Whether or not CBD oil makes you feel tired does depend on several factors. People use CBD for a wide variety of reasons, and some may want to feel sleepy after their daily dose – while some prefer daytime usage and can’t afford to feel tired.
“Does CBD Make You Tired Or Sleepy?
Unfortunately, the answer is not cut and dry – this is because CBD falls into a category of substances with a ‘biphasic’ effect. Biphasic means that at lower doses, CBD produces one set of effects, and in the higher range, a completely different set (this is not to be confused with a ‘biphasic drug delivery system’ which usually refers to a pharmaceutical agent coated in two layers – one immediate-release and a time-release underneath).
The short answer is “Yes;” CBD oil can make you tired or drowsy. Read on to understand why this brief answer doesn’t entirely empower you with all the information you’ll need to avoid/experience this experience (depending on why you’re using CBD).
Biphasic Effects of CBD – It Can Make You Stimulated OR Sedated
This quirk of CBD may sound odd, but it’s hardly the only popular psychoactive that makes such a claim. Alcohol and kratom are two other well-known drugs that produce wildly different effects depending on the dose.
Kratom, an opioid-containing plant from Southeast Asia, offers intense stimulation at low doses, but an opioid-like ‘high’ with larger amounts. Most are probably familiar with alcohol’s two-faced nature, offering reduced inhibitions and enhanced sociability at small amounts, and anything from blackouts to running naked through the streets when you’ve had one too many.
Low Doses of CBD May Combat Fatigue
While there is no one study stating the exact differences (and at what doses they occur), countless reports from users confirm the widely held belief that with low doses (10-100mg), CBD creates a wakefulness-inducing/mildly stimulating effect. CBD oil affects many receptors and physiological systems, so pinpoint the exact mechanism for this reaction is unclear.
However, it likely has a lot to with CBD oil inhibiting adenosine reuptake – this is the precise pathway that caffeine utilizes to ward off fatigue and provide upliftment.
Adenosine is a molecule produced in our bodies throughout the day as a result of normal daily activities, and when enough adenosine binds to adenosine receptors, the brain and body are alerted to feel ‘tired,’ this process is a way for the body to gauge when it’s had enough and needs rest to prevent injuries/stress from overexertion.
On the molecular level, caffeine is almost identical to adenosine, and as such it easily attaches to the adenosine receptors – preventing the real adenosine from getting in, and thus delaying feelings of being tired.
This study by NCBI states that a small dose of CBD administered to mice before sleeping time increased wakefulness during sleep. The same study shows that low-dose CBD increases the expression of c-FOS (a marker of neuronal activity) in various regions of the brain, and may also increase dopamine release.
High Doses of CBD Could Make You Tired
On the other hand, high doses of CBD (100-600mg) could cause you to feel sleepy and tired. Scientists have demonstrated that CBD has activity at various receptors (such as GABA, 5HT, mu/delta opioid, and CB1) that all have calming, sleep-inducing effects on the nervous system.
However, CBD oil may not cause tiredness in everyone – even with high doses. Scientists theorize that CBD may assist in treating the root of various sleep disorders, which we can divide into three main categories:
- Dyssomnias: Problem initiating/maintaining sleep, as well as excessive sleepiness
- Parasomnias: Problems with waking up during sleep or sleep stage transition
- Sleep issues associated with various mental, neurological, or other medical disorders
There is a good chance that if you suffer from one of these sleeping disorders, CBD could do a great deal in helping you to heal the root cause of the issue.
The complex interplay between the GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in the brain is undergoing further research as another likely reason that CBD can have such opposing effects on different users.
Variations in GABAergic and glutamatergic systems can have a number of influencing factors, such as genetics, age, race, lifestyle, and history of/current drug use (benzodiazepines, alcohol, and GHB are examples of potent GABA-affecting drugs – while dissociatives such as DXM, ketamine, PCP, and nitrous oxide all exert powerful altering effects on the glutamatergic system).
To further complicate matters, this study from NCBI demonstrates that CBD has different effects on sleep depending on what time of day you dose.
Whether or Not CBD Oil Makes You Tired Depends On You
Experts are beginning to discuss the idea that CBD doesn’t cause stimulation or sedation based merely on a certain dose range. This theory suggests that CBD is unique in the world of psychoactives, as most substances have relatively predictable effects depending on how much you take.
Currents trends suggest it’s a person’s different amounts of variables such as anxiety, stress, chemical imbalances, and others that influence how CBD will affect them.
Many people have trouble staying awake during the day, whether due to insomnia resulting in fatigue, narcolepsy, or adrenal fatigue. Inversely, about 70 million Americans suffer from some sleep disorder, whether chronic anxiety, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Perhaps the most prominent role the endocannabinoid system plays is perpetually helping to bring balance and homeostasis to our bodies. Not only is CBD a cannabinoid that has direct benefits to the endocannabinoid system, but it also boosts levels of endogenous cannabinoids (like anandamide and 2-AG) that have further benefits to this vital component of our organism.
This function of being the master balance-bringer illustrates why CBD oil can either make you tired, or more awake. Based on your body’s current needs, CBD will adapt and provide you with what will offer the most healing. Finding the proper dosage is still very important, however – see our page on dosing for more info! As always, consult a healthcare provider before embarking on any natural products regimen!