Does weed help you sleep better? Cannabis has long been touted as an effective relief for insomnia, but exactly how it does this is still being debated among scientists.
While some strains can cause us to relax and be sedated, others can increase our focus and actually increase our energy! The wrong weed strain or product can make you stay awake instead of lulling you to sleep!
With that being said, while weed won’t knock you out as general anesthesia does, it can help you overcome some of the barriers that might prevent you from falling to sleep.
So, using marijuana for sleep, let’s find out what the science says!
Does Weed Help You Sleep? What Does Research Say?
Although we still need more research concerning cannabis use for sleep-related issues, current medically-reviewed studies point in the right direction. Here we will look at the science behind using cannabis for sleep:
Cannabinoids Can Help With Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
Some studies suggest that some cannabinoids found in weed, such as cannabidiol (CBD), may help treat insomnia and other sleep problems.
On the other hand, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, might reduce sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes for you to actually fall asleep
Still, some studies show that weed may cause sleep disturbances in the long run and alter early morning behaviour. If you’ve ever suffered a weed hangover from smoking or eating too much weed the night prior, then you’ll know exactly what we mean.
If your tolerance to cannabis is high, you’re most likely NOT going to suffer from a weed hangover after using it to help you fall asleep. However, as with any other sleep aid such as melatonin or Nyquil, you can grow dependent on weed, too, so it’s essential not to come to rely on it as a crutch even if it might help you fall asleep faster.
Tasty Terpenes and Sleep Quality
Around the world, cannabis compounds called terpenes are responsible for giving plants, fruits, and vegetables their flavours and aromas. According to some theories, terpenes can play an essential role in controlling our mood and outlook.
For example, linalool, a terpene abundant in lavender flowers and cannabis, is known to reduce stress and anxiety. While this sounds anecdotal, some studies have evidence to support that terpenes can indeed have medicinal effects, which include:
- Pain relief
- Inflammation relief
- Anxiety relief
- Enhancing cognitive performance
Terpenes are also present in cannabis. In addition, research shows that terpenes can have natural hypnotic and sedative effects to help calm nervous system activity, stimulating deep, undisturbed relaxation and sleepiness. Hypnotics directly induce sleep. One may find sedative and hypnotic effects separately or together in natural compounds.
Some terpenes also contain natural anxiety-reducing effects that ease tension and indirectly promote sleep.
Additionally, terpenes may help decrease inflammation and relieve pain. Studies show their anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties can help release inflammation and pain barriers for nights of peaceful sleep.
THC Promotes Better Breathing During Sleep
While THC generally acts as a sedative, it can stimulate some people, particularly marijuana smokers. In these cases, using marijuana before bed may help you fall asleep for extended periods.
Additionally, studies have shown that THC also promotes better and healthier breathing patterns during sleeping.
Marijuana Helps Relieve Chronic Pain
Studies show the positives of using marijuana as pain medicine.
According to some anecdotal reports from medical marijuana users, it is as effective as opioids – the most potent pain relief medications.
As far as side effects go, marijuana use has little to none when used properly, especially when compared to the side effects of opioids.
However, due to the lack of regulation for most marijuana-based therapies, a product’s exact composition and quality is difficult to guarantee. Nevertheless, the research points out that marijuana positively reduces pain when consumed in the right amounts.
Of course, there is the question of which marijuana strain will result in this relief? The answer is any one of them. It can change depending on the person. If one doesn’t work, another is bound to!
Having Trouble Falling Asleep? 3 Tips For Using Marijuana As A Sleep Aid
Start Slow and Low!
Although we have established that marijuana is a very viable and safe alternative for sleep aids, you should be careful with dosage as a beginner. We recommend starting with a low dosage and slowly working your way up until your body can adjust to its effects.
Due to its relaxing effects, indica is considered the best marijuana strain for people looking for deep sleep.
However, people that use cannabis with the intent to avoid nightmares prefer sativa.
Additionally, hybrid strains may produce various effects depending on their genetics and combined effects. You should also choose high THC strains since they give the most couch-locking effects.
Some indica strains we recommend to use for sleep include:
Oral THC or Edibles Work Better
Consuming THC through the oral passage is more effective than consuming it through inhalation. Let us explain.
When you inhale THC through smoking marijuana, it enters your bloodstream instantly and makes its way to your brain and the cannabinoid receptors there. While the effect is instantaneous, it does not last for an extended period because it is immediate.
On the flip side, when you consume THC orally, the THC makes its way through your digestive system. After getting digested, it goes to your liver, where it is broken down into a highly potent form of THC known as 11-Hydroxy-THC.
11-Hydroxy-THC, also known as 11-OH-THC, is 10x more potent than regular THC and lasts longer, too.
This means that while the effects of the THC take some time to kick in, as digestion takes time, once they do set in, they are far more potent than any marijuana you could inhale and help you fall asleep faster – and keep you sleeping through the night!
Does Weed Help You Sleep? Final Thoughts
As mentioned above, cannabinoids may function as a sleep aid. However, it is best to be aware of its potential risks, even if the side effects are little to none. Long-term cannabis use may alter sleep cycles and cause:
- Reduced Sleep
- Less time spent in REM
- Poor sleep quality
- Disturbances and frequent awakenings
- High blood pressure
Therefore, you must seek professional medical advice before using cannabis for sleep disorders or other health conditions.
So, as long as you use indica products, check with your medical professional and stay within the recommended dosage, it is safe to say that you too can experience deep sleep with the help of some good weed!
If you’re struggling to sleep and need some weed to help you catch some z’s, come visit Canada’s most trusted online dispensary to get everything you need for a good night’s sleep!