While CBD oil is a relatively new darling in the plant-based health and wellness industry, the benefits of Melatonin have been touted for several years now; both are established crossover hits when it comes to accessing deep relaxation and sleep. And now CBD and Melatonin are being used together to help improve sleep patterns.

This is due to the ways in which both substances work and are accepted by the body. Unlike many vitamins and supplements which are absorbed, oftentimes inefficiently, solely through the digestive process, both CBD and Melatonin are recognized as endogenous—as though made inside the body, as part of normal, physiological processes—and mobilized as such.

To put it more concisely, regular vitamins and supplements are like food; they get broken down by the digestive system, and eventually are converted into a usable form or excreted. CBD and Melatonin are more similar to taking a bioidentical hormone like estrogen or testosterone—only without the known risks, synthetic byproducts, etc—they are substances with body systems that take them in and use them as though the body had made them itself.

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin is a type of hormone, the main hormone the pineal gland produces and secretes. Melatonin is a key factor in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm: the wake-sleep, light-dark cycle to which we should inherently attune. Wake up and feel energized when the sun comes out; feel tired and sleep as the sun sets and it grows dark.

How this works is that Melatonin levels rise steadily in the evening, around 9 p.m., and stay high until dawn, when they decrease until about 9 a.m. Melatonin levels in the body are almost non-existent during the daylight hours, and other stimulating hormones like cortisol take over.

This is why introducing a Melatonin supplement can help with insomnia, especially in cases of restless sleep, staying asleep, and jet lag. Raising Melatonin levels and keeping them high should downregulate stimulating hormones and ease the body into an appropriately long and restful sleep. Taking a Melatonin supplement a few hours before bedtime when traveling should alleviate jet lag in the same way.

How CBD Regulates the Body

CBD, while not a hormone, is a unique non-psychoactive extract of the hemp/cannabis plant—also known as a phytocannabinoid. Every mammal, humans included, has an Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS) in the body and produces endogenous cannabinoids.

What does the ECS do? Basically, it fine tunes and holds all of the other body systems. Sometimes called the ‘system of homeostasis’ or ‘the system for safety and well-being’, the ECS regulates: the digestive and nervous systems, the brain and neuroplasticity, the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythm, the protection and setting of cardiovascular tone, and body-wide inflammatory processes—among many other things.

So, when the phytocannabinoids of CBD are consumed, they are accepted by the ECS as endogenous cannabinoids, which then fine tune these other systems. Sometimes, insomnia can be due to a deficient ECS, and this is when CBD supplementation is paramount. In other cases, CBD is helpful in calming racing thoughts, anxiety, and overall tension in the body that can lead to trouble falling asleep.

These two bioavailable supplements when combined are a near foolproof remedy for most cases of insomnia and jet lag. The myriad benefits CBD has on the body systems are an added bonus to the restorative wonders that a full, sound night of sleep entails. Melatonin and CBD together can help to rebalance and restore the body to its natural rhythm to help sleep better with CBD’s gentle, plant-based power.


Micaela Foley

Micaela Foley is a certified herbalist with an educational background in energetic and clinical herbalism, alchemy, & medical astrology. She completed the clinical practitioner course at Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine in Northern California and the foundational year program at ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. Her herbal writings can be found through wellness resources like mindbodygreen, Shape magazine, & The Alchemist’s Kitchen, where she previously managed the herbal program. Currently, she lives and farms in Rhode Island. Micaela's herbal practice is committed to social activism, accessibility, & empowerment through education and mutual aid. She is available for private sessions, clinical work, & as a teacher, writer, and consultant.

1 Comment
  1. I have been troubled by sleeplessness for several decades. Nothing that is not drug related has worked. I did not like taking drugs. Talking with my new chiropractor in my new home town, he suggested taking melatonin drops and hemp oil (which I take to start each day due to chronic pain) together at bed time. In the last month, I have experienced the deepest, longest sleep I can remember! I do awaken to go to the bathroom, but get right back to sleep. Life is tolerable again!

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