Cbd oil dosage for anxiety and sleep

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.

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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.

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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.

How To Use CBD To Help Alleviate Anxiety

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Table of Contents

  • CBD for Anxiety
  • How to Use CBD for Anxiety
  • CBD Dosage for Anxiety
  • Potential Risks and Side Effects

While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can have a bad rap for being intoxicating and anxiety-inducing, cannabidiol (CBD) can actually be used to relieve anxiety. Research supports this benefit, with several studies reinforcing the positive effects CBD can have on various anxiety conditions. In fact, 51% of U.S. adults who use CBD do so to help alleviate their anxiety, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.

CBD isn’t yet legally cleared as an anxiolytic, or anxiety relief medication. Therefore, it’s up to you—and, ideally, a doctor who specializes in cannabis administration—to determine whether CBD is a safe treatment for your anxiety.

Here’s what the science says regarding CBD’s anxiolytic properties, along with experts’ dosage guidelines and advice on how to take CBD safely.

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CBD for Anxiety

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve any CBD-based medications for anxiety. However, many studies indicate the substance can be an effective anxiolytic.

CBD for Generalized Anxiety

In 2011, a small trial-tested CBD on participants with generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD) and healthy control patients undergoing a simulated public speaking test (SPST), which is a common anxiety testing method [1] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226. . Compared to a placebo, CBD significantly reduced anxiety and discomfort in the participants with SAD. In fact, their reduced anxiety levels were comparable to those of the control participants.

Eight years later, a 2019 test compared the efficacy of three CBD doses (150 milligrams, 300 milligrams and 600 milligrams) and a placebo in men taking an SPST [2] Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999). 2019;41(1):9-14. . Compared to a placebo, 300 milligrams of CBD significantly reduced participants’ anxiety during the speech, but the 150-milligram and 600-milligram doses did not. These results highlight how dosage can be highly variable and that more CBD isn’t necessarily more effective.

Meanwhile, another 2019 study tested CBD in much lower doses than most other clinical studies—some participants consumed 25 milligrams a day while others consumed 50 milligrams or 75 milligrams a day [3] Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. . Researchers thought higher doses might be too expensive for participants to maintain in their normal lives and that low doses would still prove effective. Indeed, anxiety decreased within the first month for most participants and remained low. Sleep quality also improved, although it fluctuated more than anxiety. Only three patients reported side effects.

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CBD for Anxiety and Depression

In 2020, researchers tested the effects of CBD oil at varying doses across 397 patients with a variety of ailments [4] Gulbransen G, Xu W, Arroll B. Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand. BJGP Open. 2020;4(1):bjgpopen20X101010. . Participants with non-cancer pain or mental health-related symptoms experienced significant improvement in anxiety and depression, as well as in their abilities to complete their usual activities. The use of CBD oil suggested significant pain relief in these groups as well.

CBD for PTSD and Phobia Therapy

A small 2019 study of 11 patients found that, when consumed orally and administered alongside routine psychiatric care, CBD decreased patients’ posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity [5] Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N. Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. J Altern Complement Med. 2019;25(4):392-397. .

Other studies suggest CBD can reduce PTSD symptoms when consumed with THC [6] Bitencourt RM, Takahashi RN. Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:502. . When taken together, the two compounds create what’s known as the “entourage effect,” where THC enhances the effects of CBD as CBD tempers the effects of THC, resulting in a more well-rounded experience [7] Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “Entourage Effect”. Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18(2):87-96. .

Some studies also suggest CBD can enhance the effects of exposure therapy—which assists patients in dissociating certain cues with a fear response—and cognitive behavioral therapy [8] Das RK, Kamboj SK, Ramadas M, et al. Cannabidiol enhances consolidation of explicit fear extinction in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013;226(4):781-792. [9] Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. .

How to Use CBD for Anxiety

Without clear FDA guidance, optimal CBD use for anxiety varies from person to person. You may find one method works better for you over another. You can consume CBD in the following forms:

  • Oils and tinctures, which come in dropper bottles and are consumed by mouth
  • Gummies, which are chewable, sweet and often fruit-flavored
  • Sprays, which come in bottles with a nozzle to be sprayed in the mouth
  • Capsules, softgels or tablets, which are taken individually by mouth like a pill
  • Vapes, which heat CBD oil without igniting it, resulting in an inhalable vapor
  • Flowers, which are dried hemp plants that are typically ignited and smoked
  • Creams and gels, which introduce CBD topically (through the skin) as a more localized treatment

You may have to try different forms to determine what works best in addressing your anxiety. For instance, when it comes to the absorption of CBD in your bloodstream, vaping and smoking are more effective than edibles like gummies.

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

You also have to find the right CBD dosage for your anxiety. Experts suggest starting small and working your way up depending on how your body reacts.

Many clinical trials jump right to testing high doses. Successful doses evaluated for anxiety relief specifically include:

  • 600 milligrams in patients with SAD in a speech simulation [10] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226.
  • 300 milligrams in male patients in a speech simulation [11] Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999). 2019;41(1):9-14.

However, other trials suggest much lower doses are also quite effective in treating anxiety.

  • 25 to 75 milligrams for generalized anxiety and/or sleep problems [12] Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041.
  • 33 to 49 milligrams a day for PTSD, in addition to routine psychiatric treatment [13] Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N. Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. J Altern Complement Med. 2019;25(4):392-397.

Another study involving hundreds of patients noted success with doses from 40 milligrams to 300 milligrams a day, further supporting the idea that CBD dosage varies significantly, depending on a person’s symptoms and physiology.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

The World Health Organization deems CBD a safe and generally well-tolerated substance. Studies report very few adverse effects, if any.

However, taking CBD while on other medications may pose a risk, as these substances may interact and cause unwanted effects, such as weight gain, drowsiness, upset stomach and change in appetite.

Cheryl Bugailiskis, M.D., a cannabis specialist at Heally, a telehealth platform for alternative medicine, also warns people with preexisting liver injuries and people taking medications that can cause liver injuries should practice caution when using CBD.