that some studies suggest CBD helped increase wakefulness during sleeping time.

Researchers added that there was sufficient laboratory evidence that supported the wake-inducing properties of CBD. This evidence indicates a person may be able to take CBD in the morning to help them feel less sleepy and more alert.

However, other evidence suggests that CBD can have a sedative effect. This means taking CBD would instead make a person feel less awake and less alert. Therefore, more research is necessary to determine whether CBD is an effective treatment for sleepiness.

To reduce anxiety

Some people wake in the morning feeling anxious. Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • excessive worry about everyday things
  • inability to control feelings of nervousness or worry
  • restlessness
  • issues concentrating
  • problems falling asleep
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • stomachaches
  • irritability
  • frequent bathroom use

There is some evidence that CBD may be an effective treatment for anxiety. In a 2015 review, researchers evaluated 49 studies on the effectiveness of CBD in treating anxiety. Researchers concluded that there was plenty of evidence that CBD was an effective treatment for many anxiety disorders, including:

In a 2020 study, researchers evaluated the effects of CBD in 397 adults in New Zealand. Participants received CBD for a number of issues, one of which was anxiety. Participants overall reported improved:

  • quality of life
  • ability to carry out their usual activities
  • symptoms of anxiety or depression

Some reasons a person may choose to take CBD during the day include:

To treat seizures

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one cannabis-derived product for use in the United States: a prescription medication called Epidiolex. It can treat seizures that occur due to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex.

When using Epidiolex, a person will follow the dosage guidance their doctor recommends. Typically, this is a starting dose of 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) two times per day. After 1 week, this may increase to 5 mg/kg two times per day.

To treat migraine

Migraine is a medical condition that causes severe, recurring headaches and other symptoms. Migraine episodes can occur at any point in the day and can last for several days. This can affect a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks.

A 2017 review looked into the use of cannabis for treating headache disorders. Researchers concluded that cannabis may help treat migraine. However, CBD may cause different effects than cannabis, meaning more studies are necessary to determine whether it is an effective treatment for migraine.

Some reasons a person may choose to use CBD at night include:

To help improve sleep

There is some evidence that CBD can help improve sleep. A 2019 review aimed to determine whether CBD helped improve anxiety and sleep. In one crossover study that compared CBD with the insomnia medication nitrazepam, researchers found that high doses of CBD helped increase the duration of sleep.

Cortisol is a hormone that some people call the “stress hormone.” Some studies associate high levels of cortisol at night with an increased number of nighttime awakenings. The 2019 review added that another crossover study suggested that an oral dose of 300–600 mg of CBD can help decrease cortisol levels and provide a sedative effect.

However, more research is necessary to determine whether CBD is effective in helping improve sleep.

A person can consider their reason for taking CBD when deciding what time to take the product. When taking CBD products that the FDA has not regulated, a person should be aware that mislabeling and contamination are fairly common. This can cause a number of issues, including:

  • the product containing an incorrect strength of CBD compared to what the label states
  • the product containing undeclared THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis
  • contamination of the product with pesticides, metals, and solvents

When deciding on a CBD product, a person should aim to:

  • consider U.S. products that companies have manufactured using ingredients that are grown domestically
  • consider CBD from manufacturers that follow good practices that the FDA has established for pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements
  • choose products from companies that provide certificates of analysis from independent labs that use validated, standardized testing methods
  • avoid companies that claim their products have benefits for disease
  • be aware that people selling CBD products are not necessarily healthcare professionals

Additionally, a person should always consult with their doctor before taking a CBD product. A doctor can provide guidance on using CBD and make sure CBD is safe to take. CBD can interact with any other medications a person is currently taking.

Click here to learn more about what to consider when purchasing CBD.

There are many possible reasons a person may take CBD. The reason a person is taking CBD and their own preferences may affect what time of day they choose to take it. Current evidence does not suggest there is a best time to take CBD.

A person may wish to take CBD in the morning if they want to feel more awake and alert or to help manage their anxiety. Throughout the day, a person may wish to use CBD to treat certain epilepsy seizures or migraine. If a person has poor sleep, they may wish to use CBD at night to improve their sleep.

Additionally, the FDA does not regulate most CBD products. As such, this means it is recommended a person consults a healthcare professional before using any CBD products, especially if they take any medications or supplements.