Disclaimer. Before we reveal our selections for the 5 Best CBD Oils for sleep, we would like to state one thing: it is still not scientifically “proven” as to whether CBD truly helps to aid sleep, insomnia, or any other condition. Many patients have sworn by CBD, claiming that it has changed their lives, but these claims have yet to be backed by concrete academic evidence or clinical trials. This means that you should consult with your doctor before using CBD – if it works for you and provides you with a sense of relief, however, then who are we to judge. We live by it 😉
Cannabidiol offers a novel pharmacodynamic profile as an anxiolytic agent. It is believed that administration of CBD (cannabidiol) modulates neurotransmission in a multitude of ways. Literature shows that cannabidiol alters 5-HT1A, GPR55, CB1/CB2, and mu/delta opioid receptor sites – while simultaneously enhances hippocampal neurogenesis. The combination of these neurophysiological effects likely contribute to its efficacy as a novel anxiolytic.
All this means that scientists can still only obtain marijuana-derived CBD from farms licensed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (which until this year meant only one farm owned by the University of Mississippi). As for whether you should have a preference for CBD that comes from hemp, marijuana, or a pure synthetically produced version, there are some theories that THC—and even the smell and taste of cannabis—might make CBD more effective, but Bonn-Miller says these ideas have yet to be proven.
Whatever the case, if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or insomnia, I would absolutely recommend you give a quality CBD oil a shot. I was certainly not quick to buy into the whole hype machine (I know that the cannabis industry is pretty crazy right now), but I can say as a first time user that it legitimately did work, and it caused absolutely no high or side effects whatsoever.
The patient continued to use cannabis oil for 65 days. The family changed strains of the oil repeatedly, and some were more effective in increasing appetite and alleviating pain than others. The author of the case report suggests that cannabis oil needs to be explored further because there is potential that cannabinoids might show selectivity when attacking cancer cells, thereby reducing the widespread cytotoxic effects of conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Sadly, the young girl with ALL passed away due to gastrointestinal bleeding and a bowel perforation.
Several complexities of the eCB system may impact upon the potential of CBD and other CB1R-activating agents to serve as anxiolytic drugs. First, CB1R agonists, including THC and AEA, have a biphasic effect: low doses are anxiolytic, but higher doses are ineffective or anxiogenic, in both preclinical models in and humans (reviewed in [33, 45]). This biphasic profile may stem from the capacity of CB1R agonists to also activate TRPV1 receptors when administered at a high, but not low dose, as demonstrated for AEA . Activation of TRPV1 receptors is predominantly anxiogenic, and thus a critical balance of eCB levels, determining CB1 versus TRPV1 activation, is proposed to govern emotional behavior [27, 47]. CBD acts as a TRPV1 agonist at high concentrations, potentially by interfering with AEA inactivation . In addition to dose-dependent activation of TRPV1 channels, the anxiogenic versus anxiolytic balance of CB1R agonists also depends on dynamic factors, including environmental stressors [33, 49].
Research conducted by Schier et al. (2012) aimed to review the literature of cannabidiol (CBD) as an anxiolytic due to the fact that it is non-psychotomimetic. Researchers gathered scientific publications from English, Portuguese, and Spanish databases. All compiled articles analyzed the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol from both human and animal model studies.
Evidence from animal studies have begun to characterize the details of how CBD acts in the brain, and human studies of patients with and without anxiety disorders are starting to validate CBD’s efficacy as an anti-anxiety treatment. Given the huge social and financial costs of anxiety disorders in the U.S., CBD has the potential to play a significant role in treating a myriad of anxiety-related disorders.
CBD E-Liquid/Vape Cartridges: Vaping is excellent for people looking for an immediate response, as inhalation is the fastest way to deliver CBDs to your brain and body. To use vape simply exhale gently the air from your lungs then inhale through the mouthpiece slowly for 3 seconds. Then fill your lungs the rest of the way with additional breath and hold for a few seconds, exhaling when ready. There are pre-filled, cost-effective vape pens and cartridges available as well as more expensive vaporizers that you can refill with CBD-infused e-liquid.
For kids with severe forms of epilepsy, changes in medication levels can be extremely dangerous. “If their levels go low, they’re at increased risk of seizures, which could lead to an emergency room visit or an ICU stay,” Knupp said. “On the other hand, if their levels go high, their side effects can increase dramatically.” Side effects from epilepsy medications can range anywhere from drowsiness to vomiting to heart arrhythmia, Knupp noted. “For some people that could mean a minor inconvenience, but for some patients it could be life-threatening.”
But all was not well. Harper has continued to experience health issues related to her condition. And seven months after starting to use CBD oil, Harper’s seizures returned— although not as frequently as before. Penny uses eleven iPhone reminders to keep track of Harper’s daily regimen of medications and food, and she records all of Harper’s seizures in a thickly bound black book. But as her parents continue to closely monitor Harper’s health and adjust her medications accordingly, her doctors are tightly limited in the advice they can offer when it comes to CBD oil. “There’s no research on this product, so they don’t say it’s good or bad. They just say, ‘Don’t stop giving it,’” Penny told me.
Based on the existing scientific literature, it is impossible to conclude whether CBD is therapeutically effective as a treatment for anxiety disorders – especially when administered chronically and/or over a long-term. However, considerable evidence supports the efficacy of CBD when administered acutely for: social phobia, public speaking anxiety, and environmental stress. Acute administration of CBD appears to improve subjective, physiological, and objective measures of anxiety in stressful situations.
With some of the dreadful reactions I have had to medications I mostly say no to drugs. The psychotropics turn me psycho. I read about addictions and have been through thus…I went off cold turkey with pain medication, antidepressants, anti psychotics, anti anxiety…I do not care to go through anything like that again. If I can get something stronger than an OTC I only want a low dose and do not want to go through what I did in 2010 again. This is where I am currently. Maybe my pain is not as severe as pain is for others. I do know what withdrawal is like and…I have had a good life all in all. I endeavor to be content and learn what I can. I do know what does not work for me.
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam at www.drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the author of Ketotarian in which he melds the powerful benefits of the ketogenic and plant-based diets.
FAAH inhibitor: The anxiolytic efficacy of CBD may be a result of its ability to act as an enzymatic inhibitor of FAAH (fatty acid amide hydroxylase). FAAH is an enzyme responsible for metabolizing endocannabinoids such as anandamide, but when inhibited, these endocannabinoid concentrations are increased. Increased concentrations of endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG, both of which bind to peripheral CB1/CB2 receptor sites.
GPR55 antagonism: GPR55 (G-protein-coupled receptor 55) is a receptor expressed predominantly within the caudate nucleus and putamen. It is often referenced as an atypical cannabinoid receptor due to the fact that it is activated by cannabinoids. A study published in 2015 investigated the role of GPR55 function in anxiety. Researchers concluded that GPR55 may modulate anxiety-related behaviors in rats. In the study, it was discovered that GPR55 antagonists lead to increased anxiety. Cannabidiol is thought to act as a GPR55 antagonist which may improve bone health and decrease proliferation of cancer cells – but may not help anxiety.
To this point, CBD oil has existed in a kind of liminal space— at once an illegal drug, a legal medication, and some kind of “dietary” supplement. It’s possible this could change in the coming years, however. GW Pharmaceuticals, a U.K.-based firm, has developed a “pure CBD” medication called Epidiolex that has shown promising test results. It is currently on a fast-track to receive FDA clearance. For some patients, Epidiolex could be a miracle cure. This summer, in Wired magazine, writer Fred Vogelstein chronicled his family’s own struggles to find an effective treatment for his son’s epilepsy—including experiments with hemp oil— and the immense hurdles they overcame to gain access to Epidiolex prior to its FDA approval. The drug could be for sale on pharmacy shelves in the near future, though exactly how near is hard to say.
As of now, researchers understand that sleep is divided into multiple cycles with different phases, and it is generally regarded that CBD oil increases sleep in the third phase, which is the “deep sleep” phase. Furthermore, it has been shown that CBD decreases the duration of REM sleep, which is a phase of light sleep and is also the phase where dreams occur.
Hash oils seized in the 1970s had a THC contents ranging from 10 to 30%. The oil available on the U.S. West Coast in 1974 averaged about 15% THC. Samples seized across the United States by the Drug Enforcement Administration over an 18-year period (1980–1997) showed that THC content in hashish and hashish oil averaging 12.9% and 17.4%, respectively, did not show an increase over time. The highest THC concentrations measured were 52.9% in hashish and 47.0% in hash oil. Hash oils in use in the 2010s had THC concentrations as high as 90% and other products achieving higher concentrations 
We found no differences between CBD and placebo in respect to polysomnographic findings or cognitive and subjective measures in a sample of healthy subjects. Unlike widely used anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs, the acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD does not appear to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers. Future studies should address the effects of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of patient populations as well as evaluate the chronic effects of CBD in larger samples of patients with sleep and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Initial data also suggests that CBD has other far-reaching medical applications. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that “CBD was shown to offer benefits including acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent.” This means CBD could be used as “potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia.”
Few interactions: Most evidence indicates that CBD is unlikely to interact with pharmaceutical drugs. However, when taken at a reasonable dosage, CBD is understood to inhibit CYP450 isoenzymes in the liver. This may alter the pharmacokinetics of other drugs such as Warfarin which are metabolized by similar enzymes. That said, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic contraindications associated with CBD appear minimal.
Forty million Americans suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is a state of worry that can be experienced in varying intensities. Mild anxiety can be characterized by that feeling of having butterflies in your stomach and is generally considered normal. However, anxiety can often be debilitating to a person impacting their social, professional, and personal lives. Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term, describing conditions where anxiety interferes with a person’s everyday life. Phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder and even obsessive-compulsive disorder are considered anxiety disorders. Common symptoms of anxiety include dizziness, panic, insomnia, tingling hands or feet, shortness of breath, nausea, and tense muscles. For many, anxiety is a driving force behind how they live their everyday lives and people are increasingly turning to CBD and other natural remedies to find relief.
If you’re just diving into the world of CBD, we recommend a starting serving size of two to three milligrams. From there, you can work your way up to 100 or even 200 milligrams, after you’ve taken the time to gradually observe how CBD affects your body and mind. Remember, you cannot overdose on CBD, and there are no reported side effects from using high concentrations.
Relevant studies are summarized in Table Table3.3. In a SPECT study of resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in normal subjects, CBD reduced rCBF in left medial temporal areas, including the amygdala and hippocampus, as well as the hypothalamus and left posterior cingulate gyrus, but increased rCBF in the left parahippocampal gyrus. These rCBF changes were not correlated with anxiolytic effects . In a SPECT study, by the same authors, in patients with SAD, CBD reduced rCBF in overlapping, but distinct, limbic and paralimbic areas; again, with no correlations to anxiolytic effects .
In a series of placebo-controlled studies involving 15 healthy volunteers, Fusar-Poli et al. investigated the effects of CBD and THC on task-related blood-oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation, specifically the go/no-go and fearful faces tasks [109, 110]. The go/no-go task measures response inhibition, and is associated with activation of medial prefrontal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and parietal areas . Response activation is diminished in PTSD and other anxiety disorders, and increased activation predicts response to treatment . CBD produced no changes in predicted areas (relative to placebo) but reduced activation in the left insula, superior temporal gyrus, and transverse temporal gyrus. The fearful faces task activates the amygdala, and other medial temporal areas involved in emotion processing, and heightened amygdala response activation has been reported in anxiety disorders, including GAD and PTSD [113, 114]. CBD attenuated blood-oxygen-level dependent activation in the left amygdala, and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex in response to intensely fearful faces, and also reduced amplitude in skin conductance fluctuation, which was highly correlated with amygdala activation . Dynamic causal modeling analysis in this data set further showed CBD reduced forward functional connectivity between the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex .
Guzmán leads me around his cramped lab—centrifuges, microscopes, beakers, petri dishes, a postdoc researcher in a white smock extracting tissue from a mouse corpse pinned under bright lights. It’s your typical bioresearch lab, except that everything is devoted to the effects of cannabis on the body and brain. The lab focuses not just on cancer but also on neurodegenerative diseases and on how cannabinoids affect early brain development. On this last topic the Guzmán group’s research is unequivocal: Mice born of mothers regularly given high doses of THC during pregnancy show pronounced problems. They’re uncoordinated, have difficulty with social interactions, and have a low anxiety threshold—they’re often paralyzed with fear at stimuli, such as a cat puppet placed near their cage, that don’t upset other juvenile mice.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to widespread use of CBD is price. High-quality tinctures from brands like Floyd’s of Leadville and PlusCBD cost $35 or more; the bottles contain enough tincture to last about a month if you’re using an eyedropper’s worth per day. Prevail’s 2-ounce topical salve, which the company says should last most users between 30 and 45 days, costs $133. A one-month supply of a daily gel typically costs $30 to $60.
Although some studies have demonstrated the potential effect of CBD on sleep behavior, research about the effects of CBD on the slow wave sleep (SWS) of humans with regular sleep is still lacking. The impact of CBD on sleep, possible side-effects or the advantages of lack of them, including objective measures through polysomnography, has not yet been investigated. Thus, the objective of the present study was to assess the effect of the acute administration of an anxiolytic dose (300 mg, Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017) of CBD on sleep in healthy volunteers by means of cognitive and subjective measures and polysomnography exams.
Bonn-Miller also explained that it's imperative to exhaust the traditional and established front-line treatments that are available before seeking out these products. "CBD is not really a first-line treatment for anything," he said. "You don’t want situations where somebody says, 'I have cancer I'm going to forgo chemotherapy because I read something about CBD or THC helping with cancer.'" That's not a good idea, Bonn-Miller said. "Not only is the science not there, but you may end up worse off."
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