Sleep 101

Weed & Sleep: The Key To Uninterrupted Nights, Part 3

Episode 194

Show Notes

Sleep Through The Night With Cannabis

In our latest ‘Weed & Sleep’ episode, we’re spilling our secrets to help you achieve a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Sounds like pure bliss, right? We’ll explore the common causes of those frustrating mid-night wake-ups, and share natural remedies — like the combined use of THC and CBD. Tune in to hear practical insights and solutions to help you achieve a restful night’s sleep! And don’t miss next week’s episode all about preventing weed hangovers.

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Podcast Guests



Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.


Are you drinking wine to help you fall asleep and finding it actually hurts your sleep or causes you to wake up? What if I told you that in 38 states, you can have Happi, a THC-infused, sleep inducing sparkling seltzer, shipped right to your house?


Happi is a women-run company that is helping to solve for a truly restful night of sleep. All you have to do is pop open a can of Happi’s nightcap, enjoy its yummy Turkish apple tea flavor, and wait about 15 to 20 minutes before you fall into a very peaceful sleep.


I know that not sleeping can be such a serious problem, and don’t we all have enough serious stuff going on? Laughter releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemicals, which also help you sleep better. Today, let’s share a laugh with Happi.


I have searched far and wide for the silliest jokes I can find about sleep. What do you call it when you get a movie role where you’re paid to sleep? Your dream job. Thanks for sharing a laugh with Happi, and if you have a great joke about sleep, please send it to me. I’d love to feature you.


For better sleep tonight, go to and order a four pack of Happi’s nightcap, a THC-infused seltzer. Happi is offering 20% off for How to Do the Pot listeners. That’s and use the code Do The Pot for 20% off. I’ll link to it in the show notes and remember, it’s Happi with an I at the end.

Ujin Kim (02:14):

I went to my grandmother and gave her a full teaspoon of the dream honey. Literally, for the first night in a week, she went to sleep. All she could say to me was that she needed more and she, in my entire life knowing her, has never asked me for anything.

Ellen Scanlon (02:36):

Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard Ujin Kim, a California-based creative strategist talking about how cannabis helped her grandmother find sleep in the midst of some really challenging health issues. I hope you’ve been enjoying our Sleep 101 series and learning everything you need to know about sleep and cannabis. So, fluff your pillows and shimmy under those sheets because today, in part three, we are here for the long run talking about how to make sleep last all night long.


In part two of the series, check it out if you haven’t listened yet, we talked about how to fall asleep fast and how smoking cannabis flower can be a really powerful tool to incorporate into your evening sleep routine. But the effects of smoking typically only lasts for one to three hours. So, it’s not uncommon for your sleep remedy to wear off in the middle of the night. This can be really great if you’re worried about waking up drowsy after consuming cannabis.


If I’ve just put that thought in your mind, please don’t worry, we will cover the morning after in our next and final episode of the Sleep 101 series.For today, we are going to talk about what to do if you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t get back to sleep. This can happen for so many reasons. For most people with sleep issues, THC acts as a sedative. But maybe you tried a strain that makes you feel energized instead of sleepy, or maybe you woke up to use the bathroom, or a new thing in my house. Maybe, you woke up because a toddler snuck into your bed. How can cannabis help you get back to sleep?


Some non-cannabis related sleep tips first. In part two of this sleep series, we cover the circadian rhythm, which controls your wake-sleep cycle. I talked about the optic sensors in your eyes that can tell your body that it’s time to wake up. So, for whatever reason you find yourself up in the middle of the night, try to avoid turning on bright lights. Night lights are a great way to see without flooding the sensors in your eyes, and they help ensure that your body still knows that it’s time to sleep. If you pull out your phone, that bright screen acts as an instant wake-up call.


It floods your optic sensors and basically cues your body that it’s time to get up. This can make it really challenging to go back to sleep. First, and I echo the many sleep experts out there, silence your notifications and put your phone down a half an hour before you want to go to sleep. Maybe, put it on a table far from your bed, or even out of your bedroom. I know it’s tempting to start scrolling if you can’t sleep in the middle of the night, but this screen time makes it incredibly difficult to go back to sleep and even worse, it can affect your circadian rhythm for nights in the future too. This one change can make a huge difference in how you sleep and how you feel.


As you start figuring out what works for your sleep cycle, take the time to consider what your sleep environment is like and maybe there’s a way to make it more calming and restful for yourself and anyone that you share it with. Even though I might look a little silly, I swear that my sleep mask has vastly improved my sleep and is actually one of my favorite things. I also keep a stash of little foam earplugs next to my bed, because my husband sometimes snores. So, it can be pretty low tech. While a loud garbage truck can’t be fixed with cannabis, other sleep issues can be.


How does cannabis help you stay asleep all night? I asked Dr. June Chin, a New York based integrative cannabis physician, about what she recommends to her patients for sleep.

Dr. June Chin (07:05):

Gosh. I think the top question that I get asked is why and how cannabis works for sleep disruption. The biggest thing is anxiety, stress, and chronic sleep is the trifecta and it really relates to each other in a very deep and connected way. If you have anxiety during the day and stress during the day, your sleep is going to be disrupted.


A lot of my patients that come in, I say, “Well, what do you do during the day? You don’t just have to wait for nighttime to use cannabis.” If you use a CBD, a 20:1 during the day, which helps ground you, which helps calm your nervous system, it might help you set the tone for better sleep at night. So, you might not necessarily need to use something right at bedtime.


But if you need something to help you fall asleep and stay asleep, then you might find cannabis useful taking it right after dinner. It’s the form factor that’s most important for onset of sleep versus staying asleep. So, if you need something to fall asleep, you might use an inhaled version of cannabis. If you need help staying asleep, because you’re waking up at 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM, you might use an edible or capsule, perhaps a tincture even.

Ellen Scanlon (08:21):

To really achieve better sleep with cannabis, think about it from a holistic standpoint. All the parts are connected. As Dr. Chin explained, using a combination of CBD and THC in the right ratio can be really helpful for falling asleep and staying asleep. One study from the National Institutes of Health found that CBD can decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and it typically peaks in the morning. But people who suffer from insomnia symptoms may also have high cortisol levels at night. CBD can help bring down those levels and allow you longer periods of restful sleep. For more on CBD, check out our Weed Words episode and I’ll link to it in the show notes.


We love podcasts and we know that finding your favorites isn’t always easy. So, we have started the How to Do the Pot podcast club. Periodically, we’ll share our favorite podcasts and interview the hosts of some really great shows, some about weeds, some not. If you’d like to put a podcast on our radar, please reach out at or you can DM us at Do the Pot. Since we’ve been talking a lot about sleep and how important it is not to scroll on your phone if you wake up in the middle of the night, maybe instead, close your eyes and listen to a really creative audio fiction podcast like Midnight Burger.


Midnight Burger is a monthly audio drama about a diner at the end and somehow the beginning of the universe. Midnight Burger is no ordinary place. It’s a time-traveling dimension-spanning diner, also outside of Phoenix. Midnight Burger lets listeners skip across the cosmos along with its staff, Gloria, a waitress just looking for a job, a galactic drifter, a rogue theoretical physicist, a sentient old-timey radio, and some guy named Casper. Midnight Burger has created an immersive world and the imaginative narrative is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before. If you are open to experimenting with audio fiction, this is a great place to start. It’s funny, smart, and mind-bending, and I highly recommend it. Midnight Burger is available wherever you listen to podcasts.


Eugene Kim used her extensive cannabis knowledge to help her ailing grandmother with a cannabis regimen a lot like the one Dr. Chin recommended.

Ujin Kim (11:11):

I was really in the market for a more natural solution. My grandmother, she recently has been getting a lot of health complications. She’s over 85 and that just tends to happen at that age. However, she was going through a lot of liver failure and had a surgery. After the surgery, she effectively couldn’t sleep for eight days straight. In general, if your health is tip-top, you will not be a functioning human after three days of no sleep and once you get to around 10 days, that’s when your body starts actually shutting down. My grandma was definitely approaching that place.


She couldn’t get a wink’s night of sleep, and I knew as a cannabis user for the better part of the last decade that my grandma would really benefit from cannabis, especially in this really risky period where if she couldn’t figure out a natural way of getting into a REM sleep, she would never actually heal from her liver surgery. I was on high alert, literally hitting up all of the dispensaries that are my usual suspects. I just got a couple of different products to cook for myself and just really test out the products before I gave it to my grandmother.

Ellen Scanlon (12:40):

Sometimes when I interview women for the show, there is a moment when I’m so inspired, I get goosebumps, and I start dreaming up a whole episode just to feature the story. This sleep series was inspired by this moment with Ujin.

Ujin Kim (12:57):

That next weekend, I went to my grandmother and gave her a full teaspoon of the dream honey. Literally, for the first night in a week, she went to sleep. All she could say to me was that she needed more and she, in my entire life knowing her, has never asked me for anything. She was a post-Korean War kid. She raised nine of her siblings herself. She raised four of her kids as well as all of her grandkids. So, she’s just an absolute warrior.


But in this time, when she just didn’t know how to heal her own body, it was such a cathartic, also healing experience for me myself, to be able to give something to my grandmother that really helped her and that also made my own mother a real believer. When I went to college and I was starting my own cannabis journey, my mom discovered my bong, and she talks about that day being one of the worst days of her life.


But then, when she saw that cannabis could really help her own mom in a period of time when my mom had absolutely no idea how to help her… My grandma was on a ton of opioids that the doctor prescribed to her. They were complicating her health in a lot of different ways. Partially, that is what led to her liver failure in the beginning, which is why I wanted to find a natural solution.


I knew that cannabis could help, but she wasn’t ever going to smoke anything. She’s never smoked anything in her life. An edible in terms of a gummy is also a great solution, but it is high risk for diabetes. So, I didn’t want to give her something hyped up on sugar. Finding the honey, which is already a part of her own ritual, she usually loves drinking that in her morning tea, it was night and day. That first week, after she started using it every day for seven days, she was back in her regular sleeping schedule and that’s what made me a real believer.

Ellen Scanlon (15:05):

This story is so moving to me, because I think it really highlights the power that cannabis can have in improving quality of life for people of all ages.


If you’ve been experimenting with cannabis and sleep throughout the Sleep 101 series, you may have had luck using edibles to get a full night of restful sleep or trying flower to fall asleep fast. Incorporating CBD and THC is a great way to get all the sleep related benefits of the plant. When you consume THC and CBT together, they actually end up working in what’s often called the entourage effect.


The entourage effect is when the whole plant and all its cannabinoids, the most famous of which are CBD and THC, come together to create a generally better and less extreme effect as a whole. For example, CBD can help curb some of the anxiety that may come from consuming higher levels of THC, and THC can feel less potent or overwhelming with the addition of CBD. The result of combining the two is a really beautiful and balanced feeling. CBD isn’t the only thing that you can mix with your THC to achieve lasting, restful sleep. Dr. Chin has some other recommendations that might help.

Dr. June Chin (16:33):

If you need help staying asleep because you’re waking up at 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM, could also be just your glucose metabolism. Sometimes, I’ll have my patients have a couple of spoonfuls of almond butter before bed and they find that the combination of that and the cannabis will help them stay asleep and not wake up in the middle of the night. But the almond butter is great because it’s not high in sugar, it’ll metabolize a little bit slowly, and it might help you regulate your glucose, so that you’re not waking up at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 AM.


Usually, I actually guide them on small dosing and I will actually have them combine it with one milligram or two milligrams of melatonin. I might recommend a 1:1, a CBD THC ratio of one to one first, and then adding a milligram of melatonin to it if it’s just not quite dialed in. So, I might not necessarily increase the dosage of the cannabinoids, but I will combine it with something that’ll help amplify it like 650 milligrams of valerian root. Sometimes, magnesium will also help patients with their sleeping and I’ll ask them to combine it with the cannabis.

Ellen Scanlon (17:45):

Melatonin is the hormone that your brain produces when your circadian rhythm tells your body it’s time to sleep. When the lights go out and you start feeling drowsy, that’s because your body is producing melatonin. Some people swear by it, but it can also lead to lingering drowsiness. So, always start with a low dose.


Many of Dr. Chin’s patients have found her recommendations to be incredibly helpful. I also recommend talking to your medical provider before you add anything into your routine, so you can ensure that your body responds well. If you have questions about talking to your doctor, we get advice from medical cannabis patients in episode 67. We also talk about drug interactions.


While data is still limited, we are paying very close attention to the latest research and hoping for more studies in the future. We will keep you posted. If you’re open to telling us about your sleep and weed experience, please DM us at Do the Pot on Instagram or send us an email at hi, that’s H-I, Before you head off on your latest quest for finding lasting rest, here’s a quick high five to recap how to make sleep last all night long.


Number one, if you do wake up, resist the urge to check your phone and try a nightlight instead of turning on bright lights. Number two, if you wake up in the middle of the night, consider a CBD tincture or edible for a non-intoxicating sleep aid. Number three, if you share your sleep space with a partner, their sleep issues can have an effect on you too. Maybe, share this episode with them or share your newfound sleep and weed knowledge to help them find a solution to more restful sleep.


Number four, almond butter, melatonin, and valerian root are natural substances that may help soothe your stomach and metabolism, activate your circadian rhythm, and relieve anxiety, all of which can lead to more restful sleep. Number five, while THC and CBD are great on their own, they can be better together. Consider combining them for a better night’s sleep and experience what’s commonly called the entourage effect.


Thank you for listening to part three of our Sleep 101 series. Stay tuned for our final episode, where we’ll talk about the morning after, how consuming cannabis for sleep affects you in the morning. Please reach out with any questions to hi, H-I, or DM us at Do the Pot. Thanks to our writer, Meliá Grasska, and our producers, Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do the Pot.



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