We all know what it’s like to wake up after a rough night’s sleep. You feel like your brain is in a constant fog, just going through the motions of your day.
Sleeplessness can make you feel irritable and impact your memory and focus. From sleeping apps to over-the-counter sleep aids, many people also use cannabis in their nighttime routine.
Curious about using cannabis to catch some Zs? We have plenty of info to help inform your decision. But first, if you need a nightly solution for long-term symptoms of insomnia, we recommend you talk to your doctor about treatment options.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. About a third of Americans have insomnia or other problems related to sleep.
We’ve all heard that we need about seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But why does it matter?
Sleep affects our bodily systems and ability to function in many ways. And not getting enough of it can be detrimental to our health.
These are just a few of the reasons why sleep is important:
We still have a lot to learn about the relationship between cannabis and sleep. But many people who struggle with sleep say it’s beneficial. 84% of survey respondents who reported using cannabis for sleep said that it helped. The majority also said they cut back on other sleep aids or stopped taking them completely after using cannabis.
Research shows that cannabis helps users fall asleep quicker, whether they typically have trouble sleeping or not. It also reduces their time spent in REM sleep and increases their deeper, slow wave sleep. For this reason, people who have PTSD often use cannabis for sleep, since REM is the stage that produces dreams. Decreasing REM means reducing the nightmares they may experience as part of their disorder.
Cannabis produces effects on your body by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain homeostasis by regulating functions like blood pressure, heart rate, mood, and sleep rhythm.
Among the many ways we believe cannabis improves sleep is by boosting levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that attaches to neurotransmitters and influences systems like pain, appetite regulation, pleasure and reward. Anandamide is known as “the bliss molecule” because it can help relieve stress and produce relaxation, leading to better sleep.
Cannabis can also increase adenosine, another molecule that affects the digestive process and makes us feel sleepy. You know how you sometimes feel ready for bed after a big dinner? There’s a reason for that.
There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the vast majority of which we know little about. The best-known cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. In other words, THC is responsible for the “high” you experience after consuming cannabis. This cannabinoid may be helpful as a sedative, according to some studies, but higher doses might also be stimulating as a result of its psychoactive effects.
Ccannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, is known for reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and producing relaxation. CBD also appears to be helpful for sleep at higher doses.
More recently, a lesser-known cannabinoid has emerged in the cannabis market: Cannabinol (CBN). CBN is a byproduct of THC, produced when cannabis ages and THC is oxidized. Thus far, the initial research shows that CBN is an effective sedative, particularly when combined with THC. It also appears to be beneficial for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and increasing appetite.
Terpenes are molecules that naturally occur in many plants, including cannabis. They create different tastes and aromas, and may enhance the effects of cannabinoids on the body (energy, mood, and sleepiness). Below are a few of the terpenes found in cannabis that are believed to affect sleep.
Myrcene is one of the terpenes that commonly occurs in cannabis, as well as hops and lemongrass. This terpene is known for its anti-inflammatory and sedative effects.
Limonene, a citrus-flavored terpene, has been studied for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety, boost mood, and promote sleep.
Linalool is found in many plants, including lavender, which is frequently used for relaxation through aromatherapy. It’s thought that linalool’s stress relief properties lead to better sleep.
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A highly rated strain created by crossing Wedding Cake and Gelato #33, Gelato Cake is beloved by users for its ability to help them relax, ease their minds, relieve pain, and fall asleep. Customers describe it as a “good bedtime strain.” As one reviewer stated, Gelato Cake is “Delicious and perfect in every way.”
A high-terpene full-spectrum extract sauce cartridge, Sleep is handcrafted using Dabs Labs’ small-batch live resin, infused with refined and molecularly distilled THC. Its effect is in the name: this strain is designed to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Chill Drops are fast-acting edibles in a swallowable pill, made with a blend of cannabis and plant medicine to help you “chill out” before bedtime.