Sleep is one of the most common reasons people use cannabis. For many, cannabis is a natural, nightly regimen to help fight insomnia. While it’s no secret that cannabis can help you get that much needed rest, the science behind the relationship between cannabis and sleep goes much deeper than you may think.
#1. CBD and THC can affect your sleep in different ways
There is no tried-and-true strain that helps every single person sleep. Like everything else, it’s important to find which strain is best for you. As you know, there are many different cannabis strains to choose from, from high THC/low CBD, to high CBD/low THC, to an equal balance of both.
Typically, consumers turn to an “indica” style strain for help with any sort of relaxation. However, those who don’t want to experience a high could also try strains with high CBD content. While CBD doesn’t necessarily act as a sedative pill that will make you drowsy and exhausted, it does help improve your sleep cycles. By mediating these cycles, your body will be able to rest and repair itself much more efficiently each night.
To learn more about CBD for sleep, you can read our article here.
#2. Cannabis inhibits REM cycles and aids with deep sleep cycles
Many people struggle with getting enough deep sleep in their cycles – especially as we get older and begin to deal with more stress and anxiety in our everyday lives. Poor sleep cycles like this can damage pathways to the brain and lead to an imbalance in hormones, which in turn can cause anxiety, mobility and other issues within the brain and body.
Let’s break it down:
REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) is the cycle where most of your dreaming happens. Your eyes move rapidly in different directions, heart rate increases and your breathing can become irregular. While REM is important for your brain in terms of emotion regulation and memory, it’s also important to note that your body does not do much of its healing during this cycle. During REM, about 50% of your body is healing while the other 50% is working on dream.
When you enter deep sleep, your breathing slows, muscles relax and heart rate becomes regular again. This is when your brain signs off, for lack of a better term. Rather than dreaming, your body uses this cycle to repair, heal and work on balancing hormones.
Using cannabis products as a sleep aid can help increase deep sleep, thus improving cycles and repairing damaged pathways.
#3 Different terpenes can work together to enhance cannabis’ sedative effects
Whether you purchase strains with sedative terpenes present, or use natural remedies that contain these terpenes, including them in your nightly regimen can help enhance the effects of cannabis for sleep.
Terpenes like linalool (commonly found in lavender) and myrcene (found in mango, lemongrass, thyme) both act as sedatives and help with relaxation and stress management.
Bottom line: Pairing your cannabis with something like a lavender scented essential oil bath, or a relaxing lemongrass tea can deeply improve its effects.
#4 Aged cannabis can help you sleep better than fresh cannabis
Did you know that as THC ages and degrades, it turns into a sedating chemical called cannabinol (CBN)? This chemical can make your cannabis up to 5x more sedating that that with regular THC.
These are just a few things to consider when using cannabis for sleep. If you have further questions, contact us, we’re happy to help.