Will you sleep better with CBD?

Are you among 8 out of 10 who have trouble sleeping? CR says you might try CBD

By Lauren Verno - Consumer investigative reporter

Have trouble sleeping at night? You’re not alone. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, almost 80% of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week.

Now, some people are turning to CBD, a compound in cannabis that won’t get you high, to get some much-needed zzz’s. But is it safe and does it work? Consumer Reports has what you need to know.

Steph Davis is a professional mountain climber -- a hobby-turned-job that requires high levels of strength and concentration. So, for Davis, a good night's sleep is extremely important. 

“As an athlete, recovery is really important and I know that during sleep the muscles are recovering, my body is recovering," Davis said.

But like many people, Davis found herself tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep.

“I was just in this phase where I wouldn’t fall asleep right away and then I would wake up at 3 in the morning, and be, like, ‘Why am I awake?’” Davis said.

So a friend recommended she try CBD. 

“I took them for a couple weeks and then said, ‘Hey, wow, I’ve had really good sleeps in this time period,'" Davis said. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp and marijuana. Its popularity has exploded because of its potential to treat health problems like pain and anxiety.  

There isn’t a ton of research on CBD and insomnia. But the research that is available suggests that CBD may reduce anxiety and possibly reduce pain. Relieving one or both of those could help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

“We don’t have a ton of research on CBD and insomnia. But the research that we have suggests that CBD may reduce a person’s anxiety and possibly reduce pain. Relieving one or both of those could help a person get to sleep and stay asleep," said Lisa Gill, with Consumer Reports Special Investigations.

How do you know whether CBD is right for you? If you suffer from chronic insomnia, before you turn to CBD, it’s important to make an appointment with your physician. He or she might suggest a treatment with a proven track record, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which will help you focus on behaviors that can improve your sleep. It’s especially important to talk with your doctor about CBD if you take medications, because CBD may interact with them. 

If you still want to give CBD a try, always ask to see a product’s certificate of analysis, which shows how it performed on tests checking for levels of CBD and THC, the compound in cannabis that gets people high, and the presence of contaminants.

CBD comes in many different forms, and you might wonder which one to try. Vaping might work faster, but pills, oils and edibles such as gummy bears might help you sleep longer.

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