When looking for better sleep, people will try just about anything. For years, science has supported the use of melatonin in cases of insomnia and other sleep disorders. But recently, CBD oil has been gaining traction as a potential solution to a range of problems, including sleep disturbances.
When combined, do CBD oil and melatonin help you sleep better? Are there side effects of using CBD oil and melatonin together? Moreover, how can you use CBD oil and melatonin safely?
In order to get the most from any supplement routine, it is important to understand the answers to these questions. Here’s what you need to know about CBD oil, melatonin, and getting a good night’s sleep!
Melatonin and CBD oil both promote sleep, but work in different ways to do so. Unlike regular vitamins and supplements, when you take melatonin it is treated by the body as if it were created internally. Instead of breaking it down and converting it into something usable, your body is able to metabolize melatonin immediately, without further processing. The same is true for CBD oil.
CBD replicates your body's own endocannabinoids in order to exert its therapeutic effects. Melatonin supplements work in a similar way, replicating endogenous melatonin to regulate your circadian rhythm, or natural sleep-wake cycle.
During normal waking hours, there is very little melatonin circulating in your body. Instead, there are other hormones like cortisol at work, which keep you alert and awake. As day turns to night and natural sunlight levels drop, the levels of melatonin in your system start to rise as the sun goes down, peaking overnight and slowly reducing toward the morning. Taking a melatonin supplement before bed increases the amount of melatonin in the body and can encourage rest and deeper sleep.
CBD oil promotes sleep by reducing cortisol levels and anxiety. Cortisol levels should naturally fall overnight, but if you’re overly stressed, they can spike and remain high, making falling asleep near impossible. CBD oil has been shown to inhibit the release of cortisol, and could help reduce the stress that’s barring you from a good night’s sleep. Since CBD oil can also help with anxiety, your overall stress levels should dip and remain lower, making relaxation and a good night’s sleep more achievable.
With all this in mind, taking CBD oil and melatonin together may create a powerful aid to fight insomnia. Because cannabidiol and melatonin act on different systems in the body, currently, the two substances can act synergistically to enhance the quality of your sleep. Melatonin signals your body that it is time to sleep, while CBD oil works in tandem to provide overall relaxation and calm. Together, they deliver a one-two punch to insomnia and sleep disturbances.
Neither CBD oil or melatonin have many recognised side effects. CBD oil is widely considered to be safe with little to no side effects. The World Health Organization published its own report on the use of CBD oil and found, “ … CBD does not produce the effects that are typically seen with cannabinoids such as THC… it is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile.” Melatonin has few reported side effects, but some users may experience headaches, depression, or irritability. Combining CBD oil and melatonin may mitigate some of these side effects.
Long-term use of melatonin is discouraged, as its efficacy decreases with chronic use. Courses of melatonin should be limited to three months or less. CBD can be used more chronically. If you decide to use the two supplements together, you may find that using both melatonin and CBD initially helps to establish good sleep patterns. Once these sleep patterns have been established, you could decrease your regimen to include CBD only.
Limited use of melatonin can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle, similar to hitting the refresh button on your natural circadian rhythm, times when your sleep cycle may be disrupted e.g. after international travel across time zones Regular use of CBD oil can regulate the body’s cortisol production, so you’ll feel less stressed day and night, which is great for your sleep hygiene and overall well being.
Melatonin and CBD are both metabolised via the cytochrome p-450 pathway, so any side effects of melatonin may theoretically be exacerbated by adding CBD. Perhaps you should include a warning about this and just a recommendation to start with a low dose of CBD if you are adding it to an existing melatonin supplement.
When combining CBD oil and melatonin it’s important to take dosage into account. As melatonin is often purchased in standardized doses it is easiest to maintain this amount and add CBD oil into your routine gradually. Start with a low dose of CBD oil and slowly increase your dosage over time if necessary—you don’t want to overload the body with too many sleep-inducing compounds at once. Allow your body and mind time to adjust to the effects of CBD oil.
Take note of whether taking CBD oil throughout the day or just at night is more beneficial for promoting sleep. You might consider keeping a sleep journal for the first month of using CBD oil and melatonin together to gauge which dosage and at what time(s) of day are most effective when it comes to using CBD for sleep.
Alternatively, you can purchase CBD products that already have melatonin included. This removes the need to delicately balance your quantities. If using these products, start with the dosage suggested in the information pamphlet and gradually increase until you experience the desired effect.
Melatonin is best used when you can get a full 8 hours of sleep. To avoid feeling groggy in the mornings, take your melatonin or CBD oil/melatonin combination product when you have enough time to devote to sleep. As with anything that can promote or induce sleep, be careful driving, operating heavy equipment or doing anything that requires extreme concentration until you know how the combination will impact you.
As a precaution, speak to your doctor before combining the two supplements. You can also speak with a cannabis doctor who can give you personalized recommendations on dosages and specific CBD products to help with sleep.
If you’re ready to try a product that contains CBD oil and melatonin, or want to purchase CBD oil to add into your existing melatonin routine, there are two main factors to consider: delivery method and quality.
For a melatonin-CBD hybrid product, the most common delivery formats are combination gummies, capsules, tinctures, and drops. Simply take the recommended dose prior to going to bed. Because capsules or gummies travel via the digestive system, they take longer to take effect. For this reason, take your melatonin-CBD combo gummies or capsule about an hour before bed to ensure you’ll feel the effects right on time.
If you don’t know when you’ll be going to bed, or want a little more flexibility, sublingual CBD-melatonin drops or tinctures may be best for you. These CBD products are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the skin under the tongue and go to work in as little as a half hour. The only difference may be that you don’t feel the effects as strong or for as long as you would a gummy or capsule.
If you are already taking melatonin and want to add CBD oil, try starting with drops or a tincture. This format will allow you complete control over your CBD dose, ensuring you can gradually increase or decrease the amount as needed.
Before taking melatonin, CBD oil, or a combination of the two, consult with your physician. By having this conversation, you can determine if these are safe options for you and work out a potential starting dose. Both CBD oil and melatonin can interact with some commonly prescribed medications.
If you don’t see effects immediately, don’t lose sleep over it! Be patient and take your time adding CBD oil to your daily or nightly routine.
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