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Can Cannabis Help You Sleep Better?

An image of a woman sleeping on her stomach.

No matter where you are in your cannabis journey, and regardless if you’re a seasoned user or not, many people know sleepiness is a common side effect of cannabis. Some people even use cannabis purely for its sleep-aiding benefits. While many people are aware of its effects, there is more to the relationship between cannabis and sleep than you may think. Starting off, did you know that older dried cannabis can make you sleepier than a fresh bud? Or that marijuana inhibits dreams? Keep reading to learn more about the ways that cannabis can help or hinder your nightly hibernation.

The Difference Between THC and CBD

With the rise of CBD products, you’re probably aware of the differences between CBD and THC by now. If you’re not as up to date, here’s a quick rundown for you. CBD alone will not give you any type of high feeling but if it’s mixed with THC, depending on the content level, it will. Other mixes of equal parts THC and CBD may keep you at an equal buzz. But with so many options, which one is the best for sleep? 


Since CBD studies are still relatively new, as compared to cannabis studies, it’s harder to know exactly how CBD affects a person’s sleep cycles. In current studies, there’s been a mix of results. There have been animal model studies, which have shown that CBD can have a slightly alerting effect. Another study took 72 adults that struggled with anxiety and poor sleep, and it found that two-thirds of the adults reported better sleep after using CBD for one month. But one-fourth of these participants reported worse sleep results. So as you can see, there is still a lot of grey area in the research, but there are more and more studies being conducted so we may see proven results in the future.


All in all, if you are struggling with sleep problems it’s probably going to be helpful for you to test and experiment products yourself. Everyone is different so only you will know what is working and what is not. If CBD is not working for you, try products that have THC integrated into them, the psychoactive effect may help you doze off easier. 


Indica vs Sativa

The most popular strains of cannabis are called Indica and Sativa, and they are known to have differences in the effects that they may give the user. To learn more about how these strains differ, you can refer to one of our previous blog posts about the two strains here. Yes, they may have different effects but just because one may be known to be “energizing,” cannabis can affect everyone differently, so don’t let these two strains lead you only towards Indica. When you’re experimenting with different products and strains, take note of how each one is making you feel. It may be frustrating if you’re not seeing the results you want, but you may have to go through some trial and error before finding your perfect product. We recommend keeping some type of record about how each product and strain made you feel. This can easily be done in a journal or if you want to conserve paper, the notes section in your phone is a great place to keep a record of your experience.

Cannabis May Improve Better Breathing 

Sleep apnea is a sleep condition that is characterized by frequent obstructions of breath, with lapses that can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Many people with sleep apnea will wake up frequently throughout the night, which can lead to frustrating effects such as daytime sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, mood disturbances, inattention, and susceptibility to accidents and other health problems. A 2002 study observed THC’s ability to restore respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling. While there needs to be more research done, it’s off to a great start.   


Incorporate Natural Remedies Too

While cannabis products are great ways to help you catch some zzz’s, you may want to try and incorporate some natural remedies into your routine. Natural sleep aids like chamomile tea, lavender oil, hops, and other herbal remedies may also help you. Melatonin, valerian root, or even a bubble bath may help you relax and improve your quality of sleep too. Combining natural remedies with cannabis may be the perfect combination to help you get some rest.


Keep In Mind…


Cannabis May Inhibit REM Sleep and Dreaming 

If you are incorporating cannabis into your nighttime routine, be aware that it may alter your ability to dream. Dreams occur during the final stage of your sleep cycle, which is called REM sleep. When you use cannabis before bed, it’s been shown to reduce the time your body spends in REM, meaning you will not have as many dreams or they won’t be as vivid. You also will want to note that if you have been using cannabis for a long period of time before bed, and you suddenly stop you may find that you experience something called “REM rebound.” REM rebound is the opposite effect where you’re more likely to experience dreams that are more lucid and vivid. 

Using Cannabis At a Young Age For Sleep May Cause Problems

If a person is using cannabis at a young age to help with their sleeping problems, it may cause sleeping problems for them later on in adulthood. While cannabis has no addictive properties, if you condition yourself to view sleep and cannabis together, you may find that it creates a pattern that can be hard to break the longer it takes place. 


May Cause After Effects in the Morning 

If you’re using cannabis for nighttime use, you may feel some type of hangover the next morning. While this hangover is nothing like the classic alcohol hangover, your nighttime cannabis could cause you to feel groggy the next morning. Cannabis at night can cause you to feel a bit foggy, dehydrated, lethargic, dry-eyed, and congested. Some people don’t even feel any effects. In order to avoid this, look for products that are clean and tested, drink lots of water, eat clean foods, and refrain from overusing. Cannabis hangovers can be treated just like alcoholic hangovers. Water, exercise, and vitamins are all great ways to help get you feeling better. 


While cannabis can help you get to sleep better, always remember to consult with your doctor before using cannabis as a sleep aid. At Empire Health and Wellness, we have a variety of products that include oils, edibles, and flowers that can all help give you the great quality of sleep that you’re looking for. If you’re in the Modesto area, stop by our store, or view all of our products here