Dudes, how are you sleeping at night? Like, be honest with us.
And not just “Oh, I get 8 hours, so I’m good.” Do you feel rested in the morning? Do you toss and turn throughout the night?
Some sleep disturbances are normal. Hopkins Medicine says most people experience “mini wake-ups” without even realizing it – sometimes up to 20 per hour! When it comes to fully-awake and coherent wake ups, most people have between two and three a night.
Waking up throughout the night isn’t fun, though it might be common, or even “normal” to some. The American Sleep Association reports 50-70 million Americans experience insomnia every year.
That’s totally not cool, and being a cannabis dispensary, we’ve been able to pick up some knowledge about cannabis’ impact on sleep. Sleep-aids don’t always do the trick which is why so many people are turning to plant-based alternatives like cannabis.
Some people have found that cannabis can help alleviate insomnia, fatigue, or general restlessness.. Some medical professionals are recognizing the benefits of cannabis, sometimes with less side effects than pharmaceuticals.
Keep in mind,cannabis is not withoutside-effects, as some may claim, though many people experience no side effects. Even experienced consumers are no stranger to side effects, so don’t think you’re immune just because you know what you’re doing with cannabis. Cannabis effects everyone differently, so take it low and go slow if you are going to explore using cannabis as a sleep aid.
The Relationship Between THC, CBD, and Sleep
You’ve probably heard of THC and CBD before, and if not: welcome to your first lesson.
CBD and THC are cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids to be specific, and they are found in cannabis and hemp. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning unlike THC: it won’t get you high. Both cannabinoids interact with our bodies, but in slightly different ways. THC is highly-concentrated in marijauna, while hemp is required to have less than 0.3% per federal law. Low-THC CBD products are derived from hemp, while most products in dispensaries are marijuana-based.
All human beings have an endocannabinoid system, even animals have one! The endocannabinoid system is made up of various receptors, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and they interact with cannabinoids like THC.
THC binds directly to the CB1 receptors. You’ll mainly find CB1 receptors in places like the brain stem, the spinal cord, and the nervous system. That’s why THC creates a psychoactive effect, because of the CB1 receptors in our brain stem.
CBD works in our bodies a little bit differently, and scientists aren’t in full agreement as to how it operates just yet. Science shows us CBD does have potentially amazing benefits, there’s plenty of research to support that.
However, CBD’s exact inner workings aren’t yet known; experts don’t even know how much CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system! One of the most common explanations for CBD’s awesome benefits is the 5-H1TA receptors, a serotonin-binding receptor.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been praised for helping many different conditions or unwanted symptoms, but the most evidence lies in CBD’s ability to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two vicious childhood disorders resulting in extreme seizures. The FDA actually recently approved the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for seizures, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychotropic cannabinoid that causes people to get high. It also may be the biggest factor in inducing sleep, so THC-heavy strains like Wedding Cake by Cannabiotix with over 31% THC might help you sleep better.
A 2008 study found that ingesting cannabis strains with higher THC typically reduces your amount of REM sleep. When you reduce REM sleep, it also means you’re reducing dreams. For those with PTSD, high-THC marijuana could be a dream come true. Those dealing with habitual nightmares may find cannabis to allow them more unbothered sleep.
The idea is that if you are dreaming less, you might find yourself spending more time in a “deep sleep” state, which is the most restorative and restful part of your sleep cycle.
If you consume cannabis with high THC levels for a long time, it may affect your overall sleep quality. There have been studies that found sleep may also be impaired by cannabis use, so like anything, only consume what you need.
Choosing A Strain: Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid?
You won’t unlock cannabis’ potential to improve your sleep without the right kind of weed.
Everyone is different, so not all strains will have the same effect on everyone. Choosing cannabis that works for you is like finding the perfect tea blend. You go for black, green, white, or something in the middle, but your mom reaches for something entirely different.
Indica, sativa, and hybrid are the most common ways to classify cannabis, and that’s a great place to start. Choosing your perfect match goes beyond that though, and involves other plant compounds like terpenes.
A quick guide:
Indica strains are your best bet for soothing and relaxing effects.
Sativa strains will energize or uplift your senses.
Hybrid strains are a combination of indica and sativa, and the effects vary based on the parent lineage.
Yes, everyone is different. But, we know there are some terpenes that relax you, like linalool for example. Likely, those consumers looking for a better night’s rest will all be smoking on something similar.
Terpenes are responsible for the way cannabis tastes and smells, but also influences the way we feel. Beta-caryophyllene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, and pinene are all common terpenes in indica strains that might further promote sedation and pain relief.
For a great night’s rest, give a indica strain a try Your Cannablue budtenders can help you find the perfect one!
Different Methods of Consumption
Smoking flower through a joint, pipe, or bong is the most classic method of cannabis consumption: and we’re sure it’s one you know about!
Nowadays though, plenty of people are ditching the bong and vaporizing cannabis to remove potential carcinogens and protect their lungs. Some data shows cannabis contains carcinogens, while other research shows otherwise. It’s just up to you which method you prefer.
Vape cartridges loaded with highly-potent cannabis oils are also an option, but dudes, hear us: only get your carts from a reputable source like us at Cannablue. You may or may not know about 2019’s vaping crisis. Dozens of people died over the summer because of poorly made, illegal, Vitamin E included vaping cartridges. This damaged the vape industry for a while, so make sure you only visit reputable sources for your vapes. All state-legal dispensaries will have tested carts, because unlike the balck market, there are regulations in place requiring cannabis personnel to track everything sold in the dispensary, from seed to sale.
If you’re not into smoking, try THC-rich tinctures that are taken sublingually or under the tongue. Or, grab soft-gel capsules and infused breath-sprays that may promote sleep.
With so many options out there, the choice is yours! Experiment with a few different products based on your preferences and see what works for you. Always make sure you clear your schedule before trying out cannabis products for inducing sleep and start slow, that way, you don’t oversleep or overconsume.
If you’re vaping or smoking, try a few puffs first. Tinctures or soft gel capsules, follow the recommended dosage on the packaging. Take note of how you feel in response, and adjust from there. Go low and slow always, don’t go wild.
When To Consume Cannabis Before Bed
Some people say it’s not a good idea to smoke right before you go to bed, but that might be the perfect time for you.
Some tinctures, edibles, and capsules may take a few hours to kick in, so plan accordingly. Most tinctures are taken under the tongue, so may kick in faster because of how quickly the bloodstream absorbs it!
If you’re feeling the effects of cannabis as you’re lying down, it may make it difficult to sleep, so give it time to fully activate. Ingesting or consuming cannabis an hour or so before bed is usually a good rule of thumb, but totally adjust as needed to meet your unique bedtime needs. We definitely don’t recommend taking an uplifting strain before bed, at least not your first time. Most people don’t respond well to highly-active strains at nighttime, because their mind or bodies want to be active.
When it comes to cannabis and sleep, more research needs to happen before we go replacing traditional sleep aids. Data from consumers and the limited studies that have been conducted are what we have to go off of.
Our knowledgeable budtenders are seriously excited to help you find cannabis product for sleep.
*The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.