The Best Time Of Day To Take Hemp Oil Might Not Be When You Think
Hemp oil, which contains multiple calming plant compounds (including hemp-derived CBD), can be a helpful tool for managing stress, promoting relaxation, and balancing mood.* And since it doesn't contain concentrated psychoactive components of marijuana (a unique Cannabis plant varietal), hemp oil won't make you feel "high," and is safe to take at any hour.* Which raises the question: Is there a best hour to take it hemp?
Here's when experts recommend taking hemp oil, based on your needs.
If you're taking hemp to get ready for sleep.
As we all know, stress can be a huge barrier to deep, restorative sleep. Hemp oil can help ease some of it before bed and put you into a more positive mindset as you get ready to snooze.*
If you're looking to use hemp extract to unwind from the day, board-certified practitioner of family medicine Rob Rountree, M.D., recommends taking it about one hour before bedtime (and maybe following it up with a sleep-supporting supplement, too).*
This gives its beneficial phytocannabinoids some time to interact with your endocannabinoid system, also called the master regulatory system, and bring your body back into balance.* Functional medicine gynecologist Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA, echoes this advice, noting, "If you're taking it to assist with sleep or stress related to sleep, then nighttime before bed is best."*
If you're taking hemp for stress.
Stress management is really where hemp oil shines, as the plant has been shown to help people maintain normal blood pressure and heart rate in the face of stress in clinical trials.*
If you tend to feel stress right when you wake up in the morning, that's when you should be turning to hemp extract (as well as trying out some breathwork and gratitude practices to try to get to the root of it).*
Physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., adds that if your stress levels vary throughout the day, you'll want to note when they feel the highest. Is it correlated to any particular task or time frame, like before meetings or after checking emails? That's valuable information, and it can inform how you handle those stressors.
Taking hemp extract before those tasks isn't a bad idea, as long as it doesn't make you sleepy or make it difficult to focus. It shouldn't because by nature, hemp plants have an extremely low THC content (with European hemp oil have the lowest levels at < 0.2%) and aren't associated with the "high" of genetically distinct cannabis varietals (aka marijuana).
If you're taking hemp for a more positive mood.
Many people also associate hemp oil with a positive mood, as it can help them feel more comfortable in the face of mental and physical stressors.* (It also has anti-inflammatory1 properties, which can help promote whole-body health, including your mind.)*
Again, the right time to take it for mood support will vary from person to person. Notice what time during the day your mood and outlook tend to dip, and try hemp oil an hour or so beforehand to help mellow things out.*
All in all, hemp oil isn't one-size-fits-all, and it may take some experimenting to figure out which time of day works best for you to take the product. As Rountree notes, "It can be taken anytime" and "really depends on what the person is using it for." Depending on the dose, you can also take hemp extract multiple times a day, Trubow adds, "so that's helpful for people—although two to three times is usually enough." When deciding how much to take, remember to start slow and build up from there as needed, and partner with your healthcare provider to inform your personalized approach. (And for specific product recommendations, check out our cbd roundup.)
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.