Are your CBD sleep aids mislabelled?

Published May 31, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / colnihko

Are you using CBD in hopes of getting a better night's sleep? Is it working? Perhaps a little too well? Have you noticed any other side effects that might have you concerned? CBD sleep products are a growing niche in both medical and recreational cannabis because not everyone is willing to get a prescription for something so small, and they can offer some fantastic benefits for the nearly 1 in 4 people who will have trouble with falling or staying asleep at some point in life.

CBD for sleep

With a long list of commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals that all boast way too many adverse side effects to name, it's easy to see why so many people are turning to CBD sleep aids, and for a large portion of those who tried it, it seems to work quite well from a host of unique angles. While most sleep aids work by inducing a thick chemical-induced slumber, many struggles with other problems that are eventually impacting the quality of sleep, and CBD can assist with most of them.

  • Headaches
  • Pain due to injury
  • Muscle spasms
  • Inflammation
  • Joint aches
  • Chronic pain
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Frequent sleep interruptions

CBD sleep aids

CBD sleep products are generally formulated to make cannabidiol the primary active ingredient, easy to take just before heading to bed, and they come in many forms, including:

  • Flower
  • Concentrates
  • Capsules
  • Oil
  • Topicals
  • Edibles

All CBD sleep aids are unique, with some utilizing other active ingredients such as lavender to make it even easier for the user to drift off to dreamland. Some are pure, and most contain a combination of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes to get the job done.

The problem

The trouble with CBD sleep aids, in particular those sold in the United States, is that makers aren't always transparent when it comes to letting people know what else might be inside their products. In states without testing regulations, and even in some of those with strict rules prohibiting this practice, CBD aids are making it onto store shelves with unclaimed ingredients, and that can be hazardous for consumers, in particular, those who don't want the intoxication that comes from THC, and in some cases, CBN.

The data

The results of one study that was released in April of this year indicate that most CBD sleep aids are likely mislabelled to some extent or another, terrifying findings that should have consumers thinking twice about which brands they should trust. According to the Leafreport, more than 50% of tested CBD sleep aids contained levels of multiple ingredients, including CBN, CBD and melatonin, which were much stronger than the labels claimed, an amount that was off by as much as 10%.

In conclusion

Whether you're worried about taking too much CBD or concerned about the concentration of other more intoxicating compounds, there are some things consumers can do to protect themselves.

  1. Always buy from a licensed dispensary.

  2. Make sure the brands you choose utilize third-party testing with certificates of analysis that are transparent and easy to understand.

  3. Get a prescription for CBD sleep aids.

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