With cannabis now being legal in Canada and in several US states, many more people are exploring its use for help with a number of health complaints. So how does cannabis hold up in aiding sleep?
Strains, strains, strains
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, the seemingly never-ending combinations can seem overwhelming. CBD vs THC, indica vs sativa, oil vs herb—what is good for what?
CBD oil contains little or no THC and will not produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis. Users of CBD say that it helps inflammation, anxiety, depression, and pain. It is usually consumed as an oil, but high-CBD, low-THC herb blends also exist for vaping, smoking, or otherwise ingesting. While pure CBD oils tend to have virtually no THC, the herbs still have some—so it’s best to stick to oil if you need to drive or remain fully competent. If you’re interested in CBD, make sure to ask your provider and read the bottle to ensure it’s not blended with THC. Interestingly, CBD appears to actually make you more alert when consumed in the light, and has no effect when used in the dark. So CBD may help you during the day if you haven’t slept well, but it’s unlikely to do much at night.
THC is broken into two categories: indica and sativa. Indica strains tend to make you feel heavy and tired, while sativa strains tend to be more energizing. THC also comes in oils, herbs, and edibles and can be either strain or a blend. In general, indica is what you want to help with sleep, with many people taking some indica THC oil right before they go to sleep.
Oils vs Herbs
As a rule, cannabis oils are slow to take effect, and slow to dissipate. Herbs, on the other hand, are quick to be felt and quick to leave. To help stay asleep and promote quality slumber, use an oil before bed. If you want something to make you feel sleepy right away, vaping the herb instead could be more effective.
To add complexity, different blends of cannabis carry different terpene profiles. Terpenes are organic compounds (hydrocarbons) that affect how the cannabis makes you feel and how they help your body. They are also what gives cannabis its flavour. Terpenes are found in other things, like essential oils, as well. Different terpenes have different benefits, so different blends may be more beneficial for sleep than others.
Sleep and Cannabis
In general, a high quality indica oil can be very beneficial for sleep. Like most things, however, cannabis is not one-size-fits-all. It’s best to talk to a licensed cannabis provider about your options, and try different strains to see what suits you best. It also seems to work best in conjunction with other sleep-inducing strategies, like chamomile tea or binaural beats.
Cannabis is not recommended for those under 25 (due to ongoing brain development), those with severe cardio-pulmonary disease, some respiratory diseases, liver or renal disease, a family or personal history of schizophrenia, or during pregnancy/breastfeeding. If you’re new to cannabis, consult a medical professional before adding it to your sleep routine.
Use of Zenfully is not intended as a substitute for professional medical device, nor does Zenfully diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult a doctor before starting any new program.