You may be among the many sleep-challenged who take melatonin supplements to address troubles with sleeping, insomnia, or jet lag.
Then again, perhaps you’ve found success with certain cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBN, or CBG to calm your active mind and help you fall into dreamland.
So what happens if you mix melatonin with cannabinoids? Is it double the sleeping power? Double the fun? At this point, it’s hard to say.
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced in the body’s pineal gland. In medical circles, it’s often referred to simply as a sleep hormone – though it’s not essential for sleeping. Its primary job is to regulate your circadian rhythms.
Melatonin production is low during daylight hours. Once darkness descends, production ramps up. (It’s kind of like Dracula.) This is why most of us start to feel sleepy when it gets dark. It’s also the reason that you may be staying awake if you’re exposed to excess light during the night as this can alter or even block melatonin production. Then you’re looking a a disruption to your sleep and wake cycle.
Using Melatonin with Cannabinoids
The cannabis plant is chock full of cannabinoids that perform various duties on the human endocannabinoid system. Mixing various cannabinoids to get different desired effects (also known as the entourage effect) is part of the mad scientist work and research going on in the industry.
We already know that certain cannabinoid combinations work wonders for many in helping them to sleep. But what about mixing sleep-inducing melatonin with cannabinoids?
Because there are so many different cannabinoids, we’ll focus on the research around mixing melatonin with the two most popular cannabinoids – THC and CBD.
Mixing THC and Melatonin
Like melatonin, THC is known to alter circadian rhythms and potentially mess with the sleep/wake cycle. This is typically only the case with long-term use though. Those taking it short-term – then taking breaks to reduce tolerance – find that THC can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, while increasing time spent asleep and in deep sleep.
Interestingly enough, THC usage decreases REM sleep and has an inhibitory effect on dreaming. Meanwhile, melatonin increases it. Many regular melatonin users report vivid dreams or even nightmares.
So if you take them together, will it strike a balance on REM sleep? There’s simply not enough research. Anecdotally though, many report feeling tired, sleepy, and even lethargic after taking the combo. Sometimes to a degree where it would be unwise to plan anything else other than going to bed.
The CBD and Melatonin Combo
CBD as a lone cannabinoid doesn’t carry the sedative punch that THC does. In fact, low doses of CBD are often recommended for increasing wakefulness while high doses are recommended for sedation effects. This is precisely why Epidiolex, the prescription CBD medication for seizures, lists both insomnia and sleepiness as possible side effects.
Even so, even though the CBD and melatonin combo offers milder sedation, you’re likely to still get some effect from the two.
Mix With Caution
Should you decide to use melatonin with cannabinoids, do so mindfully. Always start with a low dose, be thoughtful about when you take them, and try not to make it a daily habit as it could impact your natural sleep cycle.
And if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re a cannabis business owner and you’re struggling to get noticed, then contact us today.
Our cannabis marketing and public relations specialists have been in the business for nearly a decade. We know what works and we’ll make it happen for you.