Recently, there have been lots of debates around the usage of cannabis as a sleep aid. Weed legalization at one level or another drags more and more attention to using the benefits of this plant which it can give to consumers. But let’s dive deep into this topic and find out what does the science say about cannabis for insomnia? Does weed help you sleep? And if so, what is the best cannabis for sleep? In this article, we will explore the science of sleep via cannabis and discuss the different types of this plant that may be beneficial for those struggling with insomnia.
This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!
Does Cannabis Help You Sleep?
First of all, what should be taken into consideration is that each human body is different, and the same compounds might result in different interactions. In other words, what works for one person might not work for another.
There is indeed some research on cannabis, its different cannabinoids, and sleep. However, their results are very limited and controversial. According to some research, cannabis may be helpful in easing insomnia. Several studies conducted in 2021 and 2022 found that cannabis use was associated with better sleep quality, less daytime sleepiness, and fewer insomnia symptoms.
On the contrary, another survey on cannabis and cannabinoids in 2021 had enough evidence to claim that cannabis use alters circadian rhythms and hence, negatively impacts sleep.
What can be concluded is that different cannabinoids may act differently, also depending on your age, co-occurring medical conditions, delivery method, and time of usage.
The Science of Sleep via Cannabis
So, theoretically, how is it supposed to work? Let’s start with the endocannabinoid system, or simply ECS, which takes an active part via central and peripheral nervous systems in regulating various bodily functions, including sleep.
There have been established two main receptors: CB1 and CB2 – which interact with certain cannabinoids: one might stimulate while others might block these receptors affecting various functions. Increased endocannabinoid signaling within CNS promotes sleep-inducing effects. At this point, more research is needed to conclude which cannabinoid or cannabinoid pair is best for performing this job and, generally, what is the best marijuana for sleep.
Which Type of Cannabis is the Best For Sleep?
When it comes to using cannabis for sleep, there are different species to take into account: Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Hybrid. There is also Cannabis ruderalis, but it is rather grown not for recreational or medicinal use but to breed autoflowering strains.
Indica refers to short plants with wide leaves, and among the marijuana community, there is a tendency to consider indica strains relaxing and sedating. Thus, they are often recommended for those struggling with insomnia and can be considered the best weed for sleep.
Sativa refers to tall plants with narrow leaves, and again among the marijuana community, sativa strains are considered to be energizing and uplifting. They are not typically recommended for sleep as they may have the opposite effect, interfering with sleep processes.
Hybrid strains are a combination of indica and sativa strains. They can have varying effects depending on the specific strain as they either incline to one side or another. Some hybrids may be more relaxing and sedating, while others may be more energizing and uplifting.
Things to Consider Before You Try Marijuana
Before you try marijuana for sleep, it is important to consider the possible risks and negative effects. Some possible side effects of cannabis use include dry mouth, dry eyes, dizziness, and anxiety. Additionally, cannabis use can impair cognitive function, so it is important to use caution when operating heavy machinery or driving after using cannabis.
Note that laws, additional regulations, and restrictions concerning marijuana and hemp vary from state to state marijuana, so be sure to check those in your state before using it.
How to Use Cannabis for Sleep
If you are considering using cannabis for sleep, it is important to start by consulting your healthcare provider, especially if you have already been diagnosed with some medical conditions or are on medications. The general rule is the same as always: start low and go slow. The low dose should be increased gradually when and if needed. It is also important to choose a strain that is known to have relaxing and sedating effects. The best marijuana for insomnia is often considered to be indica strains.
It is also important to consider the method of consumption. Smoking or vaporizing has become the most common method of consumption, but there are also other options, such as edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Each method of consumption has its own set of pros and cons, so it is important to choose the one that works best for you.
It is also important to note that cannabis should not be used as a long-term solution for insomnia and is not a certified medicine. If you continue to struggle with sleep issues, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional.
In conclusion, science suggests that weed for insomnia can be effective, but it is important to consider the potential risks and side effects before trying it. Additionally, when it comes to using cannabis for sleep, it is important to choose a strain that is known to have relaxing and sedating effects, which are usually C. indica strains. But it is also essential to consider the specific needs of the individual, as some people may find that Sativa or Hybrid strains work better for them.
Nevertheless, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using cannabis for sleep. It’s also important to note that cannabis should not be considered a long-term solution for insomnia and other sleep disorders. If you continue to struggle with sleep issues, it is important to explore other treatment options and consult with a healthcare professional.