CBD Dosage for Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in life, from energy levels to mood and even immunity. In our stressed out, frenetic world, poor sleep is an epidemic.
Fortunately, CBD oil can be a huge help in improving sleep quality. The question is: What’s the right CBD dose? Unlike other sleep aids, CBD dosage is not one size fits all.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, a plant chemical derived from hemp or cannabis. CBD is a gentle, safe, and effective way to manage sleep disturbances. Whether your sleep disorder is due to stress, chronic pain, or some other sleep issue, CBD can help.
CBD comes in many forms, such as tinctures or capsules. Or you might prefer taking a CBD gummy before bedtime. The form of CBD and the dosage can impact its effectiveness, and it all differs from person to person. Read on to learn more about the science behind CBD dosage.
How much CBD should you take for sleep?
So how much CBD should you take for sleep? In the following sections, we will explore CBD dosage for different sleep issues, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. First, let’s briefly explore the differences between CBD product categories. CBD comes in different forms, including:
- CBD oil/tincture
- CBD gummy
- CBD capsule
- CBD vape
- Topical CBD balms or cream
Certain types of CBD may work a little faster than others. A CBD oil or tincture isn’t digested the way a CBD gummy or capsule is. Topical CBD works on the muscles and joints it’s applied to–like hands, wrists, legs and your back. CBD topicals are helpful for sleep only in cases where a chronic, specific pain is causing sleep problems.
While the overall CBD dose is usually the same for different types of CBD, you might find one form works better for you, with perhaps a slight adjustment in dosage.
You should also understand the difference between broad spectrum CBD, full spectrum CBD and pure CBD. Pure CBD contains the CBD (cannabidiol) isolate only, while broad and full spectrum CBD contains additional cannabinoid phytochemicals such as terpenes that add additional benefit to your CBD sleep aid.
With all that in mind, your individual CBD dose depends in part on your body weight. However, body weight is not the only factor in CBD dosage. Each individual has a unique “endocannabinoid” system that reacts uniquely to CBD levels. Thus, use your body weight only as a starting point.
A CBD dosage calculator makes this easy, and many are available for free online. Some calculators will also translate milligrams into milliliters or even “drops,” so you can apply the calculation to your CBD tincture.
How long does it take for CBD to kick in for sleep?
If you aren’t getting enough sleep , you may be feeling desperate for a fast-acting solution. CBD won’t cure your insomnia overnight, but it can help reset your sleep patterns to allow you get the sleep your mind and body need. However, you need to be patient. In research done to determine CBD’s effectiveness for insomnia, most subjects saw a positive difference in their sleep after a few weeks or a month.
Fortunately, the overall results from research seem promising. In one study , almost 80 percent of patients experienced relief from anxiety and over 66 percent experienced improved sleep after taking 25 mg of CBD in a capsule daily.
The important distinction to make between CBD and your average sleeping pill is that CBD does not work like a sedative. CBD won’t “knock you out” instantly like prescription hypnotics. Instead, CBD works to help regulate stress hormones such as cortisol, as well as reduce pain and anxiety, both of which negatively impact sleep. In short, CBD works more to alleviate the causes of insomnia than simply create a state of artificial unconsciousness like a sleeping pill.
Therefore, while CBD can create a mild relaxing effect before bedtime, you don’t need to take it before bed for it to be effective for sleep. Additionally, it won’t make you “instantly” fall asleep like a traditional sedative.
How much CBD oil can you take before bed?
CBD oil can be very helpful for improving sleep. As a liquid, it can be easily assimilated. So how much can you take before bed? The safe upper limit of CBD for humans according to research is approximately 1,500 mg, which is quite high. In all likelihood you won’t need that much, and the averaged recommended CBD dosage is anywhere from 20 to 40 mg.
You can take CBD oil right before bed or during the day for sleep problems. The main reason to take CBD oil before bed is for anxiety relief. Either way, take the same dosage you would take during the daytime. Remember, sometimes less is more with CBD. If going above a certain dosage of CBD makes you feel too “amped,” you should dial the dose back.
What can you expect when taking CBD gummies for sleep?
CBD gummies are another great way to help improve sleep. While they may be a bit slower for the body to digest than a liquid such as a tincture, they are popular for a number of reasons. Many people just like the taste and texture of gummies and prefer them to CBD tinctures for this reason. They are also convenient and can be less messy.
CBD gummies do need to be digested, unlike tinctures, so if taking them right before bed gets your stomach churning, you might switch to a liquid delivery system. Try taking gummies an hour or two before bed instead of right before you turn off the lights. Otherwise, if your stomach is fine, CBD gummies are a great way to help you calm down and prepare for sleep. (Our scientifically formulated CALM gum drops also include terpenes to provide a powerful sleep aid.)
Wisdom Essentials CALM Gum Drops
How do you determine CBD dosage for insomnia?
CBD has been shown to help insomniacs in many research studies. CBD for insomnia is a natural alternative to harsh, possibly addictive sleeping pills, some of which have dangerous and scary side effects.
What types of CBD are best for insomnia?
In general, CBD topicals such as pain creams are not ideal for sleep disturbances such as insomnia, unless the entire problem is due to pain in a specific area. CBD topicals don’t work systemically, so they only work as localized pain killers.
If you want to improve your REM sleep and get on a better sleep cycle, CBD edibles are preferred. CBD oil, especially in a tincture, can be a great CBD product to alleviate insomnia. You might also try a CBD gummy. Look for broad-spectrum CBD that contains additional cannabinoids and terpenes for the most powerful effect.
What are the best CBD dosages for insomnia?
The CBD dosage for insomnia is pretty much the same dosage you would use for any other type of sleep disorder. If the insomnia is severe, you might be tempted to take a lot more CBD right off the bat, but the maximum CBD dosage may not be necessary to quell your sleepless nights.
In fact, too much CBD isolate can sometimes create the opposite effect in some people. In other words, up to a certain dosage level, the CBD will be calming and relaxing. But once a certain threshold is hit (which is usually fairly high, so don’t worry), the CBD ends up making some people more anxious and wound up.
Our suggestion is to start with one dropper of DREAM and adjust from there based on your results.
How do you take CBD for insomnia if you’re taking other medications?
CBD can interact with certain medications, so please talk to your doctor first before starting a CBD regimen. If you want to replace your sleep medication with CBD, you should also consult with your doctor first.
What is the CBD dosage for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is sometimes a life-threatening sleep disorder that involves a temporary breathing stoppage in the middle of the night. While there are three types of sleep apnea , the most common and well known is obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is when the airway partially or fully closes, stopping the free flow of air to the lungs. It can occur due to genetic structural differences in the oral, throat, and nasal cavities as well as conditions such as obesity and even alcoholism. This can obviously impact sleep negatively by interrupting REM sleep, disrupting the sleep cycle, and reducing sleep quality.
What does the evidence suggest about the effects of CBD on sleep apnea?
The research on CBD for apnea is quite promising and shows that CBD can help with sleep problems due to sleep apnea, such as insomnia.
How does CBD treat sleep apnea symptoms?
CBD cannot cure the cause of sleep apnea if it is due to a structural issue in the throat. However, it can help relax the sufferer, which will make it easier to initially fall asleep and fall back asleep if an apnea episode occurs. Unlike cannabis, CBD won’t make you high, which can cause anxiety in some people and why medical marijuana might not be an option for certain sleep apnea patients.
What are the best CBD dosages for sleep apnea?
As with insomnia and general sleep disturbances, CBD dosage for sleep apnea is individual. You do not need to take extra CBD as a sleep aid for apnea; just the regular dose you would take otherwise will do. Remember, take an internal CBD edible, oil, or tincture instead of an external CBD cream.
What is the best CBD dosage to improve sleep quality?
Even if you don’t have a serious sleep problem such as sleep apnea, you might still benefit from a CBD product as a sleep aid. Recent research suggests as much as 60 percent or more of Americans don’t feel adequately rested upon waking, and this dramatically impacts productivity.
Sleep quality is an important factor in how well rested we are each morning. Quality is all about the depth of your sleep and how restful it was. Sleep quality is just as, if not more, important than sleep quantity. If you are “sleeping” for twelve hours, but much of it involves tossing and turning as opposed to actually sleeping, that’s not good sleep.
One of the main culprits is stress. Chronic stress can disrupt REM sleep and destabilize the entire sleep cycle. Each night, we need to have a balance of REM sleep and deep sleep in order to wake up feeling energized and ready to start the day. REM sleep (REM stands for “rapid eye movement”) helps us to process the events of the day. Poor sleep interrupts that critical process.
How do you find out what dosage of CBD you need for the best sleep?
CBD dosage is as much of an art as a science. As a consistent CBD user, you will probably figure out over time which type of CBD you prefer, whether it’s CBD oil or a CBD gummy, as well as what dose works best. We recommend keeping a sleep log that tracks your sleep quality along with your CBD dosage to find that happy sweet spot for your particular needs.
How do you improve the results of using CBD for sleep quality?
While the CBD isolate in and of itself can generate better sleep, you can often get even better results when using CBD and melatonin . The two combined work synergistically to help reset the sleep cycle and reduce pain and anxiety that might negatively impact sleep.
Should you increase your CBD dosage for sleep if you think it’s not working?
You should start your CBD dosage off at the lowest level and see how you feel for a few weeks. Then, slowly increase the dosage. Back off and reduce the dosage if you start getting any side effects such as upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, irritability, or more anxiety.
Can high-quality CBD help improve sleep?
Finally, we believe that CBD dosage won’t matter if the CBD isn’t of the best quality. Fortunately, our team at Wisdom Essentials has put together the highest-quality CBD products for sleep based on botanical science. Our physician-formulated Wisdom Essentials DREAM tincture leverages the power of CBD along with melatonin and natural sleep-promoting terpenes.
Check out our online store for high-quality CBD products with melatonin to promote optimal sleep.
What Dosage of CBD Should You Take?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight
CBD is available in a number of different formulations including creams, tablets, oils, and gummies. These can vary in terms of their ingredients as well as dosages, and there is not a great deal of research available on what dose might be beneficial or safe to treat certain conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.
CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.
In order to determine if CBD is right for you, it is important to consider its potential benefits, side effects, and available research on safe dosages.
CBD is just one of hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has been used in holistic medicine for many years, only recently have researchers begun to explore some of the medicinal purposes for CBD and other cannabinoids.
While further research is still needed, there is some evidence that CBD may have some beneficial mental health effects. These include:
- Alleviating depression: Some research also indicates that CBD may be useful as a treatment for depression. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid might have an influence on how the brain responds to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood. People with depression sometimes have a low level of serotonin, so CBD may help the brain use available serotonin more effectively.
- Improving sleep: While the reasons are not entirely understood and require further research, CBD also appears to have potential as a treatment for sleep problems. For example, one study found that people who took CBD also reported improvements in the quality of their sleep.
- Reducing anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health conditions, affecting almost 20% of American adults each year. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate acute symptoms of a number of anxiety-related conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
In addition to the mental health benefits, CBD may also have therapeutic benefits for a range of other conditions. The World Health Organization suggests that CBD may have beneficial effects in the treatment of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
It is important to remember that these benefits have not yet been conclusively proven. More research is needed to determine the role that CBD might play in the treatment of different disorders and health conditions.
There have been a number of studies that suggest that CBD may have a number of different physical and mental health uses. However, more research is still needed to better understand the substance’s potential applications and possible long-term side effects.
A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies. The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean that CBD isn’t effective. Many of the studies that were included in the review were small, had few participants, and were not randomized controlled trials.
This suggests that more research involving more participants and well-designed studies is needed in order to better understand if, how, and why CBD works.
While its effectiveness is still up for debate, one 2017 review found that it was a relatively safe option. While it is important to remember that there is still a great deal we don’t yet know about CBD and its effects, it is something that you might opt to try to see if you experience any benefits.
How Much Should You Take?
The dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. If you do decide to try CBD, it is also important to note that there is no universally agreed upon dose. Research also suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, so the amount that is right for your needs might vary.
Some dosages that have been used in research studies for different conditions include:
- Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
- Bowel disease: 10 mg per day
- Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
- Parkinson’s disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
- Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
- Psychosis: 600 mg per day
One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg. Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.
It is important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition. CBD could potentially worsen symptoms or interact with other medications you are taking.
Looking at the dosage information for the CBD product that has been FDA approved can also be helpful. For Epidiolex, an FDA-approved cannabis-derived medication used to treat seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy, the starting dosage is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dose can later be increased to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight twice a day.
Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.
- Assess your sensitivity to CBD: Your individual ability to tolerate CBD can also play a role in determining how much you need. If you are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, you should take a small dose. Some people may find that they are not as affected by the substance, so they may need to take a larger dose to notice any beneficial effects.
- Consider individual factors: When you are trying to decide how much CBD to take, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the formulation and concentration of the capsule, oil drops, or gummies you are taking, the symptoms you are treating, and your age, sex, weight, and overall health. Generally, people with heavier bodies need to take a little more to achieve the same effects. Men may need a larger dose, while older people may need less.
- Consider the symptoms you’re treating: The symptoms you are trying to alleviate can also play a role in the CBD dosage you need to take to see results. In one study, participants who took 25mg of CBD each day had improved sleep quality, although the results were not consistent. However, you might find that you need a lower or higher dose if you are treating another type of condition.
- Try a dosage calculator: Researchers note that while the variety of dosing strategies and formulations make it difficult to determine efficacy, there are a number of online “dose-calculators” available online (such as mydosage.com) that are designed to help people choose the correct dose. The accuracy of such calculators is difficult to assess, but it may be a good place to start.
Before you try CBD, discuss your plan with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a dose and help you better understand any potential risks, complications, side effects, or interactions you might experience.
Start With a Low Dose
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
If this dose does not have the desired effect, try increasing in increments of 5mg each week until the desired amount is reached.
In studies, amounts vary from as low as 20 milligrams per day to up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. The World Health Organization reports that dosages in clinical research studies typically range between 100 and 800 milligrams per day.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
So what is the maximum amount of CBD you should take? Researchers have found that 600 mg per day appears to be safe, but one study suggested that doses of up to 1,500 mg a day are safe and tolerated well.
However, it’s important to remember that research is still in its infancy and experts do not yet fully understand the potential long-term impacts of CBD usage. For that reason, you should always discuss your CBD use with your doctor.
Starting at a lower dose and working your way up to the amount you need may be the best ways to avoid taking too much.
How to Take CBD
The amount of CBD found in a product may depend on different factors, including the formulation and method of administration. CBD products are available in a number of different forms including oils, capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies.
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is as an oil. Such products are made by combining CBD with some type of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Some more recently developed products include dietary supplements, foods, beverages, lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
The type of CBD product you choose may depend on what you are trying to treat. If you are looking for general mood improvements, a dietary supplement might be a good option.
If you are targeting specific symptoms of a condition, taking an oil, capsule, or gummy might be a better way to obtain a higher, more concentrated dose.
Topical applications may produce localized effects, but they are unlike to have any mental health benefits.
What Kind Should You Take?
It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available:
- Isolate contains CBD and only CBD.
- Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but not THC.
- Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
It may be helpful to take a broad-spectrum product since research suggests that CBD’s effects may be most beneficial when taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. CBD may also help mitigate some of the effects of THC.
While CBD is generally well-tolerated, this does not mean that you won’t experience any side effects.
Some of the most common side effects that people experience when taking CBD include:
- Appetite changes
- Stomach upset
- Weight changes
Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.
It is also important to remember that CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some manufacturers make unproven claims about the uses and efficacy of their products. There is also concern about the quality and safety of the products themselves.
One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a number of people experienced negative unwanted side effects due to CBD products that contained synthetic CBD, although the products were not labeled as containing such ingredients.
Mislabeling appears to be a fairly common problem with CBD products. In one study, 70% of the CBD products that were sold online contained significantly more of the psychoactive ingredient THC than the label indicated.
Federal law prohibits the sale of products that contain more than 0.3% THC. States laws also vary, so you should always check with your state before buying CBD products online.
A Word From Verywell
If you do decide to take CBD to alleviate an acute or chronic condition, remember that the amount that you take will depend on a variety of factors. Finding the right dosage often takes some experimentation and adjustments. Starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing the amount you take until you achieve the desired effects is the best approach.