Does CBD Make You Feel Sleepy?

You may have heard that CBD is often used as a natural sleep aid, but how does it work? What if you want to use CBD in the morning? Is drowsiness a side effect?
By Tommy Chong

If you’ve never taken CBD, you’re probably wondering what it feels like. 

Spoiler: it’s nothing like THC. (Believe me, I would know…) 

So, how can it help you sleep if it doesn’t make you feel drowsy? 

Well, CBD is unique in the way that it supports sleep because it’s NOT a sedative. It doesn’t “make you” fall asleep. It can help to “let you” fall asleep. I’ll explain the difference below, but the upshot is you can take it during the day or at night without fear that you’ll crave an afternoon nap.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant. (Hence the name.)

Now the name “CBD Oil” can be a little ‘deceptive’ because it can be used to describe LOTS of different things. See, CBD Oil can be full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate, and these are VERY different.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil just means that the oil contains all the different compounds that the hemp plant contains, but in oil form. That means it has other cannabinoids in it, like CBG, CBN, CBD-V and even a little THC. Legally, hemp plants have less that 0.3% THC in them. That means it’s not NEARLY enough to have any kind of “funny” effects. Because of something called the “entourage effect” Full Spectrum tends to be considered the gold standard.

Next is Broad Spectrum. Broad Spectrum just means that the CBD contains multiple trace cannabinoids but NO THC. This sounds like a good  thing, but remember that Broad Spectrum CBD Oil has to be MADE. It can’t be extracted directly from a plant. You have to extract JUST the CBD and then add back in other cannabinoids one at a time (trying to reach the ideal balance). There’s no other way to make sure that the finished product has no THC. (Sounds like a lot of trouble and not much benefit in my book…) 

CBD isolate is only CBD. Everything else is removed from the plant extracts using something called winterization. Winterization is when full spectrum CBD oil is mixed with ethanol and frozen. The fatty acids in phytonutrients break away from the CBD oil, leaving behind pure CBD extract. 

Now, CBD Isolate sounds like it would be the “most pure”, but in my experience, it’s also the least effective. (Your mileage may vary, as they say…) You just gotta realize that the science shows that CBD tends to be more potent when it’s used along with all the other compounds found in the hemp plant. It’s that ‘entourage effect’ we were talking about. 


No. Not really. The compound that makes most people feel tired or lazy in the cannabis plant is THC. The THC in full spectrum CBD isn’t enough to make you feel sleepy or drowsy. 

CBD supports your sleep in other ways, without psychoactive effects or drowsiness.

So, how can CBD help with sleep?

CBD works with your body’s endocannabinoid system. 

The endocannabinoid system provides support to almost everything your body does, including sleep. When you fuel your endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids, you’re supporting natural relaxation since CBD can ease emotional stress, physical tension, and physical discomfort. 

It’s very difficult to sleep when you don’t feel good. Aches make you toss and turn. Emotional stress keeps your gears grinding late into the night. When you support your body’s ability to naturally resolve uncomfortable distractions, it’s easier to get a decent night’s sleep.

The Different Forms of CBD

CBD comes in lots of different forms. Nano CBD tinctures are the most effective and efficient form to take. Other types of CBD can be more convenient in certain situations. 

Ultimately, the best CBD is one you know you’ll commit to using regularly. If you know you can’t stand the taste of tinctures, grab some CBD in an alternative form, like gummies or capsules, or even topical creams.


CBD tinctures specifically designed for sleep support will always be your best bet. 

Nano CBD tinctures are made to overcome the biggest problem with CBD (no pun intended). 

See, CBD particles tend to clump together and create large particles that have to be broken down by your body before they can be used. Nano CBD particles (as the name implies) are much smaller. This creates a TON of benefits for most users.

The first, and most popular is speed. Unlike “regular” CBD oil, you can place a few drops of Nano CBD under your tongue, hold them for 30 seconds, and begin to experience benefits in as little as 15 minutes as they enter your bloodstream through your soft tissue.

Some CBD products incorporate other ingredients, like melatonin, valerian root, and GABA. GABA and melatonin are both hormones your body naturally releases to relax you and help your body enter the sleep state. Valerian root is an herbal sleep aid that’s been used for centuries. It dates back hundreds of years before modern medicine. 

The combination of CBD with these other natural ingredients can help to support relaxation and restful sleep without the use of artificial chemicals. Sublingual tinctures work quickly, so you can take them an hour or so before bed. If you’re looking to take the natural route, there’s never been a better way!


CBD softgels are CBD oil in a soft capsule. The doses are pre-measured. All you need to do is take the capsule the same way you’d take a vitamin or supplement. 

Word to the wise: CBD softgels need to pass through your digestive system. That makes them a bit of a trade-off. Because what you gain in convenience, you kind of lose in timing and potency. 

For instance, if you want to swallow a couple CBD softgels and have them kick in in time for bedtime, you may have to take them with dinner. The food will also help the absorption a little. 


CBD gummies are a lot like CBD softgels. They’re a great alternative to softgels for people who don’t like, or have trouble swallowing capsules. 

Children are more likely to take a gummy than a softgel. If your little one is having trouble getting to bed at night, a CBD gummy can be a valuable option to provide them with some natural sleep support. 

CBD Creams

CBD creams are topical products. (Huge surprise, I know…) 

They don’t work with your endocannabinoid system to support sleep. Instead, they address aches, pains, and discomfort. The upshot is that they work right at the spot where you need ‘em, and don’t need to take time to work their way through your system.

Got sore hands? Rub the CBD into your hands, not your temples or your ankle, or anywhere else… Nice and easy. 

This way, the CBD can go right to the source of irritation and get to work right away. 

Most CBD creams also contain other proven topical pain relievers. This provides them kind-of a “1-2 punch” approach. 

Menthol, camphor, MSM, and cinnamon are the most common additions to these formulas. They’re used as a natural way to improve circulation, relieve swelling, and ease tension, or throbbing feelings in irritated muscles.

If you have sore muscles that are keeping you up at night, massage them with a CBD gel, lotion, salve, or balm. Use CBD topicals in conjunction with an internal form of CBD for the best results!

The Takeaway

CBD isn’t going to make you feel groggy or sleepy. 

Instead, it promotes relaxation while relieving discomfort and soothing tension. It gets you in a calm place, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally. The inclusion of melatonin, valerian root, and GABA will only boost CBD’s effects. 

Think of it as a holistic relaxation cocktail.

Like I said up top, CBD won’t MAKE you sleepy. It LETS you sleep. Hope it makes sense now.

Keep on Keeping on,