Can I take CBD Oil with melatonin?

by Apoorva Shivankar, M.D

Can I take CBD Oil with melatonin?

According to Dalai Lama, ‘Sleep is the best form of meditation which empowers you with the strength of internal peace, focused brains, intense relaxation and a refreshed body and mind. It plays an integral role in the health and wellness.’ A good night’s sleep promises the body a chance to recover from the wear and tear which takes place throughout the day both internally and externally and gets it ready to take on the next day.

With sleep disorders plaguing the modern world, normal sleep has become a far-fetched dream today. Around one-third of the adult population in the US is suffering from insomnia or poor-quality sleep.

Not getting enough sleep can be damaging to health. It can be extremely exhaustive, and not only make you feel irritable and unfocused but also increase the risk of developing serious health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and mental conditions.

If you are also going through insomnia or other related disorders, we suggest you try a combination of natural sleep supports like melatonin and CBD (Cannabidiol), and feel the difference. You surely will as both these ingredients have a strong scientific back up for their effect.

To begin with,

Are melatonin and CBD oil proven sleep aids?

Yes, they are. Let’s see one by one.

Melatonin

An undisturbed effective sleep for 7-8 hours at night which wakes you up fully relaxed and fresh the next morning is termed as normal sleep.  Melatonin is responsible to maintain our sleep-wake cycle in an orderly manner. This hormone is secreted from the pineal gland in a fluctuating manner.

During the day-light, the amount of melatonin released is very low whereas at the same time another hormone called cortisol is secreted heavily in order to maintain alertness. As the sun starts setting, perception of darkness stimulates a steady rise in melatonin secretion which then informs the brain and body to get ready for sleep.

Melatonin levels peak up between 11AM to 3PM and later start dropping around 6-7AM making you wake up naturally. This is how melatonin regulates the natural circadian rhythm of the body.

The unfortunate part is

As we age the pineal gland gets sluggish and even calcifies. This reduces melatonin secretion explaining an increase in sleeping issues with advancing age. In addition to this, melatonin secretion is highly sensitive. The slightest exposure to light or stress immediately decreases the melatonin levels causing sleep difficulties.

In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to avoid stress or to hide/run away from the evening lights complicating the issue further. Even the dim light of your cell-phones or laptop screens can impede melatonin secretion. Here comes the role of external melatonin supplements to fill in the deficiency seen in the case of old age, stressed modern lifestyle, jet lag, shift-workers and even for synchronizing sleep-wake cycle in case of blinds.1

How does CBD aid sleep?

Melatonin informs your body and brain to fall asleep but what if your brain is already clouded with thoughts or stress? It won’t be able to register the information properly resulting in disturbed sleep. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabis plant-derived cannabinoid, can help here. It can clear your brain making it more receptive to melatonin and encourage nice sound sleep. How? Check below:

  • CBD oil fights with the common proponents of sleeplessness like anxiety, stress, depression, irritation, etc. by its endocannabinoid system(ECS) mediated anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, stress-bursting and relaxing properties. It thus calms our minds and creates an overall ambience for peaceful sleep.

Using CBD itself can also give you a nice shut-eye by the following mechanisms:

  • Usually, the cortisol levels come down naturally at night but in stressful situations, they continue to remain high keeping you alert and awake all night. CBD by reducing cortisol release can be very effective in making sleep more achievable. 7
  • The powerful analgesic effects of CBD help sleep disturbances occurring due to neuropathic pains or chemotherapy-related pains making it more effective as a sleeping aid.
  • Moreover, outside the Endocannabinoid system, CBD oil combats anxiety disorder by interacting with serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters which can calm down excess brain activity and promote relaxation in the same way as benzodiazepines, the well-proven anxiolytic drugs, do.
  • According to a research5 conducted in 2017, CBD products can help in the treatment of REM sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Another research6 published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that taking CBD products can increase total sleep time with considerably reduced in-between wake-up episodes when compared to the placebo group.

Thus, CBD can add-on the sleep promoting effects of melatonin.

How would you use CBD oil for sleep?

  • For a perfect night’s sleep, it is advisable to take CBD in lower doses initially, see the effect and then try your way up until you get the desired results.
  • If you are using CBD oil orally, consume it at least 1 hour prior to your scheduled time of sleep.
  • If your sleep time is not fixed, use it sublingually once you hit the bed. You will see the benefits within 20 min.
  • It’s always advisable to use the best CBD oil for maximum benefits. By saying this, we mean if possible, go for good quality, certified, pure, full spectrum CBD oil which contain multiple cannabinoids making the oil more effective due to the entourage effect. 

Interesting fact:

Melatonin supplements on repeated use are sometimes known to show a decrease in effectiveness demanding an increase in dose for a similar effect next time. Though well tolerated, a high dosage above 5mg might lead to headache, nausea, vivid dreams and even confusions.

CBD acts as a true friend here. With no such dose adjustment required while taking CBD, we can use it regularly to lower cortisol and create an atmosphere amiable for sleeping whereas reserve melatonin only for regularizing the sleep-wake cycle at regular intervals but not daily.

Wondering can we actually combine CBD and melatonin to achieve better results?

If yes, can there be any drawbacks of the resulting combination?

Yes, we surely can. Though the combination is not intended to diagnose or prevent any disorder, it will definitely relieve your existing sleeping issues in a much better way.

As of now, we cannot see any possibility of an untoward after effect of this combination.

Let’s see why

  1. Both CBD and melatonin, are natural and safe with almost nil side effects.

    - No hangover,
    - No withdrawal,
    - No intoxication,
    - No serious side effects.

  2. None of them is a central nervous system depressant.
  3. They have their independent mechanisms of action.

Melatonin acts via MT1 and MT2 receptors in the brain whereas CBD acts by modulating the endocannabinoid (CB1, CB2) and serotonin receptors.

  1. Have synergistic health effects-

    - Melatonin rectifies circadian rhythm to treat insomnia whereas CBD promotes effective sleep by alleviating conditions like stress, panic disorder, depression and pain.

    - As the light fades, melatonin informs the body to sleep and CBD creates conditions amiable to make one fall asleep.

    - Having a half-life of 6 hours, if you want to wake up early, melatonin levels won’t fall sufficiently leading to a slight hangover which can be taken over by the ‘Day-time alerting effect’ of CBD.

    - Melatonin induces and CBD maintains the sleep naturally.

  2. Both act through G protein-coupled receptors (CB1, CB2 receptors and MT1, MT2 receptors) indicating a similar effect on body processes, which make them natural allies in treating insomnia.

  3. Thinking rationally,

CBD products are approved by the food and drug administration for epilepsy management and also considered safe for treating anxiety, pain, appetite, stress, etc. This means that when administered for the above-mentioned causes, it does not interact with the naturally present melatonin in the body in a negative way suggesting no harmful effect of CBD and melatonin taken together.

So, can you take CBD oil with melatonin?

Yes, absolutely.

Though both of them are known to promote sleep individually, when taken together, they work synergistically to shut down racing brains and encourage long-lasting deep sleep more effectively.

But then how to use the CBD oil and melatonin together as a sleeping aid?

There are 2 options: 

Option 1: Take CBD and melatonin separately.

  • Melatonin is available in standard doses of 1mg tablets and is the safest option available with almost no side effects till 5mg. Mostly 0.3-0.5mg dosage is sufficient enough to produce effects. Start with 0.3 mg, up titrate till you get the desired dose. Consume it around 90min before your scheduled sleep time, keeping in mind that melatonin prepares you to sleep, but actual sleep takes time to sink in.

  • For CBD, same as melatonin, start with lower doses such as 10 mg, move your way up till you get the desired effect. Administer this dose of CBD oil orally somewhere around 1 hour prior to sleep. However, if taking sublingually, a time gap of 20-30 min is more than enough.

Usually, a dose of 0.25 mg/pound body weight works well for CBD but stronger effects may need up to 0.5mg/pound body weight. 

Option 2: Try the combination pills readily available in the market.

Start with the dosage recommended in the information pamphlet and gradually increase until you experience the desired effect.

Before taking CBD oil and melatonin either individually or combined together, always take medical advice from your physician.

Advantage of melatonin and CBD over other conventional sleeping pills.

  • Sleeping pills are subjected to tolerance effects compelling an increase in dosage at regular intervals.
  • Secondly, they present with lingering effects like grogginess or day time sleepiness.

CBD and melatonin combination is free from both plus it’s all-natural making it the most desirable drug of modern world.

Final Comments:

  • Melatonin brings back your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Cannabidiol ensures serene calmness to the brain and relaxation to the body.
  • Melatonin+CBD = A perfect combination wherein the components complement each other, mask their side-effects and work synergistically as a team, to free you from insomnia and related disorders.
  • Rush to add one to your cart soon.

 

FAQs 

Q. What are the common conventional sleeping aids available?

Antihistamines like Diphenhydramine, Doxylamine succinate.

Antidepressants like Trazodone (Desyrel), Amitriptyline (Elavil).

 

Q. What is the legal status of melatonin and CBD?

Melatonin: Legal but not approved by the Food and Drug administration to treat insomnia.

CBD: Only hemp plant derived CBD with THC concentration <0.3% is legalized in not all but most of the states of the USA. None of the CBD products except Epidiolex is approved by the FDA.

 

Q. How can we boost the efficiency of sleep supplements?

  • Set a night time routine.
  • Ensure complete darkness before bedtime. 
  • Try meditation to manage stress
  • Follow daily exercise and healthy diet.

 

Q. Can we combine CBD oil and melatonin together for our pets too?

Yes, it works well with pet insomnia too but with different doses obviously.


References:

  1. Zisapel N. The use of melatonin for the treatment of insomnia. Biol Signals Recept. 1999 Jan-Apr;8(1-2):84-9. doi: 10.1159/000014574. PMID: 10085468.
  2. Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, Queiroz RH, Mechoulam R, Guimarães FS, Crippa JA. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Braz J Psychiatry. 2019 Jan-Feb;41(1):9-14. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015. Epub 2018 Oct 11. PMID: 30328956; PMCID: PMC6781714.
  3. Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Front Immunol. 2018 Sep 21;9:2009. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009. PMID: 30298064; PMCID: PMC6161644.
  4. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041. PMID: 30624194; PMCID: PMC6326553.
  5. Kimberly A. Babson1 & James Sottile 2 & Danielle Morabito1. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature Published online: 27 March 2017 # Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2017Curr Psychiatry Rep (2017) 19: 23 DOI 10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9
  6. Carlini EA, Cunha JM. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981 Aug-Sep;21(S1):417S-427S. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02622.x. PMID: 7028792.
  7. Zuardi AW, Guimarães FS, Moreira AC. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1993 Feb;26(2):213-7. PMID: 8257923.

 

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