Walk through a dispensary and you’ll see a plethora of products that claim to help you sleep. Some have just THC, others combine THC and other cannabinoids. There are a few with no THC at all.
But since most people who use cannabis for sleep tend to rely on some amount of THC, we’ll look at how sleep and THC mix.
Just what happens when you use THC to help you sleep?
Not All Sleep Is Equal
As far as the brain is concerned, there are two types of sleep. One is Rapid Eye Movement (REM), and the other is Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS).
These two distinct brain states feel like regular old sleep to us. But the distinction is important.
During REM sleep, your eyes dart around – hence the name Rapid Eye Movement. Although your eyes are active, the body is paralyzed. That’s because during REM you have your most vivid dreams. The paralysis prevents you from acting out these dreams.
Meanwhile, SWS sleep is more recuperative sleep. The brain waves are slower moving than during REM and there is typically no dreaming. SWS sleep is often considered “deep sleep.”
In a given night, you typically cycle through multiple rounds of both SWS and REM – beginning with SWS. As your sleep progresses, the rounds of SWS become shorter, while REM sleep becomes more dominant. That’s why when you awaken naturally (i.e. without an alarm), it’s most often out of REM sleep.
Generally speaking, when you’re deprived of REM sleep, you may not feel tired, but it can impact your learning and memory. Meanwhile, a lack of SWS sleep will leave you yawning and feeling groggy.
Sleep and THC
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that every person’s biology is different and that what works for one person may not work for another. Some people find that any amount of THC delivers the opposite effect of relaxation and avoid it all together. It really depends on a number of factors.
But for those for whom it works, it seems that THC helps them fall asleep faster and then stay asleep. It appears to shorten REM sleep and lengthen SWS sleep. That means more recuperative sleep, but less cleaning out the junk that accumulates in the waking hours. (Which is done during dreaming.)
The additional caveat here is that if you use THC regularly for sleep rather than just on occasion, these effects can change. Some people develop a tolerance to THC’s effects and therefore require more. And if you’re a chronic user and decide to stop taking THC, there’s a good chance you’ll experience sleep disturbances and VERY vivid dreaming for a while until you normalize again.
So if you’re considering products with THC for sleep, just go into it with this knowledge. Furthermore, you may find that mixing it with a cannabinoid like CBD, CBN, and/or CBG might be more effective and without the disturbances to sleep during withdrawal. It’s still anyone’s guess.
Don’t Settle for Sleepy Marketing
Sleep and THC might be the perfect combination for you.
But if you’re losing sleep over trying to figure out how to better promote your cannabis business, we can help.
Contact us today. As cannabis marketing and public relations experts, we’ll ensure that your company gets the attention it deserves.