Can You Use Cannabis to Restore Your Natural Sleep Cycle?
Insomnia isn’t that uncommon
Sleep is essential for maintaining our mental and physical health, yet it eludes many adults.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 50 to 70 million U.S. adults experience symptoms of a sleep disorder. About 30 to 40 percent of the population will experience insomnia at some point in their lives, and about 10 to 15 percent of adults will deal with chronic insomnia.
So if getting shut-eye is becoming harder and harder, you’re not alone.
With so many people experiencing sleeping disorders, there’s been a rise of interest in one controversial cure: cannabis. Many in the medical marijuana community refer to cannabis as an effective treatment, with little to no side effects, for a range of sleeping disorders.
“Marijuana is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules in today’s modern lifestyle,” says Dr. Matt Roman, a medical marijuana physician.
Whether you have a sleep disorder or you’re having difficulty sleeping after a stressful day, cannabis might be a choice for you. Marijuana’s analgesic properties might provide some relief for those with chronic pain, while the anti-anxiety properties can soothe a stressed out mind and body.
There are different strains of marijuana. Some are more energizing, and some are calming and sedating depending on the balance of the different cannabinoids.
First, here’s a quick primer on the science behind marijuana. This herb works because it contains different cannabinoids, two of which you’ll see most often:
- Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has a number of health benefits, and is nonpsychoactive, meaning it doesn’t cause you to feel “high.”
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, is primarily responsible for that “high” feeling.
Something else THC is responsible for? Inducing sleep . So you’ll want a strain that contains more THC than CBD.
According to a 2008 study , ingesting marijuana strains with higher levels of THC typically reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. Reducing REM sleep means reducing dreams — and for those who experience PTSD, it could mean reducing nightmares.
So the theory is that if you spend less time dreaming, you’ll spend more time in a “deep sleep” state. The deep sleep state is thought to be the most restorative, restful part of the sleep cycle.
Still, REM is important for healthy cognitive and immune functioning, and marijuana with higher THC levels could impair your sleep quality if taken long term.
But this isn’t true across the board. Some studies have found that sleep can actually be impaired by regular use of marijuana. It’s clear that marijuana changes sleep cycles.
Smoking of any kind is a known health risk and should be approached with caution. Also, medicinal use of marijuana is still illegal in many areas.
Talk to your doctor about your sleep cycles. There may be long-term health consequences with interrupted REM, because much of the immune function repair takes place in deep sleep.
Please use marijuana responsibly. As with all forms of smoking, your risk of COPD can increase. Smoking marijuana is hazardous to the lungs, especially for those with asthma or other respiratory conditions. The use of marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding isn’t recommended.
Long-term marijuana use has been shown to have changes on the amount of gray matter in the brain. For teenagers, marijuana seems to have even more profound long-term and lasting effects on the brain and isn’t recommended.
Marijuana use isn’t recommended for anyone under 25 years of age because of the long-term effects on learning and recall.
More research on marijuana for medicinal purposes as well as the risk of COPD is still needed.
Is cannabis an answer to entering the land of sleep? From strains to timing, here’s what you need to know about cannabis as a nightcap.
The Best Marijuana Strains for Insomnia
According to the Mayo Clinic, common insomnia signs and symptoms include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Increased errors or accidents
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Ongoing worries about sleep
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health and wellbeing, so when it escapes us, we don’t feel or function at our best; decisions are harder, work is more stressful, and fatigue puts our emotions on overdrive. If any of this sounds like you, there are many great marijuana strains that may offer a solution for sleeplessness if used correctly and if the proper strains are chosen.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, these are a few of the best marijuana strains for sleep:
- Afghani. This Indica strain is considered one of the best marijuana strains for treating insomnia. With THC levels of up to 20%, consuming a small amount can result in a warm and tingly physical euphoria, accompanied by feelings of happiness and tranquility. Along with aiding sleep, this cannabis strain can relieve stress and anxiety as well.
- God’s Gift. A strain that became popular in California dispensaries in 2005 offers dreamy, blissful effects along with flavors of grape and citrus. THC levels can range anywhere from 18 percent to 25 percent. The person struggling to sleep is left feeling happy, euphoric and relaxed.
- Blue Lights. Blue Lights is a smooth Indica that offers a mellow, euphoric high, making it a great strain to combat insomnia. The flavor and aroma are that of warm blueberries. Many people count on this strain to relieving sleeplessness, due to the soothing relaxation that is enjoyable without being overpowering. Perfect for those who need to take the edge off the day and get some quality rest.
- Purple Kush. With 27 percent THC, this intense Indica comes from a mixture of Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. One of the most popular sedative cannabis strains, this one will result in a very relaxed state of mind and body. Because of its superb pain-relieving quality, this is a favorite strain for people with chronic pain as well as insomnia.
- 9 Pound Hammer. This Indica strain is perfect for insomniacs. Its mild CBD content is just enough to pacify the mind and relax the body. The strong fruity flavors of grapes and berries are another reason people like this appropriately named sleep aid.
Please keep in mind that you may react differently to medication than a friend or family member. The same is true if you’re using natural remedies for insomnia. Remember that each strain may have different degrees of effectiveness. Life Flower medical and recreational marijuana dispensary is proud to offer our customers the highest quality organic cannabis flowers, concentrates, and edibles for your best possible health and quality of life. Any recommendations we make are based on current research, anecdotal information, industry knowledge and experience.
The knowledgeable staff At Life Flower Dispensary is here to make custom recommendations for your individual needs, and we are experienced in the art of natural remedies for insomnia and other symptoms. We are a local Colorado business growing and selling organic cannabis using amended soil and natural-organic components to provide our customers with optimal flavor, potency, and organic quality cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. We use only the safest and cleanest organic methods to produce the highest quality products available. If you’d like to stay informed and up to date on all our special deals and drops, sign up for our newsletter and get the latest on what’s happening at Life Flower Dispensary, your premier Colorado MMJ dispensary in Denver and Glendale.
Finding natural remedies for insomnia is a challenge, but Life Flower Dispensary has expert recommendations for the best marijuana strains for sleep!