Nothing can make us feel more refreshed and ready to hit the ground running than proper sleep. Sadly, not everyone can fall asleep effortlessly. For some of us, going to sleep is a nightmare in itself.
Whether it is stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg disorder, or something else keeping you up at night, finding a solution should be your top priority. Sleep is crucial for our well-being. When you do not get proper rest, the risks are significant. You are increasing your chances of getting the flu, cancer, a stroke, or experiencing coronary heart disease problems.
Not to mention everyday disadvantages. When you lack sleep, you forget more. You are less focused, more irritated, and less able to think correctly. There is also the fact that you are more likely to gain weight, and your skin suffers too.
How Medical Marijuana Can Make You Sleep Better
While there are various sleeping treatments on the market, there is one particular antidote that is gaining popularity among people suffering from poor sleep — Medical marijuana.
The main difference between medical marijuana and CBD is the presence of THC. Medical marijuana contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a “crystalline compound” that provides the mind-altering effects that make you feel high. Cannabidiol oil (CBD) does not contain THC, and therefore, it has no mind-altering effects. It is derived directly from the hemp plant – “a cousin of the marijuana plant” – but it does not cause a high by itself.
However, medical marijuana contains CBD in higher quantities and various other compounds and cannabinoids such as THC that work in synergy to provide more significant relief.
Research is still in its early stages when it comes to the effects of medical marijuana on sleep. One study on volunteers showed that some CBD users saw their sleep improve when taking this form of medication. Some volunteers even experienced a small increase in the deepest stage of sleep.
Another study, conducted in 2008, showed that taking marijuana with a high level of THC decreases the amount of REM sleep. The latter is the stage of our sleep when we dream. For PTSD users, reducing this stage could be beneficial because it would mean they are less likely to have nightmares.
Less REM sleep means more time in the deep sleep state. However, not having enough REM sleep is a disadvantage as well. This form of sleep is essential for us to cultivate our cognitive functions.
Identify The Right Strain
When you do decide to try marijuana to better your sleep, you must find the right strain. You do not want the medication to make you feel too energetic just before you are ready for bed. Having a professional guide you when purchasing your dose is a good way of getting it right sooner rather than later.
You will learn that there is a difference between Indica and Sativa. The former will give you the high you need to relax and induce sleep. It is best to use Sativa during the day when you need a kick. Using it at night could inhibit your sleep. CBD dominant strains are ideal for use before bedtime as they induce relaxation and sleep.
5 Mind-Blowing Ways Marijuana Can Make You Sleep Better
Now that you know more about medical marijuana, here are five incredible reasons why it can help you sleep better:
1. Help with your breathing
Sleep apnea affects millions of people around the world. This sleeping disorder can disrupt your night by obstructing your breath, not to mention the problems that it causes, including headaches and vertigo.
The research is still early on the effects of cannabis on this disorder, but preclinical studies have indicated that THC can play a huge role. A 2002 study showed how THC could stabilize the respiratory system by moderating the serotonin signals.
Moreover, during a 2013 study, the researchers used an exogenous cannabinoid called dronabinol. The latter mimicked the properties of THC. 15 out of the 17 participants said they saw an improvement in their sleep during their 21-day treatment.
2. A higher CBD to THC ratio gives relaxing effects
Stress consumes every one of us. It seems that no matter where we turn, there is always something to be stressed about. Managing stress is crucial for your mental well-being, but sometimes it can be so severe that it inhibits you from letting go of your thoughts and drifting into sleep.
Marijuana can help with this. Its tiny seeds help with insomnia and reducing stress by making you feel more relaxed. One study, conducted by the researchers at the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Neuroscience found that a low dose of THC provides those stress-relieving instances that users are often looking for. When you experience relaxation, falling asleep will be easier. Ensuring that you take the right dose is vital here, as a higher dose may increase your negative mood.
3. Enhance the work of natural remedies
You may already be using natural remedies to promote better sleep, such as drinking chamomile tea or taking a lavender-infused bath. A dose of medical marijuana, from a reputed marijuana dispensary paired with your favorite natural sleep remedy, can only enhance the experience and increase those sleepy positive effects.
“Hops, chamomile, and lavender contain important terpenes also found in cannabis but found in much higher concentration. These inclusions in the medical remedy will make for a greatly enhanced sedation efficacy,” explains Rev. Dr. DeCesare, a herbalist, and physician’s assistant.
Terpenes are “the aromatic compounds” found in medical marijuana. While there is still much that needs to be studied about terpenes, researchers suggest that terpenes are the compounds doing the work by giving your body those positive effects.
4. CBD helps with anxiety
Having a panic attack in bed is not something you want to experience before you fall asleep. Nor do you want to spiral and end up a ball of nerves because of the constant negative thoughts going through your mind. But sadly, these are both negative experiences that many people go through.
Using CBD as a relaxation tool is a way of getting a better night’s sleep. There are different forms of anxiety, and you must find the right dose so that the medication can help you relax, not spiral into paranoia, and more panic.
Researchers believe that CBD works with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. While it is still unclear how exactly the interaction works, researchers have seen that CBD may alter the serotonin signals in these receptors. Serotonin is vital for our mental health. Not having enough serotonin can lead to anxiety and depression.
5. It can ease pain
When you suffer from chronic pain, a good night’s sleep is essential. Ironically, this same type of pain often leaves you unable to get the rest you need. Marijuana can help ease chronic pain thanks to its effects on our endocannabinoid receptor activity.
The latter has a massive role in our bodies. It helps regulate vital functions such as our appetite, sleep, and response to pain and the immune system. Researchers have seen indications of medical marijuana affecting our endocannabinoid receptor. As a result, medical marijuana can help with inflammation and the interaction with the neurotransmitters.
Various studies have observed the effects of medical marijuana on different forms of chronic pain, including multiple sclerosis and arthritis, which showed positive results.
The Right Way To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Experts suggest that taking cannabis an hour before bedtime is ideal for it to work. When the dose is right, it should work for three to four hours, giving you enough time to fall asleep. When taking marijuana, remember to be mindful of frequency as well.
Some marijuana users saw their sleeping routine worsen when they stopped taking the medication. Some experienced a much more difficult time falling asleep, while others experienced withdrawal symptoms that prevented them from falling asleep quickly.
Hence, consulting an expert might be a good idea to help you with the correct dosage and the mode of intake.