From ashwagandha to 5-HTP, there has been a significant increase in the range of sleep supplements in the UK lately. Given the range of options available, we wanted to break down the best options for CBD oil for sleep. But of course, to accurately compare these products and their results, you first need to understand the basics – such as how does CBD oil work for sleep? We realise some people might even be new to the idea of using CBD oil to improve sleep, so what is this all about? Many people claim CBD improves their sleep and reduces anxiety. Learn what CBD is, how CBD might help you, and what research needs to be done on CBD.
Best CBD Oils for Sleep UK (2022)
From ashwagandha to 5-HTP, there has been a significant increase in the range of sleep supplements in the UK lately.
Given the range of options available, we wanted to break down the best options for CBD oil for sleep.
But of course, to accurately compare these products and their results, you first need to understand the basics – such as how does CBD oil work for sleep?
We realise some people might even be new to the idea of using CBD oil to improve sleep, so what is this all about?
What is CBD?
CBD is a health supplement taken from the hemp plant. For decades, research into this supplement was halted due to the legal issues around cannabis.
However, as cannabis laws have slowly relaxed around the world, CBD is becoming more and more popular as a supplemen t with a myriad of benefits – one of which is improved sleep and a reduction of insomnia symptoms.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an organic compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. You are likely aware of THC, the most famous compound from the cannabis plant. This is the (mostly) illegal substance that gets people “high” and the ingredient for which recreational users smoke cannabis.
CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive effects or risk of addiction, making it relatively harmless in comparison.
Is CBD Legal?
While CBD has previously been illegal in the UK as part of a blanket ban on cannabis as a whole, it is now fully legal. THC remains illegal due to its potential for abuse but CBD alone can be used legally in health supplements, skincare products etc.
However, most drug tests that check for cannabis do so by detecting the presence of THC. Due to this, CBD products that contain THC do pose a risk of failing such a drug test. As such, full spectrum CBD products or any that contain notable amounts of THC should be avoided by lorry drivers, people who operate heavy machinery, or anybody who is likely to be drug tested regularly.
CBD itself does not show up on drug tests, does not make you drowsy and holds no serious potential for abuse or addiction, and so CBD products with negligible or zero THC content are risk free.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
Taking too much CBD can cause mild side effects such as:
However, these side effects are very rare and often require a huge dose. In general, CBD is as low in side effects as other herbal supplements such as chamomile or lavender. As long as you use high quality CBD products with quality ingredients such as those listed in this article, there is nothing to worry about.
Can CBD Help With Sleep?
CBD has become very popular as a sleep supplement as well as to reduce symptoms of related complaints such as anxiety.
A 2019 study found that when test subjects were given 25mg of CBD per day, 66% of them saw improvements in sleep.
Another study concluded that 160mg of CBD provided clear additional sleep benefits over placebo.
While studies are still in their early stages compared to other supplements due to the previous legal issues around CBD, the existing studies are almost entirely positive so far and there is a strong suggestion that CBD can help reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and cause a mild sedative effect that can help reduce stress, anxiety, encourage relaxation and help with a good night’s sleep.
What is Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?
Since hemp contains both CBD and THC in varying concentrations, the way CBD oil is prepared is extremely important and can dramatically change the quality of the end product.
Beyond THC and CBD, hemp contains over 100 other lesser known cannabinoids, many of which hold their own benefits. These cannabinoids have also been found to work together to increase the results experienced from taking CBD in something known as ‘the entourage effect’.
Pure CBD that has all other cannabinoids removed is known as CBD isolate. This is generally the worst way to take CBD for health benefits as it throws the entourage effect out the window.
An unchanged hemp extract that contains all of the same natural ingredients in the same ratios as the plant itself is known as full spectrum CBD. This is much better than CBD isolate as it benefits from the entourage effect, but it also usually contains THC, making it potentially cause similar side effects to cannabis. There is also a risk that taking full spectrum CBD can cause you to fail a drug test. Most full spectrum CBD products are illegal in the UK due to the THC content.
As a result, the best way to take CBD for sleep (or any other health benefit unless advised otherwise by a doctor) is to take broad spectrum CBD. This has THC removed (or less than 0.2% THC content), but with all of the other cannabinoids remaining in their natural quantities – allowing you to experience the full benefit of the entourage effect without any potential side effects or legal risks.
Unfortunately regulations are still premature enough that many of the CBD oil products for sleep in the UK use low quality ingredients, very low doses, CBD isolate alone, or in some cases no CBD at all.
Fortunately for you, you’ve done the research so you don’t need to, and here are our picks for the top CBD oils for sleep in the UK:
The Best CBD Oils for Sleep
1: Evopure Sleep Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Evopure is a UK based CBD startup that has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. From a product perspective they have done everything right – their CBD oil is broad spectrum and high quality from EU hemp farms, they make use of sustainable farming practices and offer independent testing results for each batch letting you see exactly what your bottle contains.
Add to this a no-GMO rule, fully organic ingredients and a 30 day guarantee and it’s pretty hard to find fault with Evopure.
But they’ve gone a further step and made a sleep specific product which combines the benefits of broad spectrum CBD oil with additional ingredients to help you switch off.
These additional ingredients include passiflora extract ( proven to help support sleep ) and a custom-sleep focused blend of terpenes and flavonoids.
While they do offer a full range of products including hemp tea, pure CBD oil and CBD capsules, their sleep broad spectrum CBD oil is the best CBD product in the UK for sleep or insomnia, without question.
2: Love Hemp CBD Liquid Oral Drops 10,000mg CBD
At almost 7 times the price of our #1 pick, Love Hemp’s broad spectrum CBD oil is likely not for newcomers or the budget conscious.
However, for those CBD enthusiasts who are willing to push the boat out a little – it certainly earns its place on this list with a whopping 10x the CBD content of Evopure’s sleep CBD oil.
Made primarily from hemp extract and MCT oil with little in the way of additional ingredients to boost results, Love Hemp’s option is still an amazing choice for those who want to take a large dose of high quality broad spectrum CBD, quickly.
Testing has found positive results on sleep from as little as 25mg of CBD, meaning this won’t be necessary for the vast majority of people – but if you find your tolerance has risen after using CBD for a long time (or a history of cannabis use) and that you need very large doses to experience the results you’re looking for – Love Hemp is the only realistic solution for getting a massive hit of CBD in a single drop.
3: OTO CBD Pillow Spray
Unlike our two higher ranked products, this one isn’t an oral supplement. However, it’s a powerful pillow mist containing 2400mg of broad spectrum CBD combined with lavender and chamomile extracts.
This makes it the perfect product for those who don’t like taking oral supplements before bed and/or dislike the natural earthy taste of pure CBD oil, but still want to experience the sleep benefits of CBD oil. It’s luxurious herbal scent will have you ready to doze off as soon as you smell it.
Studies show that inhaling CBD can be just as beneficial as taking it orally, although CBD isolate is much more bioavailable than most other cannabinoids meaning there is a chance the entourage effect will be reduced slightly by going this route. Even with that said, for people who don’t want to orally ingest CBD, there simply isn’t a better product around.
4: Apothem Lights Out Drops
Following in the footsteps of Evopure’s sleep oil, Apothem takes a high quality CBD oil for sleep and adds additional herbal sleep supplements to boost results. This time it’s lemon balm, 5-htp, L-theanine and chamomile. The product also comes in a delicious caramel and vanilla flavour.
At 3x the price of Evopure’s product for the same dose and with no sustainable farming practices mentioned on their website, it’s hard to rank this one higher – but it undoubtedly deserves it’s spot on our list, and if you have the extra cash to spend it’s a brilliant quality product that is made from 100% organic hemp extract.
It comes in a suitably premium feeling bottle and the wide range of sleep-inducing additional ingredients means you’re almost guaranteed to feel something, even if CBD isn’t quite your thing.
5: CBDistillery Relief + Relax CBD Oil
CBDistillery is a veteran of the CBD game and one of the first companies to show up back when CBD was just a niche topic being discussed online but mostly unknown to the general public.
Despite a huge range of competitors popping up since then, very few have overtaken CBDistillery and they remain an authority in the industry. You’ll be glad to know then, that they’ve recently launched their new Relief & Relax CBD oil.
The product misses out on the entourage effect by only including pure CBD, but makes up for this by offering 3 separate strengths to give you the exact dose you feel you need, making it a potential #1 option for people who are regularly drug tested.
CBDistillery hemp comes from a US non-GMO farm and while there is no mention of organic hemp on their site, in most other areas it can hold its own against the other products here and is one of the best CBD products available in the UK.
6: Kiara Naturals CBD Sleep and Relax Tincture
Kiara Naturals is a Swiss manufacturer known for potent CBD supplements. Their CBD oil is full spectrum but with the THC removed to less than 0.2% presence for the full entourage effect. Added ingredients include valerian root, hops and California poppy.
This is the only CBD product on our list that contains alcohol, which may be a no go for some but Kiara claims it helps to deliver the herbal remedies into the system more quickly.
Despite the alcohol question and the fact that Kiara’s CBD oil is one of the more expensive on the list, it’s high dose, added ingredients and typical Swiss high quality make sure it remains a great option for anybody looking to experience CBD’s benefits for sleep.
7: Holistic Hemp Scotland CBD Tincture Oil
Holistic Hemp is a small, family run business in Scotland. Their hemp plants are sourced from small farms all over Europe in an attempt to minimize their footprint on the environment and all hemp is certified organic.
They also take more care in the harvesting process than most, handpicking hemp flowers and extracting the CBD with minimal heat or pressure, which they claim results in a better quality CBD oil.
With only one choice of dosage which is the smallest on this list, and none of the added ingredients included in our higher ranked products, this is a no frills option for CBD oil for sleep – but it’s a high quality and trustworthy one that puts nature first, and that’s hard to argue with!
8: Vibes CBD Oil
Vibes delivers a premium quality CBD oil that has won a lot of industry awards, and what really makes it stand out amongst the rest of this list is the delicious mixed fruit flavour. The hemp used is 100% organic, non-GMO, and lab tested regularly
The CBD is broad spectrum and while the starting price is high, the dose is too so there are no issues with value.
Without any additional beneficial ingredients and no sustainable policies mentioned on their website, you will likely get better results and less guilt from something like Evopure – but if you aren’t a fan of the natural herbal taste that product provides, this is a perfect solution.
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CBD as a Sleep Aid
We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
A good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend adults sleep seven to nine hours each night. Proper sleep ensures you feel well-rested and have energy for the next day. A good night’s rest also contributes to memory formation, helps grow and repair muscle and tissue, and prevents sickness.
Unfortunately, falling asleep or staying asleep can be difficult for certain types of sleepers. As many as 70% of Americans report not sleeping the recommended hours, and nearly one-third of American workers sleep less than six hours per night. Solutions for better sleep and avoiding sleep debt vary. Possible approaches include improved sleep hygiene, prescription sleep aids, and natural sleep aids.
One increasingly popular strategy for sleeping better is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. However, the regulation of CBD in the United States is limited, and much more research must be done to determine the exact effects CBD has on sleep and other physical and mental health concerns.
About Cannabis and Cannabinoids
While there are many different slang terms for the green, narrow-leafed plant you may recognize, the plant is scientifically called Cannabis sativa. The word “cannabis” can be used to describe any products made from the plant. Cannabis plants contain multiple chemical compounds, including a group referred to as “cannabinoids.” Out of more than 100 cannabinoids, researchers have primarily studied two that appear to have the greatest impact on humans: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.
What Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Most commonly known effects of cannabis, such as “getting high,” are caused by the cannabinoid, THC. The term “marijuana” specifically refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain THC.
Cannabis plants and derivatives that contain less than 0.3% THC are classified as “hemp.” As of 2018, hemp is no longer defined as a controlled substance by the U.S. federal government. As a result, there has been an influx of hemp-related products in the American market. These products are generally marketed as CBD products.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD, the other commonly known cannabinoid, can be legally sold in the U.S. when extracted from hemp and marketed according to relevant regulations. CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not bring about the same effects as THC. Also, CBD does not have effects that would lead to potential dependency or risk of abuse.
CBD is an increasingly popular substance in the U.S. While many health benefits have been attributed to CBD, in most cases, scientific validity of its effectiveness is still unclear.
Is CBD FDA-Approved?
Only a few cannabis-derived or cannabis-related drug products are FDA-approved in the U.S.:
- Epidiolex. This oral CBD solution was the first drug containing a purified cannabis-derived substance approved by the FDA. The drug is approved for seizure treatment in rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex for patients ages two and up. Although Epidiolex has been shown to reduce other types of seizures, it has not yet been FDA-approved for treating those seizures.
- Marinol and Syndros. These two drugs contain dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. They come in capsules or oral solutions. Dronabinol affects the part of the brain that controls appetite, nausea, and vomiting, so the drugs have several therapeutic uses. These uses include the treatment of nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and treatment of weight loss in patients with HIV.
- Cesamet. Cesamet contains nabilone, a synthetic compound with a chemical structure similar to THC. Like dronabinol, this capsule also affects the part of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea. The drug is prescribed to patients receiving chemotherapy who have not responded to other nausea and vomiting treatments.
The FDA has not approved any other CBD drug products. The agency has not determined the safety and effectiveness of cannabis or CBD in the treatment of any particular conditions or disease.
What Forms Does CBD Come In?
There are several common forms of CBD:
- Oral solutions, such as the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex
- Oral sprays that are applied under the tongue
- Oils and tinctures, sometimes described as drops or droplets
- Vapes and vape juices to use in a vaping pen
- Edible items, such as gummies, chocolates, or cookies, and beverages, such as coffees and teas
- Pills and capsules
- Topical solutions, including lotions, creams, patches, gels, and ointments
What Are Common Doses of CBD?
Outside of Epidiolex, the FDA doesn’t regulate dosing of non-drug CBD products. As a result, the amount of CBD in products varies widely among forms.
Research shows 300-mg oral doses of CBD can be taken safely on a daily basis for up to six months. One scientific review showed that taking up to 1,500 mg daily was well-tolerated by participants. A subsequent review confirmed that use of 1,500 mg daily for four weeks showed no negative effects.
Unfortunately, the indicated CBD content on a product label is not necessarily the amount that the product actually contains, which may lead people to take more or less CBD than intended. One analysis of 84 CBD products sold online showed that 26% of the products contained less CBD than the label said. The same analysis showed nearly 43% of the products were underlabled, meaning they contained substantially more CBD than the label said.
While CBD at higher doses does not appear to have serious negative consequences, these products may also contain higher levels of THC than reported on the label. Other CBD products may contain THC that is not reported on the label at all. The THC in these products can produce intoxicating effects, which may or may not be desired.
What Are the Effects of Taking CBD?
Research shows that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. CBD can also alter mood because it affects the serotonin system. Outcomes vary among people and depend on the product type and dose.
Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a feeling of being “high.” Even large doses of CBD do not produce THC-like effects. Additionally, a few studies have demonstrated that CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
Studies of short-term CBD use show that patients do not experience withdrawal.
What Health Conditions Can CBD Help With?
So far, CBD’s effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy is well-supported by research. Other early research suggests that CBD may also help treat schizophrenia and substance use disorders.
Currently, there is insufficient research to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating other health conditions. However, preliminary research suggests CBD can help with a number of sleep disorders, including insomnia REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness disorder. Additional preliminary research suggests CBD can also help patients improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
What Are the Risks of CBD?
Most negative effects of CBD medications and products are mild. For example, patients who use Epidiolex may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues. Some people may experience drowsiness when they take CBD. Other negative effects experienced with CBD may be due to an interaction between the CBD and other medications the patient is taking.
How Can CBD Help With Sleep Disorders?
Research on the effects CBD has on sleep disorders is still preliminary. Some people who use CBD for chronic pain report sleeping better. Currently, it is unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Other initial studies of CBD and sleep disorders suggest positive outcomes. However, not everyone experiences the same sleep benefits with CBD use, and different doses might lead to different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulating, while high doses of CBD are sedating. Discrepancies in experience can also be attributed to the method of CBD administration and dose. Additional research is needed to deepen our understanding of CBD as an intervention for sleep disorders.
Anxiety and CBD
While not a sleep disorder itself, anxiety can contribute to poor quality sleep, insufficient sleep, and sleep disorders. Because CBD calms the nervous system, early research indicates that CBD can be used to treat anxiety-related disorders. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep initially improved in more than 65% percent of participants, followed by fluctuating results.
Insomnia and CBD
People who suffer from insomnia experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and mood. Because of their history of poor sleep, people with insomnia may suffer from anxiety about getting inadequate sleep, which can then increase sleeplessness at night.
Given the potential positive outcomes of CBD treating anxiety, it is speculated that CBD may also help reduce the anxiety associated with insomnia. Additionally, a new pilot study of CBD and THC use in humans with physician-diagnosed insomnia is underway. The results of the study will offer more insight into the effects CBD has on insomnia.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and CBD
In REM sleep behavior disorder, patients verbalize and make aggressive movements during their rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. The disorder is most common in older patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
In a limited study of four patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD helped manage the REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms. Before taking CBD, the patients experienced disorder symptoms 2–7 times per week. After taking CBD, the symptoms occurred 0–1 times in a week. Further studies are necessary, but these initial results suggest CBD as a possible treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Disorder and CBD
Those who have excessive daytime sleepiness disorder struggle to stay awake during typical daytime hours. One solution for waking up on time and staying wake may be CBD. Initial research on animals shows that CBD functions as a wake-inducing drug. However, other studies suggest CBD functions as a sedating drug. Further research is needed to determine what doses and methods of CBD use affect wakefulness and sleepiness.
Does CBD Interact With Other Prescriptions?
CBD can interact with other prescriptions a person takes. In particular, CBD can slow the liver’s ability to break down certain medications. Additionally, using CBD as well as herbs or supplements can make the patient too sleepy.
Before using any CBD product, consult your doctor. Let your doctor know of any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking, so they can assess if CBD might cause a negative interaction. Your doctor will be able to inform you if CBD is a viable option to meet your health goals.