Using Cannabis to Improve Your Sleep: A Wellness Guide

Ahh, to sleep, perchance a dream. We all need that restful bliss to be functional and alert the next day, but a lot of us have sleep problems. About 70 million U.S. citizens have sleeping problems, in fact. Could cannabis for sleep be the answer? For some people, a cannabis sleep aid might just be what the doctor ordered. For others, cannabis may not be the most viable option for long-term relief. Let’s take a closer look.

Does Cannabis Make You Sleep?

Anyone who has ever smoked a good pre-roll and drifted off to sleep will tell you that cannabis can indeed make you fall asleep. So, yes, cannabis can make a lot of people sleep. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has been examined relatively extensively for its role in encouraging sleep. However, every individual’s experience with cannabis for sleep can be unique, especially since so many types of cannabis are available.

sleep deprivation iconDoes cannabis help with sleep deprivation?

Insomnia plagues a lot of people, and sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on both the mind and body. In some states where medical cannabis is available, problems with insomnia can be one of the reasons patients are given a prescription. Research published in 2020 states that THC may offer therapeutic actions for people with either insomnia or REM sleep disorders.

A Closer Look at Cannabis and Sleep Quality

Does cannabis improve sleep quality? Even though numerous people do use cannabis for sleep, the studies of cannabis and its effect on sleep quality have been largely inconsistent. Some research indicates that cannabis may help some people fall asleep faster and feel more rested, while some studies seem to indicate everyday cannabis use may interfere with the quality of sleep over the long term.

Cannabis and REM Sleep

Researchers have determined that some of the higher THC strains of marijuana may reduce REM sleep. While REM sleep does have its purpose, this is also the point during sleep when most dreams occur. For some, lack of REM sleep may, in theory, spend more time in restorative sleep. Individuals that have a hard time sleeping due to nightmares may find this attribute of cannabis for sleep especially beneficial.

Does Cannabis Make You Sleep More or Longer?

The answer to this can vary depending on several factors, such as what strain your use and even how much cannabis you consume. In one study, people who used around 15 milligrams of THC seemed to feel more alert and wake up more through the night. Consistent cannabis use in young adults may impair regular sleep patterns, according to some research. So, while cannabis may be good for some people who have a hard time falling asleep, smoking cannabis may not be the most beneficial way to fix sleep issues over the long term with continuous use.

The Best Cannabis for Sleep

When you are considering trying cannabis for sleep, the strain you choose can be so important. Some scientists and medical professionals speculate that one of the reasons cannabis sleep aid research is so inconsistent is because strains can have so many variances in cannabinoid and terpene profiles. In general, the best cannabis strains for sleep will be those that offer sedating effects and are not known to give those uplifting or energetic highs.

Indica vs Sativa for Sleep

The usual theory is Indica strains are more sedating while Sativas are more uplifting. And, it is true that a lot of Indica strains are labeled as “sleepy strains,” but just because a strain is Indica-dominant doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good pick for sleep. Likewise, a Sativa-dominant strain may not keep you awake.

The truth is, terpene and cannabinoid profiles of each strain can be so diverse, you are better looking at the full composition of the plant and how each constituent affects you. For example, a good Indica-dominant OGKB may work best for some due to the higher THC content, while a Kushberry Hybrid with a higher CBD concentration may be better for others.

CBD for Sleep

Does CBD help you sleep? The concept has piqued the interest of both sleep enthusiasts and scientists. In one study, CBD outperformed a placebo in terms of sleep duration. Furthermore, CBD was exactly as efficient as a prescription sleep medication in helping patients fall asleep. In another study conducted over a three-month CBD consumption period, more than 66 percent of individuals reported improved sleep.

Does Cannabis Oil Help You Sleep?

Even though the majority of people prefer to smoke cannabis for sleep improvement, you do have options if you’re not keen on the smoking aspect or want a more discreet method. Cannabis oil, which is still rich in THC and other cannabinoids, is an easy way to get your dose of cannabis before bed.

How to Use Cannabis Oil for Sleep

If you intend to take cannabis oils to help improve your sleep, plan to take your dose about an hour before bedtime. Oils can take a little longer to kick in than smoking, so keep that in mind when planning when to take your dose. If you simply swallow the oil, you may be looking at an hour or more for the full effects. Sublingual (under the tongue) dosing can hit a bit faster, around 15 to 20 minutes, but that’s still not quite as fast as smoking cannabis, which can yield effects in just a few minutes.

Cannabis Oil Dosing for Sleep

Cannabis oil for sleep can take a little experimentation to find the right dose to take. Unlike smoking cannabis, which can yield a little less predictable level of THC, oils give you a precise dosage. However, cannabis-derived oils can yield slightly different effects for some, and onset time is a little more questionable.

The general rule with a THC oil for sleep is to start with a lower dose, see what happens, and then adjust gradually by a few milligrams if you need to. The beauty of cannabis oil is you can gauge your THC intake pretty easily, and adjusting is simple. Just be sure you are taking the oil when you have plenty of time to sleep off the effects, such as on a weekend or when you don’t have to get up early the next morning.

Ready to Try Cannabis for Sleep?

Even though using cannabis every day for sleep may not be the most logical or effective option, research has shown that cannabis may be good as a short-term solution. If you are ready to try cannabis or cannabis oil for sleep, be sure to check out our menus at Silver Therapeutics. We offer a full selection of cannabis flower, extracts, edibles, and more that may help you get some much-needed rest.