Does Full Spectrum CBD Make You Tired?

Written by | last updated April 5, 2021

✓ Evidence Based

In most cases, full-spectrum CBD products will not make you tired. CBD is a remarkably safe substance with few and minor side effects. However, it ultimately depends on the dose you take and your body weight and genetics.

Some scientific research studies using high doses of pure CBD have reported tiredness and related symptoms such as sleepiness and fatigue.

However, the doses used in these studies were ridiculously large, so it’s not likely that you’ll experience these effects. Read on for a more detailed explanation of whether full-spectrum CBD can make you feel fatigued.

Tiredness and Other Side Effects of CBD

Although cannabidiol (CBD) is very safe, human studies have reported the following side effects: (1)

  • Tiredness
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Changes in appetite or weight

So, theoretically, any form of CBD can make you tired. However, these studies used ridiculously high daily doses of pure CBD — anywhere from 200 mg to as high as 50 mg per kg of body weight (equivalent to 4000 mg for someone who weighs 80 kg). 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this is far beyond what most people use. The average person takes about 20-100 mg of CBD per day, which is much lower.

CBD Side Effects: Full Spectrum vs Isolate

Besides, the studies mentioned above used pure CBD isolate, which is different from full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is less likely to cause side effects than pure CBD because of something researchers call the “entourage effect” — the synergistic relationship between the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active ingredients in cannabis (2).

This was proven by a meta-analysis of epilepsy sufferers, where patients who used full-spectrum CBD-rich extracts had fewer side effects (including fatigue) and required smaller doses to achieve relief than people taking pure CBD isolate. 

More specifically, 76% of epilepsy patients who used pure CBD reported mild side effects, including fatigue, compared to only 33% for those who took full-spectrum CBD (3). 

Similarly, 26% of the study participants who used CBD isolate reported severe side effects, compared to only 7% for full-spectrum CBD users.

On top of that, the patients who used full-spectrum CBD required doses that were, on average, more than four times smaller than CBD isolate. 

The bottom line is that although any form of CBD — full-spectrum or not — can potentially make you tired, this effect will be mild and is unlikely to happen unless you’re taking high doses. 

That’s why most people don’t need to worry about tiredness and other side effects of CBD.

How You Take the CBD Also Matters

Another factor that can influence the effects of CBD is how you take it. 

For example, when you swallow CBD — as you would with capsules or gummies — it’s poorly absorbed because it has to go through the digestive system and the liver before reaching the bloodstream (4). 

Because of this, the effects of oral CBD are weaker than CBD oil. So if you were to take a high dose of CBD oil (60 mg), it would be more likely to make you tired than 60 mg of CBD in a capsule. 

On the other hand, vaping CBD offers the highest absorption of any method. So if you use equal doses, vaping CBD is more likely to make you feel tired than other forms of CBD.

If You’re New to CBD, Start Low

While you’re unlikely to get tired from using full-spectrum CBD, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. Everybody responds differently to CBD for many reasons, such as body weight and genetics.

A dose that might have zero effect on one person could be very noticeable for someone else. That’s why we always recommend that new CBD users start with a small dose of about 10-15 mg and assess how they feel. 

If you don’t notice any effects at all, you can try to gradually increase the dosage that same day, or use the same dose for a few days before increasing it. For example, you could start with 10 mg, and then raise it to 12 mg.

This method works well because you’ll be able to find the minimal dose that provides you with your desired effects, so your CBD product will last longer. You’ll also have a lower chance of having side effects since their likelihood goes up with CBD dosage. 

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