There’s little direct evidence for CBD’s energy-boosting effects.
CBD can indirectly support your energy levels by improving other health issues.
CBD can indirectly boost energy by alleviating anxiety, chronic pain, and other issues that contribute to fatigue. It might also boost wakefulness when taken in small doses.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing in popularity as a natural supplement for anxiety and many other health issues. But can it also help to increase your energy levels?
Early research suggests that low doses of CBD can be stimulating, making you feel more awake and alert.
In turn, many have used a CBD tincture in the morning to help them focus throughout the day. However, the evidence isn’t very strong, so more studies are needed.
There’s far more promise in using CBD to improve anxiety, pain, and other issues that can contribute to fatigue and sleeping problems. Read on to learn more about using CBD for energy, its safety, dosage, and other evidence-based tips.
Energy and Fatigue Overview
Fatigue is a common issue that can wreck your energy, concentration, and motivation. While it’s normal to sometimes feel tired, especially if there’s a clear cause, continuous fatigue is a different problem.
In most cases, fatigue is caused by unhealthy habits, such as lack of exercise, poor sleep hygiene, and excessive alcohol or caffeine intake.
However, it can also be a symptom of stress or an underlying condition, such as depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or medication side effects.
Based in Florida, FAB CBD offers a long list of products from tinctures to topicals. Their mission is to provide high-quality hemp extracts for your overall wellness.
CBD can support your overall energy levels in several ways.
Most notably, research suggests that CBD may have a biphasic effect on wakefulness. This means that low doses can make you more awake and alert, whereas large doses have the opposite sedative effect. However, different results were obtained based on experimental manipulation. ¹
Having said that, there’s far more promise in CBD’s ability to improve health issues that can sap your energy levels.
For example, CBD can help with anxiety, chronic pain, and depression — issues that not only cause tiredness on their own but can also impact your sleep and reduce physical activity, leading to further fatigue, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating. ²
Another indirect way CBD can help with energy is by counteracting the side effects of caffeine.
Found in everything from your daily cup of coffee to pre-workout supplements, caffeine is the most popular and reliable energy booster out there. Unfortunately, caffeine has one notable downside — it can make you feel anxious and jittery.
CBD’s calming, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties could counteract these side effects, giving you a clean boost of energy without unwanted jitters. ³ That’s why a growing number of energy-boosting supplements are incorporating CBD into their formula.
How CBD Works
CBD interacts with many different molecules. One of its main effects is reducing the breakdown of anandamide — an endocannabinoid produced by the body. ⁴
Anandamide is a major component of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Made up of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and special enzymes, this system works to keep your body in a healthy state of balance called homeostasis. ⁵
The ECS regulates many vital processes, including pain, energy metabolism, sleep, wakefulness, anxiety, and stress.
Additionally, CBD can interact with serotonin (5-HT1a) receptors, which are involved in regulating your mood. ⁶ ⁷
Researchers also theorize that CBD may boost alertness by increasing dopamine, a wakefulness-inducing neurotransmitter (brain chemical). ⁸
What Does the Research Say?
There isn’t a whole lot of research on using CBD for energy.
One 2004 study examined the effects of THC and CBD on sleep. Eight healthy adults were given four treatments at different times: placebo, 15 mg THC, 5 mg THC plus 5 mg CBD, and 15 mg THC plus 15 mg CBD.
The study found that the THC plus CBD treatments decreased deep (stage 3) sleep and the higher dose (15 mg group) increased wakefulness.
The researchers concluded that “15 mg CBD appears to have to alert properties as it increased awake activity during sleep and counteracted the residual sedative activity of 15 mg THC.” ⁹
On the other hand, there’s evidence that CBD may relieve issues that can cause fatigue, such as anxiety and chronic pain.
In one 2019 study, CBD lowered anxiety and improved sleep in 72 people with sleep and anxiety disorders, although the effects on sleep fluctuated throughout the 3-month study. ¹⁰
In another 2019 study, CBD improved pain and sleep quality and lowered opioid painkiller use in 97 chronic pain sufferers. ¹¹
All in all, more research is needed to understand how CBD impacts energy levels.
Using CBD for Energy
CBD is sold in a wide variety of products, including CBD capsules, oils, gummies, and other edibles, beverages, and vape e-liquids. CBD topicals are another popular product, but being their administration, it’s unlikely they can help in this regard.
The right one to choose for energy depends on your goals. If you’re looking for a straightforward boost of energy, it’s best to go with capsules or beverages that contain CBD alongside caffeine and other standard energy-boosting ingredients like the B vitamins. However, it should be noted that CBD may counteract certain effects of caffeine – including anxiety.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a CBD-only product, CBD oil is ideal because it’s absorbed better than oral products, has relatively long-lasting effects, and starts to work within 15-40 minutes. ¹²
Another consideration to keep in mind is the type of CBD your product contains.
In most cases, full-spectrum CBD — which contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active hemp compounds — is the best choice. That’s because all these compounds work in synergy (the “entourage effect”), enhancing CBD’s effects. ¹³
However, if you’re only interested in CBD’s alertness-boosting effect, you may be better suited by products made with pure CBD, also known as isolate. This is the form used in studies that found that CBD can promote wakefulness. We’re not saying you should take a hit of a Direct Vapor or Sol CBD product while sipping on your morning cup of coffee. We’re saying look at the ingredients and see you’re going to get what you need.
How Much CBD Should I Take for Energy?
Given the lack of research, it’s hard to recommend a dosage of CBD for energy. The correct amount is different for everyone and depends on many factors, including your body weight, genetics, and the type of product you’re taking.
It also depends on the benefit you’re looking for. If you want to boost your alertness directly, you may need to use a relatively small dose (10-20 mg) of pure CBD.
Meanwhile, if you want to boost your energy levels by improving your sleep, anxiety, or other issues linked to fatigue, you’ll need to start small and gradually work your way up. ¹⁴
Start with a low dose of 10-15 mg, wait a few hours to see how you feel, and slowly increase it over time until you start to feel the desired effects.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Studies have shown that CBD is usually well tolerated. The most common side effects of CBD include: ¹⁵
Tiredness and drowsiness
Diarrhea and nausea
Low blood pressure
Changes in appetite or weight
CBD can also interact with some medications, ¹⁶ so it’s best to talk to your doctor beforehand.
However, these effects are usually minor and were only reported by studies using high oral doses of purified CBD. As such, most CBD users are unlikely to experience them.
While CBD isn’t the best for energy, it may help to promote energy that provides users with less anxiety. This may be true when mixed with other stimulating substances, such as caffeine.
CBD is not your typical energy booster. Although it may be stimulating in small doses, more research is needed to confirm this effect.
There’s far more promise in using CBD to improve issues that can lead to fatigue, such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and associated sleeping problems. In that sense, CBD can help you maintain your overall health, which can, in turn, support your energy levels.
CBD can also work great in combination with caffeine — the most widely consumed energy booster in the world — by helping reduce its jittery side effects.
Still, CBD is not a replacement for good sleep hygiene, regular exercise, stress management, and other healthy habits that support your energy levels. Instead, it should be seen as a supplement to your overall wellness routine.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for energy, we recommend going with CBD oil like one from American Shaman or a product that combines CBD with caffeine. You can even create your own product (with Magical Butter’s help) and come up with a CBD/coffee hybrid.
Gleb Oleinik is a freelance CBD & cannabis writer from Vancouver, Canada. He’s read thousands of studies about cannabinoids and other beneficial natural compounds, helping him translate complex science into plain language. He’s also written third-party lab test reports of CBD products and knows the industry inside and out. When he’s not writing, Gleb likes to spend his time in the gym and out in nature.