Consumers commonly use CBD oil for pain, anxiety, depression, and inflammation, but it can also have some side effects that may affect your energy levels. Does CBD make you tired? Well, the research on this is actually pretty conflicted.
Despite the inconclusive results, one of the most reported side effects of CBD is drowsiness or being fatigued throughout the day.
While this may be welcome for someone dealing with insomnia, or other sleep issues, for the rest, it can be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
This article will go over why CBD might make you tired and what you can do to combat the issue.
What is CBD and how does it affect you?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. These compounds, of which CBD is just 1 of over 100 identified, are called cannabinoids.
CBD is primarily known for its potential health benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation.
The compound interacts with your body’s internal systems to promote homeostasis and better overall health. One system, in particular, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), is why CBD has so many potential health benefits.
The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance (homeostasis); it has receptors (CB1 and CB2) in different organs and systems in your body, including the brain, spinal cord, stomach, and immune system.
Compounds like CBD interact with these receptors to help your body regulate its functions – for example, it may increase or decrease things like inflammation and pain, depending.
CBD vs THC
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids found in cannabis plants – but they differ in how they interact with your body.
CBD interacts with your body’s Endocannabinoid System to promote homeostasis or balance.
Even though it comes from cannabis plants (marijuana or hemp), CBD does not cause the same effects as another compound found in cannabis plants: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC is the compound found in cannabis that gets you high and is psychoactive. It impacts mood, memory, thinking patterns and behaviour.
CBD does not have psychoactive properties, so it will not get you “high.”
Does CBD make you tired?
While many people use CBD to help with various issues, including pain and inflammation, some users report feeling tired after taking CBD.
One reason for this may be that CBD impacts serotonin receptors in your brain – specifically the 5HT1A receptor. This receptor is responsible for regulating your daily functions like eating, sleeping, and mood.
When CBD binds to these 5HT1A receptors, it can essentially block anxiety or depression-causing molecules from activating them, which may result in relief being felt almost immediately. As a result of this, some may experience drowsiness or a relaxed, sleepy feeling.
CBD also exhibits anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. When you feel less stressed out and aren’t dealing with anxiety or pain and inflammation, your body is naturally more at ease. This can translate into a relaxed or sleepy state.
There are a few more ways that CBD may be making you feel more sleepy than normal.
One is the type of CBD you are taking. Full Spectrum CBD products generally contain minimal amounts of THC, which can cause that drowsy feeling.
Another is your dose. Tiredness while taking CBD is just one of the side effects, and all side effects of CBD can be magnified if you take a larger dose.
Still, there isn’t much research showing that CBD may cause drowsiness, despite many reports from CBD users saying that it does. In fact, there is some research to support CBD actually making you feel more alert.
More research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on the human body and why there are conflicting reports on the issue.
Other side effects of CBD
Besides feeling drowsy or more tired, CBD has several other side effects to watch for.
These side effects are usually mild and tend to dissipate the longer you use CBD. They include dry mouth, changes in appetite, diarrhea or constipation, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness and muscle soreness.
If you start to feel any of these other symptoms after starting your CBD, lowering your dose or switching up the type of CBD you’re taking may be enough to resolve them.
Using CBD for sleep disorders
If you’re someone who struggles with insomnia or another sleep disorder, you may find the potentially drowsiness-inducing qualities of CBD to be very welcoming.
Here are some of the reasons why CBD may help with these types of sleep issues:
One of the most common reasons for insomnia is stress.
This can happen when you have something on your mind that makes it hard to fall asleep or when you’re experiencing many different emotions throughout the day.
CBD may be able to reduce cortisol levels in the body – your body produces this hormone, and it causes stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Certain people experience more anxiety than others due to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD can make it hard to fall asleep because your mind is constantly racing, which prevents you from relaxing enough to doze off.
CBD has been shown through research to have anti-anxiety effects that may be useful for someone suffering from GAD. It may help you relax by activating serotonin receptors in the brain, as mentioned previously. This receptor sends signals throughout the nervous system resulting in the sense of calmness.
GAD isn’t the only form of anxiety that CBD may help with, either. CBD may also be useful for anxiety disorders like PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and panic attacks.
Pain and inflammation relief
Chronic pain is another common reason that can cause symptoms of insomnia. It may make you withdraw or isolate yourself from activities that would normally help you wind down at the end of a long day, like spending time with loved ones or getting active.
CBD may help reduce pain, like muscle soreness and stiffness, sore joints, and arthritis pain. It does this by interacting with your Endocannabinoid System, which is the network of receptors throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids to help potentially regulate pain and inflammation.
Less pain and inflammation at night means you get a better night’s rest.
Different types of CBD may cause more drowsiness
Not all CBD is cut from the same cloth. There are many different types, concentrations, methods of taking it, etc. These all factor into whether or not your CBD will make you feel more tired.
The majority of CBD products falls into three categories:
Full Spectrum CBD
First, Full Spectrum CBD is made with the entire plant. It’s extracted from all parts of the plant and includes not only other cannabinoids and terpenes but small amounts of THC as well.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD includes most of what Full Spectrum contains, but it excludes THC.
For example, if you have a sensitivity to THC, Broad Spectrum CBD may be a better choice for you because the THC has been removed to non-detectable levels.
CBD Isolate is a 99.9% pure compound containing only CBD; no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant matter is present in the final product.
Because of the THC in Full Spectrum CBD, it may make you feel more tired than other methods that don’t include it.
If you find that this is the case for you, it may be worthwhile to try switching to a Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate product.
How to overcome the drowsiness from CBD
Having a hard time getting over that drowsy feeling? Try these tips to see if they help:
Take your CBD with some caffiene
Coffee can work wonders for treating low energy, as you most likely already know. It does this by boosting dopamine and a lift to your mood, thanks to the organic acids in coffee beans.
Taking your CBD with a shot of caffeine may help to overcome its drowsy effects enough for you to get on with your day.
You can even add some CBD to your morning coffee; give it a shot!
Try a different method of ingestion
Some people report feeling more tired with certain methods of taking CBD; for example, CBD oils may make you feel more tired than CBD gummies.
Try switching up the method of consumption you’re using to see if it makes a difference.
Take a nap
More often than not, when people are feeling tired, they’ll turn to coffee or energy drinks to help them out of their slump, but instead of trying one of these vices, take a quick power nap instead.
Power naps aren’t brief enough for you to fall into REM sleep, which can make you feel groggy instead of energized once you wake up. But they are just long enough to get back on your feet again and ready to take on the day.
Ditch the THC
If all else fails, try going THC-free to see if that works better for you. Some people find that eliminating any traces of THC from their CBD regimen makes them feel less tired.
Mix up your routine
It could be as simple as that you are just doing the same thing every day, every hour of every day.
But it’s also possible that it is all just too much on top of CBD, making you fatigued. So take a break to give your body and mind some relief and see if it helps.
If you’re just not feeling like yourself anymore when taking CBD, take a break for a week or two; come back to it later to see if your energy levels rebound.
Lower your dose
Extra CBD isn’t necessarily a good thing; if you’re feeling more tired than usual, there’s a chance that you’re taking too much.
Lowering your dose will decrease the likeliness of experiencing side effects from CBD, including tiredness.
Take your CBD at night time only
If you feel more tired when taking CBD during the day, take it at night instead.
Some people don’t experience any side effects of CBD whatsoever, but others are more sensitive to its effects.
If your energy levels are declining at work or home and you’re not getting enough rest at night, this is something you should consider as well.
Take CBD as needed instead of daily
Some people find that taking small quantities of CBD every day ends up making them feel more tired than usual; they may end up taking too much, resulting in unpleasant feelings like grogginess and fatigue.
Even though the recommended method is to use it daily, use the product as needed instead. For example, take it when you need to do something strenuous or have an event where anxiety might be a factor.
Give it time
Finally, some people just need more time.
CBD is a natural supplement that your body is getting used to, so it might take some time for you to feel comfortable using CBD regularly.
Give it some time, and you might be surprised at how quickly your energy levels rebound.
CBD can make you feel fatigued, but there are many ways to combat this side effect.
Some people report feeling more tired with certain methods of taking CBD or when they use it daily. If your energy levels seem low, try going THC-free instead of using CBD every day.
Sometimes, just lowering your dose or switching up your routine can help you feel more energetic in the long run.