The study, “The Safety and Comparative Effectiveness of Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid Formulations for the Improvement of Sleep: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial,” was conducted by researchers affiliated with UCLA and the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center.
The results, published in the Journal of the American Nutrition Association, found that 15 mg of CBD can be as effective for improving sleep as 5 mg of melatonin.
“We observed that chronic use of 15 mg CBD appears safe and could lead to significant and clinically important sleep improvements, though these effects do not exceed those of 5 mg melatonin,” the research analysis said.
The research also studied the effects of additional cannabinoids such as CBN and CBC, but found no significant difference in sleep quality associated with either cannabinoid.
“Moreover, the addition of minor cannabinoids may impart little benefit in CBD or melatonin products for sleep improvement,” the analysis said.
The study randomly assigned participants experiencing sleep disturbance symptoms one of six capsule products containing either 15 mg CBD, 5 mg melatonin, or one of those combined with CBN and/or CBC. Participants were assessed over a five-week period, including one week of baseline sleep and four weeks of consuming their randomly prescribed product.
All participants reported baseline sleep disturbances, measuring slight (37%), moderate (32%), mild (23%) or severe (8%).
“There were no significant differences in effect, however, between 15 mg CBD isolate and formulations containing 15 mg CBD and 15 mg cannabinol (CBN), alone or in combination with 5 mg cannabichromene (CBC),” the research stated. “There were also no significant differences in effect between 15 mg CBD isolate and formulations containing 5 mg melatonin, alone or in combination with 15 mg CBD and 15 mg CBN.”
The research said it was the first randomized, double-blind, controlled trial to compare the effects CBD and melatonin have on sleep.
The study examined 1,793 U.S. adults with a mean age of approximately 46.5 years. The majority of participants identified as white (83%) and female (57%).