Does CBD Make You Feel Tired?
Posted on June 29th, 2020
Those who have ever consumed marijuana might remember waves of sleepiness and brain fog…or maybe you don’t, depending on how much you enjoyed. If that sounds familiar, it’s likely THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s to blame. You see, THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana, but it also has other properties, including the ability to induce a sedative state. Now, that was all well and good when life was one big party. But it’s not exactly feasible in our grown-up world, where we constantly have to keep up with daily activities.
Of course, some people depend on marijuana for its other effects, including the feeling of calm its use often brings. But here’s the deal: you don’t need to be sedated for your brain to perform in a healthy and happy manner, or to be able to cope with stress. You can get where you want to be with a little help from other supplements, including cannabidiol (CBD), THC’s non-psychoactive counterpart. Both compounds are cannabinoids, naturally occurring elements of the cannabis plant.
Unlike THC, CBD helps your body regulate an array of internal functions by interacting with your neurotransmitters. Because of these interactions, many CBD users report improved stress responses after using CBD.
With that being said, we all have distinct experiences with substance consumption. Some say that CBD boosts their energy, while others report a chilled out feeling. But how should you expect to feel when you use CBD, and will CBD leave you feeling tired? We hope this read will you answer those questions…and more!
But First, What Is CBD?
Before we can understand if CBD makes you tired, we need to understand what CBD is. Also referred to as cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring compound. It is part of the cannabinoids family, a group of chemicals found in cannabis plants. So far, we’ve identified over 100 different cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. But CBD is very different from cannabinoids like THC: it isn’t psychoactive, meaning it does not alter your mind, or give you the infamous ‘high’ achieved by consuming weed. According to WHO, CBD does not exhibit dependence or abuse potential, and up to date, there is no evidence that pure CBD causes any health-related problems . Cannabidiol is extracted from both the leaves and stems of cannabis plants, including industrial hemp, which is just a variety of the cannabis plant bred for its low THC and high CBD concentrations. In hemp plants, CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid, accounting for about 40% of the plants’ internal cannabinoids.
How Does CBD Work?
Your body produces naturally occurring molecules known as endocannabinoids as part of your endocannabinoid system(ECS). These molecules bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain and body to induce the release of the chemical messengers that handle communication between your cells. The ECS plays a huge role in your body, including regulating processes like inflammation, pain response, stress, and sleep. CBD has a similar structure to the endocannabinoids your body produces and appears to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
Now, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind with cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it stimulates the action of CB1 and CB2 receptors without having to bind. Because of CBD’s interaction with the ECS, scientists are studying this compound, believing it has potential medicinal properties or therapeutic applications. In fact, CBD is currently one of the most researched compounds in clinical trials.
How to Use CBD
Consuming CBD by swallowing it means that the CBD passes through your digestive system, and is metabolized by the liver, sending the active compound to your bloodstream over the course of a few hours. CBD is often ingested in capsule form, or it can be added to food and beverages like coffee and gummies.
Another common form of CBD delivery is a tincture. You consume CBD tinctures by placing a few drops of the compound under your tongue and holding it there for several seconds. This allows the active CBD to directly enter your bloodstream, completely bypassing the digestion process. When you ingest a CBD tincture, your effects will appear sooner, which might make it an ideal form of CBD if you experience feelings of anxiety before a major event or speech.
Some skin products, such as salves and lotions, can also be infused with CBD. This form of CBD is best used if you hope to directly target and alleviate localized pain and inflammation.
You can inhale CBD by adding powder or oil in E-cigs or through vaporization. Inhaled CBD enters your system through the lungs, which gives a faster effect compared to ingestion. Due to this speed, vaping was a popular way to consume CBD. However, due to the many lung injuries related to vaping, you’re urged not to vape CBD. One look at the numbers should have you convinced: last year, there were over 800 reported cases of vaping-related lung injuries.
Does CBD Make You Feel Tired or Sleepy?
The simple and straightforward answer is NO! If you ingest the product safely, using a reasonable dose and at the right time, you shouldn’t experience tiredness. So the question remains, why are people so confused as to whether or not CBD makes you tired?
One of the reasons is that research shows that cannabidiol may switch off a part of your brain that inhibits melatonin release, and that’s the hormone that helps in the early stages of sleep. During the day, your brain does not release melatonin, meaning there’s no issue with day-time CBD consumption. However, in the evening, your brain naturally prompts the body to release melatonin to prepare you for sleep after a long day. So, when you consume CBD in the evening, it is natural to feel tired, because that’s the time of day when your body should release melatonin.
Now, it’s important to remember: CBD only works the way it should when you work with a high-quality product. After all, just like a fine liquor, CBD quality plays a major role in your overall experience with the product. Want to avoid the feeling of fatigue and tiredness? Simply invest in high-quality CBD. But how do you know that you are dealing with top of the line CBD products? The best CBD comes from the highest-quality buds. And these are are some aspects which can help you recognize quality CBD buds:
- No signs of seeds on the product
- A strong fragrance
- Visible crystal hairs collections
- High CBD content
Does CBD Help You Sleep?
So, we’ve already reviewed that using CBD during the day won’t make you sleepy. So, why do so many people talk about taking CBD to help with sleep? To understand the connection between CBD and sleep, you have to truly understand how your sleep cycle works. Throughout the night, your body goes through varying stages of sleep, such as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement or NREM.
CBD is linked to improved sleep quality because it may help effectively target anxiety and stress, two of the most common culprits causing insomnia and poor sleeping habits. Ideally, when you use CBD and reduce stress, your body follows the natural sleeping rhythm, and in turn, you experience quality, restful sleep.
As mentioned before, if you consume CBD several hours before bedtime, you will get the best results. Not only will your body release melatonin, but the CBD may also have a calming effect on your body, helping rid you of restless night thoughts that may keep you awake.
Does Hemp Seed Oil Make You Sleepy?
Hemp seed oil may come from the cannabis plant, which is in the same family as marijuana, but it has an entirely different function. Marijuana is rich in THC, but hempseed contains higher levels of vitamins and proteins, with minimal THC and CBD. (CBD is sourced from the hemp plant’s flowers, where most cannabinoids are found.) And, no, it won’t make you sleepy. Nor will it deliver any other suggested effects of THC or CBD.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers use the terms hemp oil interchangeably with CBD oil. But they are not the same product, and won’t deliver similar results. So be sure to check your labels carefully for actual CBD content before purchasing any product labeled
If you are just getting into CBD, avoid the labels, and pay attention to the ingredients.
So, Why Did CBD Make Me Tired?
As we’ve hinted throughout this article, your CBD experience all boils down to the quality of the product, and the time when you consume it. If you’re hoping to improve your sleep with CBD we recommend taking your dose in the evening. But if your CBD goals aren’t related to sleep, a day time dose may deliver greater satisfaction.
Some say that CBD boosts their energy, while others report feeling relaxed. How should you expect to feel when you use CBD, and will it leave you tired?
I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?
What is CBD?
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.
For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.
While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy, Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.” With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
I’m More Focused At Work
I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.
I’m Falling Asleep Faster
I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.
My Experience With CBD
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”
With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.
Explore the World of CBD
Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.
For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.
Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.
This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.
With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.
Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.
Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.
One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed. Learn more here.