Sleep isn’t always easy to come by. And if you’re like most of us, you could probably use a little help getting catching some Zzzs. Enter cannabis.
With natural and organic remedies becoming the preferred go-to and with the legalization of cannabis, many of us are now seeking a farm-to-pharmacy treatment. The medicinal properties of cannabis for sleep as well as sleep disorders, anxiety, and pain, seems to be gaining popularity across North America.
And those of us who have experienced the medicinal benefits of cannabis can likely vouch for the positive relationship between cannabis and sleep. And it looks like a lot of scientific researchers can, too.
But what’s still inconclusive is which sleep strains to use, what dosage to take, and the reliable positive effects of cannabis for sleep. That’s because, well, it’s personal. But with the right strains, we can maximize their potential and reach the most ideal restful state before we hit the hay.
What’s the Relationship Between Cannabis & Sleep?
The relationship between cannabis and sleep has been going strong for centuries, with one of the first scientific studies in the mid-1800s. Several case studies in this early research demonstrate the importance of quietude and sleep as a restorative to many ailments, with cannabis as a preferred restorative remedy because of its very few and/or minimal side effects.
Let’s not forget that sleep is a vital function of the nervous system. And that it contributes to brain and bodily homeostasis, energy level, cognitive ability, anxiety and stress response, and other key biological and physiological functions. So, how does cannabis affect sleep?
Researchers, past and present, believe that the endocannabinoid system can play a role in keeping not only these functions but our circadian rhythms in check, as described in the 2020 study, Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Sleep. Cannabis can set the scene for our minds to quiet down and our bodies to soften, preparing us for sleep. Because, believe it or not, it’s hard to fall asleep if we’re not relaxed.
What are the Best Strains of Cannabis for Improving Sleep?
For many cannabis users, sleep could be induced if enough THC or a strong strain of indica is consumed. A moderate to strong dose of THC can be the most reliable source of inducing sleep. We recommend an organic cultivar like BC Organic SFV OG Kush, especially for the veteran and/or regular cannabis consumer.
But, mid-high doses of THC aren’t ideal for everyone, as each of us has a unique body chemistry. If you’re just beginning your cannabis journey, haven’t taken THC in a while or are sensitive to THC, no need to go all in. Too much THC can exacerbate anxiety so a CBD-dominant strain like BC Organic Charlotte CBD could be a nice way to ease into your cannabis-supported sleep regimen, without the high. You might consider starting with a small dose and increasing it slowly each night (by 1-2mg) to safely achieve the effect you’re seeking. And if you’re still on the fence between indica and sativa, give How to Tell the Difference Between Indica and Sativa a read for some extra intel.
When it comes to which form of cannabis to take, a lot depends on your personal preference. Edibles are great for a longer-lasting effect but also have a slow-release delivery. Oils work the same as edibles but can be properly measured for dosage, for those that like a little more structure to their slumber party. Flower is always nice for the most natural form of cannabis but smoking is not everyone’s cup of tea. That said, here’s how to make cannabis tea for sleep, a ceremony that can bring a sense of calm before bedtime.
Cannabinoids, Terpenes & Sleep
If you’re looking for more of an adventure when using cannabis for sleep, it’s best to try to understand the effects of cannabinoids and terpenes to choose the best cannabis sleep strain for your individual needs. Find a strain that contains a good balance of relaxing or sedating terpenes like beta-Myrcene (or beta-Caryophyllene for stress-relief and Linalool for calming), CBD and THC. If you’re feeling super keen, a cannabis journal can be helpful in recording and monitoring your experiences.
Cannabis could very well be the sleeping aid you’ve been searching for. But, like all other sleep remedies, cannabis should be mindfully consumed and not relied upon to be a long-term solution. And as always, consult your physician first.
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