Cannabis for Sleep

Millions of Americans suffer from sleeplessness and insomnia. It is estimated that 1/3 of all adults experience insomnia at some point in their lives. Sufferers have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Not getting adequate sleep can wreak havoc on your health and mental state. Sleep is the reset state, where your body goes into repair mode. This includes restoring damaged tissues, boosting learning and memory, and flushing toxins from the body and brain. Too little sleep can have serious consequences, such as increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Many people turn to prescription help, but these medications often have undesirable and dangerous side-effects. Ambien is the most prescribed medication for insomnia and comes with some scary side-effects that might just be worse than the condition it’s supposed to help treat:

  • Depression, thoughts of suicide
  • Compulsive thoughts
  • Anxiety, aggression, restlessness, and agitation
  • Hallucinations, confusion
  • Changes in personality
  • Dizziness, weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Amnesia, forgetfulness
  • Vivid or disturbing dreams
  • Nausea, constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches, muscle pain

 

How Cannabis Helps Insomnia

Cannabis has been used for centuries as a sleep aid and comes with none of the side-effects listed above. A study done at Alberta University was conducted to investigate the effects of THC on the appetite of cancer patients. Unexpectedly, researchers found that patients received THC containing cannabis also had significantly better sleep than the control group. 

There are four main phases of sleep, which include:

1. The half-awake phase – the first 10 minutes of sleep

2. The light sleep phase – heart rate slows down, body temperature drops

3. The deep sleep phase – 35-45 minutes after falling asleep. This is the most important phase of sleep, where rest and repair happens

4. The REM phase – about 90 minutes after falling asleep and when dreams occur

 

When we are under the influence of THC-containing cannabis, we fall asleep more quickly, which allows more time to be spent in the 3rd phase, the regeneration phase. Greater amount of time spent in this phase increases energy the following day.

 

Which Type of Cannabis is Best for Sleep

Indica-dominant strains are the absolute best for achieving quality sleep. Most cannabis strains today are hybrids which will be a combination of sativa and indica, though you can still find pure indica strains. Indicas tent to have a dark green color where sativas are typically lighter green. Always ask your bud tender for test results. An experienced and knowledgeable bud tender will be able to help you choose the right strain.

 

The Right Time to Consume

Ingesting your cannabis at the right time is just as important as the strain you chose. Partaking 60-90 minutes before you intend to go to bed is the ideal time to allow the medicine to get into your system and relax you. This also allows for enough time for your brain to overcome the psychoactive effects of THC, which can cause heightened thoughtfulness immediately after consumption.

Smoking your cannabis is the most traditional method of consuming, but there are many ways to consume cannabis that don’t carry the health risks that smoking does. If you are considering cannabis for sleep, we recommend vaping or using a tincture. Tinctures can help you easily control your dose, so you can adjust to find what works best for your body. Although most people wake up feeling rested and ready for the day, some people report drowsiness upon waking. Taking the correct dose and ensuring you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep can alleviate morning drowsiness.

GreenLeaf Solutions is a Physician-owned and operated cannabis dispensary located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. We take pride in our meticulously cultivated cannabis and providing the highest quality CBD and THC products. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about cannabis. Our doors are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 7:00pm.