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Does CBD Oil Make You Sleepy?

CBD oil has many benefits, but will it make you feel tired? Tons of people use CBD as a sleep aid but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will make you tired. The reason it helps support a regular sleep schedule is that it reduces pain and anxiety.

It’s not a sleeping pill and it doesn’t have the psychoactive properties of THC, another compound found in the cannabis plant. Taking CBD oil won’t make you pass out but fatigue can be an occasional side effect.

Your personal condition is the biggest factor. If you’ve been losing lots of sleep because of soreness or anxiety and start a CBD regimen, it’s likely you could feel sleepy when you’re more relaxed. Read on to find out what you need to know about CBD and when it’s most likely to make you feel tired.

What Is In CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, frequently shortened to CBD, is a chemical compound within the cannabis plant, well-known for being the source of marijuana. Unlike marijuana, which is made from the parts of the cannabis plant that contain the highest amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t get you high. Researchers have found time and again that it doesn’t create dependency the way alcohol and other drugs can.

Medicinal cannabis with extract oil in a bottle

CBD oil is made by infusing oil with part of the cannabis plant. The CBD is most commonly taken out of the plant using a method called CO2 extraction. During this process, a chamber is filled with carbon dioxide and then pressurized so that the CO2 turns to liquid and absorbs the cannabis.

When the carbon dioxide is turned into a gas again, all that’s left is liquified CBD that retains the hemp’s oils. They may further refine the CBD with alcohol sometimes and add ingredients for flavor and additional health benefits, but there isn’t much in CBD oil other than that.

Remember that different companies have their own extraction and blending methods to achieve their goals. While the system for most CBD manufacturers is more or less the same, you should do some research on the brand’s website to find out what their particular methods are.

CBD Oil And Your Brain

If you’ve looked into CBD oil at all, you already know its various benefits. Reducing stress, anxiety, and pain are some of the most common reasons people use it. But how does CBD oil work, exactly? This is where discussions of hemp, cannabis, and CBD get most interesting.

Researchers are still working to find out exactly how this plant works and why it has the effect it does on the human brain. THC has psychoactive properties but the effects of cannabis and its extracts extend beyond that. Here are a few of the benefits of CBD:

  • Blunts some effects of chronic pain
  • Helps overcome drug addiction
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Reduces severity of depression and anxiety
  • Treatment against epilepsy, glaucoma, and muscle spasms
  • Potential guard against acne and anorexia

Your body has a dedicated endocannabinoid system that plays a big role in your central nervous system and your body’s response to external stimuli. In this system, endocannabinoids bind to  the B1 and B2 to produce a variety of different responses, such as pain relief or supporting processes in your digestive and immune systems.

Endocannabinoid receptors are located all over your body. Cells in your immune system and neurons in your brain both contain them. The high number of receptors is the reason the ECS has such wide-ranging effects. Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve served their purpose.

Since the endocannabinoids are broken down and leave the body fairly quickly, consuming them is seen as a likely safer alternative to benzodiazepines or opioids. CBD products provide endocannabinoids in a safe way to stimulate the endocannabinoid system without psychoactive effects.

Does CBD Help You Sleep Better?

While we’re talking about CBD making you sleepy, we should take time to point out that it is a great sleep aid for many people for a variety of reasons. Some researchers have come to view the ECS as the body’s regulator. It’s main aim seems to be homeostasis, which is an equilibrium within the body. When your body isn’t dealing with outside threats or internal responses like a fever, it’s easier to sleep. 

The other way CBD use can help you get a better night’s sleep is by regulating the sleep cycle. Your sleep cycle has five stages and products extracted from the hemp plant appear to put people into the deeper stages of sleep and allow them to sleep more restfully over time.

CBD’s effect on serotonin receptors has also been found to have antidepressant quality depending on how much serotonin is already present in the body. In test subjects that had high levels of serotonin, ingesting CBD had similar effects to antidepressants called fluoxetine and desipramine.

Some things to consider about research on the effects of CBD on sleep quality is that research participants in these studies usually have lasting or chronic sleep disorders. The information gained is applicable to people with high anxiety and disorders like narcolepsy or insomnia, but for people who experience comparably simpler sleep issues their effect is likely to be more limited.

Another factor is that most studies work with a low CBD dosage. By and large, they are concerned only with CBD and not with other cannabinoids like THC or CBN. This is most likely due to limits imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the illegality of many parts of the marijuana plant by state and federal legislatures.

Nonetheless, studies involving high doses and full-spectrum CBD would be more instructive. We could learn more about what types of CBD are most effective for promoting better sleep and why. A broad spectrum of CBD products such as creams, edibles, softgels, medical marijuana, tinctures, and terpenes would give a comprehensive look at the issue.

Does CBD Make You Sleepy?

Now we know that CBD has an overall positive effect on people with health conditions and sleep issues like narcolepsy and insomnia. It also helps with pain relief and may support mental health for people suffering from anxiety. But will CBD make you sleepy if you take it recreationally or for pain relief?

Let’s deep dive into a small part of the science behind CBD and sleep. In one study, 300 to 600 mg of oral CBD were found to have reduced plasma cortisol levels in participants. Plasma cortisol is a hormone that comes from your adrenal gland. It fights infections, regulates blood sugar levels, and plays a role in your body’s stress response.

Normally, people have the highest levels of plasma cortisol in the morning and the lowest around midnight. Interestingly, the hours around midnight have also been found to be the time when the greatest number of people report deep sleep and REM sleep. In other words, the high doses of oral CBD created the kind of conditions that help your body sleep.

The participants in that study did get a sedative effect from the high doses of CBD. But remember that they were taking the kind of high doses that doctors recommend for people with serious medical issues like schizophrenia and epilepsy. Depending on factors like your body weight, body chemistry, and the concentration of your CBD source, you might need as little as 5 mg per day when you first start taking CBD.

In that case, the sedative effect of CBD might be the negative effect of taking too much of a good thing. The bad reputation both CBD oil and other extractions from the hemp plant get is probably because recreational use of these products can easily exceed the levels recommended by medical researchers and hemp product manufacturers.

That’s not to say that it won’t make you sleepy at all, particularly since an individual’s body could respond differently to these products. For some people, CBD has little to no effect at all. Others find it to be indispensable for treating anxiety and sleep disorders.

In a perfect world where all conditions are agreeable and you’re fairly well rested, taking a low dose of CBD oil will not make you sleepy. But if you’re tired or have been losing sleep because of pain, anxiety, or any of the other things CBD is used to treat, you could find yourself experiencing drowsiness once those negative feelings are reduced.

Environmental Factors & Side Effects Of CBD Oil

Besides the amount you take and your body’s response to it, there are some other side effects and environmental factors that could make you feel sleepy after you take CBD oil. This is the less scientific part of the issue but it’s important to remember anyway.

Think about why CBD oil appeals to you in the first place. For a great number of people, the hectic pace of everyday life creates anxiety. High stress robs you of sleep and has other negative effects on your body. Resolving or reducing those negative effects with a CBD regimen could create the perfect conditions for you to catch up on missed sleep.

If you work long hours during the week, taking some CBD oil on a rare day off could let you drop right off to sleep. It’s the removal of stress factors and the soothing effect CBD has on the endocannabinoid system that send you off to dreamland by way of the sofa.

CBD oil doesn’t cause the munchies like marijuana and other full-spectrum products sometimes do. But if you’re getting your CBD by way of medical marijuana or a product with more than one extract from the hemp plant, you could get to feeling snacky. Eating a lot usually causes sleepiness.

Plus, anxiety and stress might keep you from eating as you normally would. If CBD removes or reduces the negative feelings you have and puts you at ease enough, you might discover you’re hungry from an irregular meal schedule.

Unless you’ve been really ignoring your appetite or stress has thoroughly blunted it, then regaining a healthy eating routine probably won’t knock you out every time. But when you first find that you’re at ease enough to eat, it’s reasonable to expect you might overindulge and need a post-meal nap.

If you’re mixing your CBD oil intake with melatonin to sleep better, make sure you experiment to find the right dose for you. Taking melatonin and not getting enough sleep could make you feel sleepy. Most of the side effects attributed to CBD oil are the kind that can just as easily be attributed to your environment and the situation you’re in.

When you feel more relaxed, all the weariness caused by a busy schedule or life in general could hit you. The essential answer is that CBD oil itself won’t make you drowsy, but the pain and anxiety reduction from taking it generally creates better conditions for sleep.

How To Avoid Drowsiness With CBD Oil

The best way to avoid drowsiness when you take CBD oil is to take the right dose. Some people can handle a lot and others will be laid out if they overdo it. Body size plays a big role here. When you first begin taking CBD oil, start small. 5 mg is usually a good place to start, but you can also start lower and work your way up to higher doses until the effects are noticable. 

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Consider using CBD gummies that list their contents if you aren’t comfortable measuring. They’re also super convenient if you just prefer not to have to measure or need a way to take your CBD on the go. Find the right time of day to take the CBD as well. Some people like it in the morning with their coffee while others take it with melatonin at night. Your existing sleep schedule is an important consideration. 

It’s probably going to be most advantageous to take your CBD doses around the same time each day, especially if your schedule is generally pretty regular. Finally, account for your goals with CBD oil. If you’re using it for pain relief, you won’t always be able to schedule your doses because you’ll probably take it when pain flares up.

If you want to reduce anxiety, you could be in a similar situation. For those who just want to sleep in or get more restful sleep, the nighttime routine makes more sense, although some people find more peace overall when they take CBD in the morning. 


Whichever way you take your CBD oil, you can count on many health benefits including reduced stress, pain relief, and a better night’s sleep. CBD oil isn’t psychoactive and it won’t knock you out. In fact, you need to take a really high dose for CBD to make you significantly drowsy.

Start slow and learn how your body handles CBD oil. Particularly if you’re losing sleep because of recurring symptoms that the oil reduces or gets rid of, you could find yourself wanting to sleep after you take CBD oil. People respond differently to cannabinoid products.

Broadly speaking, though, the average user won’t see a serious amount of fatigue when they take CBD oil. It’s a great way to give your body what it needs to manage stress and handle pain better.

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