“Hey Doc, I hear all the experts online saying that CBD is amazing for sleep. What do you think?”
Another epic question. I wondered the same thing, so like a good nerd, I hit the ole pubmed and ran that experiment myself.
I have been using the Charlotte’s Web Maximum Strength mixed cannabinoids hemp extract standardized for CBD over the past 2.5 years, but decided to pick up their pure CBD and test a higher dose.
To measure it, I am using the Oura Ring to look at sleep, especially deep sleep. The claim is that pure CBD can dramatically increase deep sleep.
Not much data on CBD and sleep to be honest. Some theoretically items, but in humans, I was underwhelmed at the data.
2) N=1 Experiment
Over several nights on different conditions at home I tested out CBD and even worked up to 60 mg of CBD a few nights. Note- that is a piss ton of CBD, and purchasing it will run your bank account down significantly too.
The short answer is that I personally did not notice any difference. I am actually a great test wabbit for this as my deep sleep is very poor, clocking in at anywhere from 1 to 41 minutes at night. My deep sleep PR is 47 minutes.
I did notice a slight difference taking the CW hemp oil (extra strength) in the AM though. It was very small and could have been just random things too.
From my n=1 and the current literature (which is not much in upright bipedals), I would save your money if you are trying to use CBD to “hack” (ugh I hate that word) your deep sleep.
The only exception is if you are super anxious as it may help. The anecdotal reports online seem to share that trait in those reporting that it helped.
While it would help my personal bank account to say that pure CBD was epic to bump my deep sleep from 7 to 1:41, and I am now deadlifting 50 lbs more while having lost 7 lbs of pure body fat in the process, I did not notice a difference.
It may be worth testing yourself, but for sleep, I would focus on light as that appears to be the #1 factor in myself and in my clients. My PR for deep sleep was in Baja Mexico last week where I went out, had a beer, went to bed later and still 4 nights in a row of 40+ minutes of deep sleep – which for me is a massive PR.
I do think CBD / mixed hemp oil has other benefits, but I am not convinced that “hacking your sleep” is one of them.
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