The Properties Of Cannabis And How They Promote Sleep

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It’s time to share a few tips on sleeping with cannabis and promoting a better quality of life with sufficient rest. Yes, cannabis does help with inducing and maintaining a good night’s rest, but it’s important to understand what types of cannabis and cannabis products are more suited for these purposes. For example, we definitely wouldn’t recommend our Evening: Social vape pen for a good night’s rest with all of its sativa properties. Instead, we recommend our Weekend: Retreat that contains relaxing indica properties conducive to getting you off to bed at night. But what do you do when vaping or even combusting doesn’t induce the desired counting of sheep at night? We’ll share a few tips below.

Why Do I Need a Minimum 7 Hours of Sleep at Night?

Sleep promotes healthy brain and mood functioning, it regulates energy levels for work and physical activities, and promotes overall personal performance such as driving reaction times, social engagement, day-to-day problem solving, etc. Despite all of the positive benefits of sleep,  35% of adults and 68% of high school students experience short sleep duration (<7 hrs) in the United States. In fact, you may fall into this category If you are restless at night or wake up in the middle of the night.  Over the course of the next day, you may find it difficult to maintain energy levels, balanced moods, and productive focuses. These short-term effects are more noticeable today, but can lead to longer term chronic conditions tomorrow. Lack of sufficient sleep affects children and adults of all backgrounds. In fact, children require sufficient deep sleep to produce the hormones necessary for healthy growth and repair of bones, tissue, and muscle mass. The same hormones promote healthy cell and tissue repair in adults as well.

How Does Cannabis Help With Sleep?

Specifically, indica varieties of cannabis contain specific terpenes that allow the body to experience deeper, euphoric relaxation when combined with the naturally available THC that cannabis plants produce. More common terpenes that are known to possess relaxing and sedative effects are myrcene, linalool, and bisabolol. When selecting cannabis and cannabis products to help with sleep quality, try indica profiles that contain these terpenes.

There are also other cannabinoids that have relaxing and sedative properties to help with good night’s rest. We don’t hear about this cannabinoid too often, but Cannabinol (CBN) is the most sedative cannabinoid known, according to Steep Hill Laboratories. This cannabinoid results from aged or oxidized cannabis and is said to take on similar properties of diazepam, the pharmaceutical reference for Valium. Steep Hill notes that CBN may be an effective substitute for patients and consumers desiring little to no psychoactive effects. The most common products that contain CBN are edibles and tinctures, as aged cannabis is not desired for flower consumption.

Too Much THC Can Inhibit Restful Sleep

While cannabis can help with sleep, it is important to note that studies have shown that frequent use of cannabis has been linked to greater sleep difficulties. The study findings show that while occasional marijuana use doesn't disrupt sleep, heavy (or daily) marijuana use is associated with sleep difficulties. Thus, in the case of cannabis as a sleeping aid, less is more. If you’re a daily cannabis consumer experiencing issues with sleep quality, try consuming more CBD products to help with stress and anxiety while decreasing THC consumption. It’s no secret that cannabis affects individuals very differently. Researchers attribute the variance to both plant and individual genetics. Therefore, figuring which variant is right for you will take some self-experimentation.

Tips For Sleeping With Cannabis

  1. Understand that sleep quality starts well before bedtime. Diet and physical habits both play an important role in promoting healthy sleep. A dark, quiet environment promotes better sleep hygiene. Avoid snacking on potentially disruptive foods prior to bedtime, which means saying no to those feelings of the munchies.

  2. Indica varieties are better for sleep. Look for varieties that contain the following terpenes: myrcene, linalool, and bisabolol. Avoid sativa varieties before bed.

  3. Explore other cannabinoids and ratioed products that combine CBD/THC if euphoric side effects are not desired. If flower or vape consumption is not enough to help with your sleep habits, try CBD:THC tinctures and edibles that are formulated to promote restful sleep. Just be careful not to consume too much.

  4. In addition to exploring other cannabinoids, try exploring other herbal solutions to combine with cannabis as well. Chamomile, lavender, and valerian are all calming and relaxing herbs that promote healthy sleep and make delicious teas. Food-grade lavender oil can be ingested, or try aromatherapy solutions with essential oils and candles.

  5. Lack of sleep affects mood and should be balanced with supplements such as serotonin or 5-HTP. Certain foods are high in tryptophan which the body utilizes to convert into 5-HTP. These foods include turkey, salmon, kiwis, pineapples, and various grains to say a few.

  6. Lastly, relaxing routines prior to bedtime may also help you gain restful slumber. We’ll share with you a relaxing routine with cannabis and cannabis products:

    1. Supplement your diet throughout the day to promote healthy serotonin production and levels. Limit alcohol consumption as this has been proven to negatively affect sleep quality as well. Reduce/eliminate THC consumption during the daytime; try CBD instead. A less stressful daytime makes for an even less stressful nighttime.

    2. Physical activity and exposure to daylight are also important components to consider.

    3. After a nice early dinner, try vaping with our Weekend: Retreat Formulation. If you need more, try a sleep-inducing tincture or edible earlier than later, as consumption prior to bedtime is not as effective.

    4. Once relaxed, but not impaired, a nice hot shower with lavender or eucalyptus body wash is great for taking away more physical stress from the day while incorporating aromatherapy that will also act upon your senses.

    5. Apply your favorite infused topical rub to those achy areas and the bottom of your feet. Put on your favorite pair of socks and you’ll feel lighter on your feet as you start to drift to sleep.

    6. Use a timed insomnia playlist of soft rain, a rolling ocean, and/or other soothing nature sounds.

    7. Try a calming pillow mist to keep the senses in a relaxed state while you dream away.

And there you have it, a recipe for a good night’s sleep. Everybody loves a better slumber. So if you’re up for the challenge, we’d love to hear about your journey to a better rest! Send your stories and updates to info@jameshenrysf.com. Happy sleeping!