Most CBD conversation centers around its benefits – and for good reason! But what about the side effects? Like all substances, CBD has a few, with some well-documented and others suggested but unproven. So, does CBD make you tired?
That’s what we will explore today, with an in-depth analysis of the scientific evidence and the consideration of user anecdotes. We will examine the various CBD products on the market and discuss whether some are more conducive to tiredness.
Let’s kick off with a general overview of CBD and tiredness before wading into the details.
The Quick Answer
Some scientific studies indicate that CBD promotes sleep. Hence, tiredness could be a potential side effect of taking CBD for other reasons. Sedation is most associated with higher dosages, as shown by the amounts used in research.
Conversely, some evidence shows that CBD boosts wakefulness in smaller quantities, boosting alertness and concentration levels. CBD is a biphasic cannabinoid, meaning that small and large dosages can have contrasting effects.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabis molecule and a member of the cannabinoid family! But unlike its psychoactive brother THC, humble CBD won’t make you stoned or euphoric. Moreover, hemp-derived CBD is 100% legal.
From the early 2010s onward, the hemp-derived CBD industry has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar behemoth, with millions seeking its perceived health benefits. Science suggests that CBD works to modulate the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Types of hemp extract in CBD products
In the United States, hemp-based CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. But that ultra-low threshold still creates room for three versions of hemp extract, and each has subjective pros and cons for CBD products.
Let’s outline the crucial aspects of CBD isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum hemp.
CBD isolate hemp
- Pure CBD with zero THC or minor cannabinoids (i.e., CBG and CBN)
- Cannot cause a positive drug test
- No entourage effect makes it less beneficial than other extracts
- Whole-plant hemp extract rich in CBD and minor cannabinoids
- Can legally have up to 0.3% THC, creating a non-zero risk of a failed drug test
- Full-spectrum of cannabinoids promotes the entourage effect
- THC-free hemp extract loaded with CBD and minor cannabinoids
- Zero THC offers drug test peace of mind
- An ideal middle ground between CBD isolate and full-spectrum hemp
The Difference Between Sleepiness and Tiredness
Sleepiness and tiredness – they sound like the same thing, right? Not quite. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the former means “being ready to sleep,” while the latter means being “fatigued often to the point of exhaustion.”
Therefore, tiredness refers to sluggishness and needing sleep, whereas sleepiness describes wanting to sleep but not necessarily requiring it. We must bear this in mind when analyzing CBD’s influence, or lack of it, on sleep and fatigue.
Does CBD Make You Tired? What the Science Says
Little evidence suggests that CBD causes tiredness, but there is compelling science to show that the cannabinoid promotes sleep – hence the confusion on this topic.
In 2019, The Permanente Journal published a scientific paper analyzing CBD’s effect on sleep and anxiety. Researchers found that two-thirds of participants experienced better sleep quality in the first month, but that results fluctuated over time.
These findings suggest that CBD has sleep-inducing properties and could make you tired. But the scientists gave doses of 160mg and above, much more than the average user likely consumes from a mid-strength CBD product.
The researchers noted that since the participants kept taking their existing meds, it was difficult to draw firm conclusions on CBD’s effects. That said, with more than 330 citations, the study has garnered much attention in the field of CBD science.
In 2021, the Journal of Cannabis Research published a paper documenting the reasons for taking CBD and possible side effects. The study had 388 responses, with 71% of respondents reporting no side effects and only 3% experiencing fatigue.
The findings emphasized that CBD is predominantly safe and well-tolerated. And although the substance may cause side effects, fatigue and tiredness are rare.
As the research involved participants self-reporting CBD usage via a questionnaire, we lack precise dosage information. More than 50% of respondents claimed to take less than 50mg CBD daily – we wouldn’t expect tiredness in such quantities.
Overall, existing evidence points toward CBD aiding sleep in high dosages. But tiredness seems uncommon among those taking low to moderate amounts. So, unless you need hundreds of milligrams during the day, you probably don’t need to worry!
Does CBD Make You Tired? Reddit Opinions
Despite the absence of scientific evidence, many still ask questions like, “Why does CBD oil make you tired?” So, in place of research papers, I trawled through Reddit to discover more about the experiences of CBD users.
On the r/CBD subreddit, one user queried whether CBD oil could be helpful for somebody who is often tired. Another responded that tiredness and fatigue most often occur when taking too much or the wrong type of product.
Somebody else correctly noted that CBD affects everybody differently, making it tricky to predict what kind of experience others will have. However, they found that CBD made them less tired, crediting its anti-anxiety effects.
User anecdotes broadly mirror scientific findings, in that large CBD dosages can make you sleepy, but moderate amounts are unlikely to cause fatigue. If CBD was triggering tiredness en masse, we would surely have heard plenty about it by now.
Does the Type of CBD Affect Tiredness?
Different hemp-derived CBD products contain different compounds. While CBD remains the same, the presence of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other ingredients can substantially alter the effects.
Does full-spectrum CBD make you tired? Possibly, depending on the minor cannabinoid makeup. Products rich in cannabinol, a substance touted for its sedative properties, could have a more sleep-inducing effect than pure CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum hemp can legally contain up to 0.3% THC. The psychoactive cannabinoid appears to impact sleep quality, although it is unclear how. One study found that THC usage reduced sleep duration in some but increased it in others.
However, hemp-derived products with THC have an extra variable that could influence tiredness. Therefore, I recommend steering clear of them.
In addition, full-spectrum CBD products contain terpenes – aroma molecules that can generate energizing or relaxing effects. The industry classifies cannabis strains as stimulating sativas or soothing indicas based on the terpene composition.
Smoking an indica-dominant hemp strain is more likely to make you tired than puffing on a sativa-dominant joint. Some brands add terpenes to CBD tinctures and other processed CBD products to generate specific effects.
Reduce the risk of tiredness by avoiding hemp-based CBD products with the following terpenes:
Some CBD companies (typically high-end brands) make products with non-hemp ingredients to deliver targeted effects. Such substances can cause sleepiness or tiredness – you might have a bad reaction, or that could just be how they work.
For example, CBD gummies infused with melatonin are sought-after among users looking for a natural sleep aid. But this kind of CBD product would be unsuitable if you want daytime CBD relief that doesn’t leave you feeling fatigued.
When shopping for CBD products, check the ingredients before you buy. There’s so much variety and creativity in the industry nowadays, but that can backfire if you aren’t paying attention!
How to Stay Energized After Taking CBD
If you are unlucky enough to have suffered fatigue after using CBD products, here are a few tips to keep your energy levels up! Just because you have to make adjustments doesn’t mean you should give up on CBD altogether.
Take a small dose
Since CBD promotes wakefulness in small amounts, sticking with low dosages can be an effective way to stay energized and prevent tiredness.
Indeed, there are stories of people using the biphasic cannabinoid to improve focus, concentration, and alertness. With such properties, CBD may even have value as a study aid.
Whether low-dosing on CBD is feasible depends on why you take the substance. If you usually take a medium or high dosage, try knocking your intake back without compromising on the therapeutic effects.
Aim to consume as little CBD as necessary – that will be easier on your wallet, too! It’s surprising how many CBD users take more than they need.
Consume a stimulating CBD product
The hemp industry has an array of energizing CBD products to complement the relaxing offerings, and these would make excellent fatigue-busting options.
Consider smoking CBD joints or vaping CBD cartridges laden with stimulating sativa terpenes. Or search for products infused with caffeine or energizing vitamins.
Drink a coffee!
If all else fails, caffeinate yourself with a coffee or soft drink. Counteracting sleepy cannabinoids and terpenes with stimulating compounds like caffeine is a savvy way of staying alert and energized. But it’s so obvious that some people forget!
What to Look For in a CBD Product for Sleep (Buyer’s Guide)
We have discussed how to prevent tiredness with CBD products. However, perhaps you are wondering how to capitalize on the compound’s sleepy qualities. I have a few tips!
Third-party lab reports
Sticking with third-party approved products is advice applicable to all CBD shopping. With no FDA regulation to keep the market free from fraudsters and opportunists, the de facto self-regulating nature of third-party testing is the next best thing.
Nothing legally stops brands from short-changing you or selling dangerous and illegal products, so independent laboratories have become essential to the industry. These guys check that CBD products are safe, potent, and Farm Bill compliant.
Third-party tested brands showcase the relevant certificates of analysis next to products. After all, if you manufacture genuine, high-quality CBD, you want to let prospective customers know about it and distinguish yourself from sketchy brands!
Products containing cannabinol (CBN)
When searching for sleep-promoting hemp-derived CBD solutions, keep an eye out for products containing cannabinol (CBN).
The minor cannabinoid has acquired a reputation for its relaxing effects and often features in tandem with CBD. Indeed, companies often market such products as sleep aids.
However, no compelling research confirms that CBN has a sleep-inducing effect. There was an intriguing scientific paper published in the 1970s, but CBN has been severely understudied since then.
It may work, or it may not. But many users find that having a dash of CBN with their CBD tips them nicely into sleep mode.
Long-lasting CBD products
CBD edibles, capsules, and orally-consumed tinctures provide extended effects, making them perfect for sleep. Ideally, you want a product that works all night and won’t leave you hanging at 3am – this matters more if you struggle to stay asleep.
Furthermore, high-strength products will give you a better night’s sleep than lower-strength options, for reasons mentioned earlier in the article.
Buy Calming CBD Products from CBD Genesis!
CBD Genesis is proud to stock numerous top-shelf, third-party tested CBD products, including several renowned for having calming effects. Does CBD make you tired and sleepy? Not generally, but if you want it to, yes! Here are my top two sleepy picks.
ELYXR LA – Sleep Gummies (CBN / CBD)
No cannabinoid is off limits for ELYXR LA, as demonstrated with these Sleep Gummies! Combining CBD and CBN amplifies the relaxing effects – and with a sizeable 15mg of each in every gummy, ELYXR’s sugary chews pack a punch.
These Grape gummies have an authentic flavor and texture, although the gelatin base makes them a no-no for vegans. Each tin of ELYXR LA’s third-party tested Sleep Gummies contains 20 servings and 600mg of total cannabinoids.
CBD Genesis – CBD Tincture Oil (2000mg)
Get a peaceful night’s sleep with the most potent tincture oil in the CBD Genesis collection. Our 2000mg Full-Spectrum CBD Oil is cannabinoid and terpene-rich, and it makes use of the 0.3% THC Farm Bill allowance to maximize the sleep benefits.
With 2000mg CBD in a 30ml tincture, each full dropper delivers almost 70mg of active cannabinoids. The oil has a slight sweetness to it, unlike full-spectrum products that have an overbearing earthiness. This product is third-party tested.