Stress, anxiety, and health conditions can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. However, getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night is critical in order to ensure your overall physical and mental health. Fortunately, many people who suffer from insomnia have found relief by using marijuana as a sleep aid. Yet, if you are considering using marijuana to help you fall asleep at night, you may find yourself wondering whether cannabis is a safe and effective sleep aid. What do experts say about using cannabis before bed to induce relaxation and sleep? Keep reading as we explore the science behind the use of marijuana as a sleep aid, and what strains could provide the most relief.
Can’t Sleep At Night? You’re Not The Only One!
Do you lay there for hours each night unable to fall asleep? Do you wake up multiple times throughout the night? If so, you are not alone; in fact, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 Americans suffer from insomnia, with 10% of adults meeting the criteria for chronic insomnia disorder.
Fortunately, you do not have to suffer from insomnia night after night, as there are countless options available for insomnia treatments. From natural remedies to prescription drugs, you are sure to find a treatment option that can help you get some much-needed sleep.
Yet, with so many options to choose from, how do you know where to start? One option that you may not have considered is using marijuana to help you sleep. Marijuana enthusiasts claim that using cannabis products containing THC and/or CBD before bed can help induce relaxation and promote deep, restful sleep. Yet, is there any truth behind these claims? Here’s a look at what science has to say.
Marijuana For Sleep: What Do The Experts Say?
While marijuana enthusiasts have claimed for years that marijuana can be a powerful sleep aid, you may find yourself wondering what science has to say about the matter. While research is still being conducted on this issue, early evidence shows that marijuana can have a powerful sedative effect, and it can even help people reduce their reliance on prescription sleep aids by helping them fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. Experts suspect that cannabis may help certain health conditions including insomnia because of the effects chemicals within the cannabis plant (called cannabinoids) have on the body’s central nervous system. The most commonly studied cannabinoids for their potential effects on sleep are CBD and THC.
CBD and Sleep
Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) has been a popular topic of conversation in recent years as there are numerous potential health benefits it can provide. Many CBD advocates claim that CBD can help induce sleep by reducing stress and inflammation, two common causes of insomnia. One of the benefits of CBD is that hemp-based CBD products do not produce the high associated with marijuana. Studies have shown that taking CBD at higher doses can help promote sleepiness, while lower doses can actually make you more alert, causing sleeping difficulties. It is then important that you talk to your local budtender about proper dosing before taking CBD for sleep.
THC For Sleep
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid that causes the high associated with marijuana use. THC often causes users to feel intoxicated, relaxed, and content, and at smaller doses it can have calming, sleep-inducing properties. However, for some people (particularly those who are new to marijuana use or are taking high doses), THC does have the potential to cause alertness and even anxiety. However, when taken at the right dose, THC can promote restful sleep, and it can reduce nightmares in people who suffer from PTSD.
Does Sativa or Indica Make You Sleepy?
If you are considering using marijuana as a sleep aid, it is important to research the different strains available and the effect that they can have on sleep. The most common strains of marijuana are Indica and Sativa, and each has different effects on the body. Indica is thought to be more calming and may help promote feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, which is why it is often recommended as a sleep aid. Alternatively, Sativa is often considered to be more stimulating and may actually cause an energy boost, so you should avoid this strain if you are looking to fall asleep. Of course, an experienced budtender can help you decide which strain will be best for your needs.
The Potential Risks
Of course, as with any other sleep aid, there may be risks associated with using cannabis for sleep, particularly when used on a long-term basis. In fact, experts do not recommend using any sleep aid long-term, as doing so could negatively impact your sleep quality and cause other side effects.
When marijuana is used as a long-term sleep aid, people tend to develop a tolerance to it, causing them to use more. Heavy, long-term cannabis use can then lead to side effects such as less time spent in deep sleep and sleepiness during the day.
Additionally, some people may have adverse reactions even to short-term use of cannabis such as dry mouth, dizziness, anxiety, and weight gain. If you are considering using cannabis for sleep, start slow to see how it affects you, and try not to use it for long periods of time in order to avoid developing a tolerance to its sleep-inducing effects.
Final Words on Marijuana and Sleep
A good night’s sleep can be critical in helping you maintain your overall physical and mental health; however, you are not alone if sleep eludes you, as many adults have difficulty falling asleep at night. If you have been struggling with insomnia, you may be surprised to discover the benefits marijuana could provide you with.
If you are interested in trying marijuana to help you sleep but are unsure where to start, remember that you can always ask the budtenders at Medzin to help you find the best strains to help you get the quality sleep you deserve. Contact us to learn more about how marijuana can help improve your sleep quality and the best strains and doses to start with.