Whether you’re looking for a natural way to get a better night’s sleep or you’ve been prescribed a sleep aid and are looking for a natural alternative, cannabis might be the answer. Read on to discover how CBD and THC can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
First things first: Understanding sleep cycles
Studies have found that 50-70 million US adults suffer from a sleep disorder. According to the American Sleep Association (ASA) insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%.
But even if you don’t suffer from a sleep problem, a simple lack of quality sleep can make you feel tired, cause health issues and even contribute to weight gain.
Every night when you sleep, your body goes through five distinct sleep stages as it goes from non-REM sleep to REM (rapid eye movement) state. Understanding how these stages work is the first step to getting better rest.
Non-REM sleep usually happens first and includes three stages. The last two stages of non-REM sleep are when you sleep deeply. It can be hard to wake up from this state because you are in a deep sleep.
REM sleep is a stage of sleep that happens about an hour to an hour and a half after falling asleep. REM sleep is characterized by rapid eye movements, increased brain activity, and more vivid dreams.
As we go through these stages, our bodies perform different activities, from muscle and tissue repair during non-REM sleep stages, to organizing our thoughts and memories during REM.
The brain produces chemicals that affect how we sleep and wake. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can be out of balance, making us feel sleepy or wide awake. Here’s where the Endocannabinoid System comes into place.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating several important bodily functions, such as mood, pain, anxiety, appetite, and sleep. This system is essential for maintaining a state of balance in the body, including –you guessed right – your sleep cycle.
Once you reach a balanced sleep cycle, you will wake up feeling rested, with more energy, and ready to tackle your day. Interested? Keep reading as we give you the down-low on how to use marijuana to improve your sleep quality, what are the best weed strains for sleep, and their health benefits.
HOW TO ACHIEVE REALLY GREAT SLEEP WITH CANNABIS
1. TOP TIPS. Setting a consistent bedtime and limiting screen time before bed can help you maintain a healthy wake-sleep cycle. The female hormone cycle, menopause, and pregnancy can all affect sleep, and it’s common to have a harder time sleeping as your hormones fluctuate.
2. START WITH CBD. CBD can relax your body and mind, and it will help you sleep through the night. I often recommend people start with CBD for sleep because it’s legal in all 50 states. Remember, you’ll need to take CBD consistently for at least two weeks to feel the effects.
3. THC FOR SLEEP. THC can help you fall asleep fast but it can disrupt your REM cycle and inhibit the dream stage of sleep, which is ok for some people but not for others.
Top 3 Strains that will Help You Sleep Fast
- Granddaddy Purple: A famous indica cross known for its relaxing, sedating effects. The sweet taste of berries and bliss will have you fall into a well rested night of sleep.
- Northern Lights: One of the most famous indica strains for sleep, this Afghan and Thai cross brings a full body-high and relaxation to the muscles and mind.
- God’s Gift: With a combination of grape and citrus, this strain gives heavy, dreamy effects that will help you into a deep slumber.
4. IS IT HABIT FORMING? Unlike prescription sleep aids, which lose efficacy the more frequently you take them, as your body becomes accustomed to using marijuana for sleep, it gets incorporated into your circadian rhythm and makes it easier to fall asleep fast.
5. WHAT TO TRY? Nighttime edibles with either THC or CBD are a very popular option to help you get to sleep. They take 1-2 hours to feel, so please don’t take another! Looking for strain recs? Listen to our episode Fall Asleep Fast with Weed to find the best sleep strain for you.
DO CBD PRODUCTS FOR SLEEP SHIP LEGALLY?
Before we can break down what is the absolute best weed for sleep, we need to know if you can buy them where you live! These hemp-derived CBD products are available for purchase online and ship to all 50 states. Check out our blogs and sign-up for our newsletter for state-by-state recommendations on the best THC and CBD products available only in licensed dispensaries.
CANNABIS FLOWER OFFERS THE GREATEST VARIETY OF SLEEP OPTIONS.
Julia Jacobson, co-founder of Aster Farms answers the question “what strain of weed is good for sleep” with their Moonlight Effects cannabis strain. It’s an indica dominant hybrid strain flower that she usually vapes using a Pax 2. (CA Only)
CANNABIS EDIBLES: THE ULTIMATE SLEEP AID
Cannabis edibles are a popular method for consuming marijuana. As a sleep aid, edibles are safe to take every single night before bed. You will wake up feeling rested, refreshed, and re-energized to start the day.
Whether you are new to cannabis or an experienced user, it can be difficult to figure out the right dosage when you start with edibles.
So, here is what you should know about cannabis-infused edibles.
- WHAT SHOULD I BUY?
Edibles are measured in milligrams (mg) and the amount of THC and CBD will be listed on the package. Every state’s packaging is a bit different, so ask the budtenders at the dispensary for help. Intimidated by weed shopping? Hear women all across the country share how they navigate buying legal weed.
- HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
Cannabis ratios work like this: the first number is the amount of CBD and the second is THC. Start with ratios that range from 1:1 to 20:1. Our CBD episode explains why this non-intoxicating part of the plant is helping so many women love weed.
- CUT YOUR EDIBLE IN HALF.
Start with a low dose of 2 to 2.5mg of THC. Depending on the state, edibles under 5mg may be hard to find. Try cutting your edible in half, or even into quarters. Bonus = more for later.
- BE PATIENT.
Edibles can take 1 to 2 hours to feel, and the effects will last for 4 to 8 hours. Please wait the full two hours before you take another!
- FEEL TOO HIGH?
Drop a CBD oil tincture under your tongue for 30-60 seconds. You’ll feel less high and more like yourself in about 15 minutes.