Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well.
The extract known as CBD oil sold falls into one of two categories. Crystalline isolate exclusively contains CBD, as other cannabinoids have been removed; full spectrum oil, on the other hand, retains THC and other cannabinoids, and is only sold in states where marijuana use has been legalized. CBD oil can be consumed several different ways, including ingested capsules and food products, vaporizing, tinctures, and topical creams. The soporific effects of CBD oil are linked to its concentration; low-concentration oils will produce minimal effects, while high-concentration oils will produce strong effects.
This guide will discuss the benefits of CBD oil for people with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
CBD Oil Shopper’s Guide
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
CBD can enter the body in many ways, including as an oil extract. This guide will discuss how CBD oils help induce sleep in users, explore safety and legal concerns associated with these products, share some tips for first-time buyers, and list our picks for the top CBD oils for sleep that are sold today.
Please note: CBD oil derived from marijuana is subject to stricter state and federal laws than oil derived from hemp. As a result, the former is more difficult to legally obtain in certain parts of the world than the latter. For this reason, our recommendations in this guide will exclusively focus on hemp-based CBD oils.
What Is CBD Oil?
First, a disclaimer: While we at cbdweedshop.com strive to provide information that will make our readers sleep better, our guides should never replace the recommendations of a licensed physician. Before trying CBD oil for the first time, please consult your doctor to ensure this product is right for you.
CBD is naturally occurring, and is among the largest cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. Some studies have revealed that CBD represents more than 40% of the hemp plant’s extract.
The human body also produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, in a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS promotes homeostasis by regulating a wide range of functions, including motor skills, mood, appetite, and sleep. As we age, our ECS produces fewer endocannabinoids; they may also decrease due to physical injury or disease. Replenishing depleted endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help restore balance to the body.
As a rule, CBD oil extracted from hemp will contain no more than 0.2% THC and have no psychoactive effects; when extracted from cannabis, CBD oil may contain as much as 30% THC — and carry potentially strong psychoactive effects.
CBD oils extracted from hemp generally fall into one of the following categories:
DRUG TEST RISK?
|Crystalline Isolate||Oil is extracted from cannabis plant, then allowed to cool; this isolates the CBD from other cannabinoids
The oil forms crystals and is crushed into a powder
|None||White and twinkly||No|
|Full Spectrum Oil||Oil is extracted from the cannabis plant
Oil is not cooled, allowing it to retain THC and other cannabinoids
|0.2% or less||Yellow and translucent||Yes|
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil can be consumed in several different ways. These include:
- Capsule: CBD oils may be manufactured as small capsules that are orally ingested.
- Tincture: Another form of oral CBD oil ingestion is the tincture, often used as a food additive. Tinctures are sold in dropper bottles; most users place one or two drops beneath their tongue for several minutes in order to experience the full effects. Tinctures normally have stronger concentrations compared to other CBD products.
- Vapor: CBD vapor (also known as ‘vape’ or ‘vape juice’) is heated and inhaled using a vaporizer pen or e-cigarette. Concentrations vary.
- Spray: CBD oil can be ingested as an oral spray. Sprays tend to have lower concentrations compared to other CBD products.
- Topical: This form of CBD oil is applied directly to the skin; it usually has the consistency of lotion.
CBD oil may be unscented (‘natural’) or manufactured in different flavors, such as peppermint, vanilla, lavender, and cinnamon.
The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
How much CBD oil you should take largely depends on your bodyweight, as well as the desired effects. The next table breaks down the effects of different doses based on these two factors. Always consult your physician to determine the best dosage for you.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE FOR MILD EFFECTS
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE FOR MODERATE EFFECTS
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE FOR STRONG EFFECTS
|Light (less than 130 pounds)||11 mg or less||12 to 14 mg||15 to 17 mg|
|Medium (130 to 230 pounds)||18 mg or less||15 to 23 mg||18 to 28 mg|
|Heavy (more than 230 pounds)||23 mg or less||24 to 30 mg||29 to 45 mg|
Benefits of Using CBD Oil
CBD oil alleviates physical pain and anxiety – both of which can have a negative impact on sleep. Additionally, CBD oil can actually prolong sleep for some, leading to more rest from night to night. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for individuals with medical conditions and/or mental health disorders, as the THC can increase their symptoms; this makes CBD oil a good alternative option for people with the following sleep disorders and medical conditions.
- Insomnia: The anxiety-alleviating and sleep-prolonging qualities of CBD oil make it a good option for many people with insomnia. Those who experience insomnia due to pain or discomfort may also find that using CBD oil alleviates their physical symptoms to a noticeable extent. CBD oil may also promote daytime wakefulness when taken in small amounts; people with insomnia can use it as a pick-me-up if they feel excessively tired due to lack of restful sleep.
- REM behavior disorder: REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia disorder characterized by shouting, becoming physically agitated, or otherwise acting out during sleep. For many, RBD is a symptom of a larger, more serious condition or disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or PTSD. CBD oil minimizes the symptoms of RBD, and also alleviates the anxiety and painful symptoms that often accompany disorders that lead to RBD.
- Depression and anxiety: Both depression and anxiety disorder have been linked to sleep disruption. CBD oil can alleviate symptoms of these disorders because it activates serotonin receptors in the brain; the release of serotonin has soothing, anti-anxiety effects that can help people sleep.
- Chronic pain: The body’s ECS plays a role in alleviating and managing pain, so CBD oil can work as a supplement for individuals with medical conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil also increases levels of adenosine in the brain; adenosine is a neurotransmitter that aids cardiovascular function and eases painful inflammation.
- Epilepsy: CBD oil may be prescribed for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of severe epilepsy; the medication Epidiolex, a CBD oil oral solution, is typically prescribed in these instances. CBD oil can also ease the severity of seizures for people with other forms of epilepsy.
- Schizophrenia: Due to its anti-psychotic effects, non-THC CBD oil can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia and other disorders with psychotic effects.
However, please note that the medicinal effects of CBD oil have not been studied extensively. While many medical patients claim the oils improve sleep quality and duration, more clinical trials are needed to determine how and why these improvements occur – and if they are applicable to all individuals.
Additionally, CBD oil is also associated with some negative side effects. In the next section, we’ll look at some health risks associated with CBD oil.
Are CBD Oils Safe?
CBD oil is considered therapeutic and low-risk for most users. However, CBD oil may result in the following adverse effects:
- Inhibited liver function: The liver regulates the way different drugs are metabolized within the body; this process is known as hepatic drug metabolism. Higher-than-average doses of CBD oil can slow the hepatic drug metabolism process. As a result, users may not be able to process other drugs as quickly. This is particularly concerning for CBD oil users who also take prescription medications.
- Dry mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
- Decreased blood pressure: CBD oil may incite a small drop in blood pressure immediately after it is consumed; this may also cause the user to feel lightheaded. These effects typically wear off within hours, although people who take prescription medication should check with their doctor to ensure the oil won’t counteract the effects of other drugs.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common side effect for people who take relatively large doses of CBD oil, and is linked to the substance interacting with the digestive system. Lowering oil doses often minimizes this effect.
- Changes in appetite: CBD oil may make users feel hungrier than usual, which is a common effect of most cannabinoids.
Where Can You Buy CBD Oil?
When purchasing hemp-derived CBD oil for sleep, you may be able to find products through one or more of the following establishments:
- Manufacturers: Most brands that make CBD oil allow customers to purchase products directly from them. Their websites have online shopping areas where products can be bought and ordered.
- Online retailers: Most CBD oils are sold through online retailers. These establishments tend to have the widest product range, and many offer free doorstep delivery. Online retailers also frequently post product reviews, allowing buyers to compare different oils based on customer experiences to determine which is best for them. These reviews can also be used to evaluate the retailer based on customer service, delivery, and product quality.
- Physical stores: Hemp-based CBD oils are often sold over the counter at certain brick-and-mortar establishments, including health supplement stores and head shops. Physical stores give buyers the full customer experience, and service staff can often provide helpful recommendations.
- Dispensaries: In states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, dispensaries are a common sight. They are much rarer in states with more restrictions. In states that permit the use of medical marijuana, hemp-based CBD oils do not normally require a prescription but marijuana-based oils do. Like brick-and-mortar locations, dispensaries offer more customer service. However, as noted, this may not be an option depending on the buyer’s state of residence. Also, CBD oil prices tend to be significantly higher at dispensaries.
How to Find High-Quality CBD Oil
Although price may be an indicator of CBD oil quality, we suggest researching the following factors to ensure the oil you select is considered high-quality.
- Extraction: The method by which CBD oil is processed from hemp plants can be very telling. Some manufacturers extract and process the oil using toxic materials like propane or butane; in most cases, these oils are cheaply priced. Safer extraction and processing agents include ethanol, which cleans the hemp plant of unwanted toxins; and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, which strips harmful materials from the plant by changing the carbon dioxide’s temperature and pressure settings.
- Where the hemp is grown: Like other crops, hemp plants may become contaminated with metals, minerals, and other materials found in the soil where they are grown. Consumers should learn more about farms where hemp plants are grown – and ensure the soils used at these establishments are free of harmful contaminants.
- Third-party testing: Once a CBD oil is manufactured, CBD oil companies will often submit their products for third-party tests, which are conducted by non-company personnel to ensure the product is safe for public consumption and meets quality standards.CBD oils should always be accompanied with information about third-party tests; best practice is to avoid oils that do not supply these details.
- Lab results: These fine-print details are often included with CBD oils to back up third-party testing claims. General rule of thumb: while the results may be indecipherable to laypeople, oils that include lab results are generally better than those that do not list this information.
It’s also important to select CBD oil products based on your concentration preferences. Some forms of CBD oil – such as vapors and tinctures – normally have higher-than-average concentrations, whereas sprays and topicals tend to have lower concentrations. Remember: higher concentration means more pronounced effects, but not necessarily mean higher quality.
Important Considerations for CBD Oil Shoppers
As noted in the previous section, CBD oil prices vary significantly by brand. The best practice for most is to determine a per-milligram budget for CBD oil, as well as a maximum price for the entire bottle. For example, you might decide that 10 cents per milligram or less is a reasonable budget; and that $45 (for a 450-mg concentration, based on the budget) is a maximum bottle price. Also, if ordering online, be sure to include potential shipping costs.
Weight plays a role in the effects of CBD oil, and bottle size should be selected based on how much you weigh. Let’s say you weigh less than 130 pounds and desire light CBD oil effects; this means that 11 mg or less will probably suffice per dose, giving roughly 40 doses from a 450-mg concentration. If you weigh more than 230 pounds and desire strong effects, then this same concentration will supply roughly 10 doses.
If the answer is yes, then full spectrum CBD oils may not be a feasible option due to their THC content; although these oils contain trace amounts of THC, this may lead to a failed drug test. Crystalline isolate oils, on the other hand, contain no THC and will not compromise drug tests in any way.
If yes, please be aware of the counteractive effects CBD oils can have on the liver’s ability to process different types of medication.
Third-party testing information is vital for consumers; any CBD oils that do not supply these details should be avoided. Lab results are not as crucial, but may indicate a higher-quality product if they are included.
Both online and brick-and-mortar experiences carry pros and cons for CBD oil shoppers. However, it’s important to note that online sales will be the only feasible option in many states.
In addition to natural, unscented CBD oils, many oils come in different flavors. This factor boils down to personal preference — although the flavor selection will be broader with some brands than others.
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