Do you have trouble sleeping?
Maybe you’ve found that cannabis helps. And that may well be all you want to know about cannabis and sleep. No need to read on.
It could be, however, that you’re still dabbling with the herb as a sleep aid and coming up with varying results. Or perhaps you haven’t even tried it yet.
In those cases, you may need some schooling on the ways that cannabis can help – or inadvertently hinder – your sleep.
Here are some things to consider:
Chemical Composition Matters
It was once widely accepted that indica strains were for sleeping and sativa strains were for energizing. There can be some truth to this.
But with so many different products and strains on the market, it’s just not that clearcut.
You may sleep better with a product that’s higher in CBD than in THC. Or maybe CBD does the job by itself. Also, a particular terpene profile could serve you better than another.
Once you start determining which strains help you sleep, take note of their full chemical composition. That way, you can make more informed decisions when you shop for sleep-inducing strains.
Inhaling Is Different From Eating
Cannabis can be effective in treating symptoms such as pain and anxiety. These are symptoms that make sleep difficult. So it’s no wonder that people struggling with these symptoms find success in using cannabis for sleep.
Taking a few tokes before bed is going to give you a different effect than eating a gummy though. While edibles will take longer to kick in, the effects generally last several hours and allow you to stay asleep longer.
So depending on your method, plan accordingly.
There Is Such a Thing As a Cannabis Hangover
Of course, it doesn’t happen to everyone. And it’s NOTHING like a “bow your head over the toilet” hangover after drinking too much.
With a cannabis hangover, you might feel a little groggy, lethargic, congested or dehydrated. Water, exercise, and vitamins can help combat it.
Another way to lessen the likelihood of a cannabis hangover is to avoid low-grade or pesticide-riddled cannabis. And, of course, don’t overindulge.
4. Cannabis May Help You Breathe Better
If sleep apnea is at the root of your sleeping issues, you’re likely experiencing more problems during the day. While you “sleep” at night, your breathing is obstructed. This results in poor sleep.
Those with sleep apnea experience symptoms like headaches, mood disturbances, inattention, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. This is way more than the 3pm slump.
Recent clinical studies show that cannabis may help in treating sleep apnea. Without getting too scientific, cannabis restores respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling.
In other words, cannabis can help those with sleep apnea to breathe more consistently, wake up less, and decrease the chances that a spouse or partner will strangle them during the night. (The snoring is horrible.)
There’s a Natural Remedy Entourage Effect
It seems that one natural sleep remedy complements another.
So pairing cannabis with another natural sleep remedy that you might find at the health food store can make it even more effective.
Lavender, hops, and chamomile all contain important terpenes that are also found in cannabis. They’re more highly concentrated in these sources though.
Next time you’re considering using cannabis to help you sleep, you may want to sip on a cup of chamomile tea or take a melatonin or valerian root supplement with it.
The terpenoids can work synergistically to improve sleep quality.
Cannabis Affects Dreaming and REM Sleep
Once you find a strain that helps you sleep, you’ll probably notice you’re dreaming less.
Studies show that cannabis use before bedtime reduces the time you spend in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. And since REM is the sleep cycle during which dreams occur, that means you’ll see a decrease in dreaming.
Especially of the vivid variety.
So that means a vast reduction in riding rainbow unicorns through tunnels while eating egg foo yung. (Analyze that.)
You Are Now Schooled on Cannabis and Sleep
And by schooled, we mean first grade. After all, there’s still a lot to explore in the field of cannabis and sleep. And we are merely cannabis marketing experts.
But for now, cannabis is proving to be an effective sleep aid for a lot of people. It could be time to see what it can do for you.
A great place to start is to talk with a knowledgable budtender at a local dispensary. They can fill you in on all the details for the strains you’re considering.
And for more great information on all things cannabis, keep checking back with our blog!