Does Using Cannabis Help With Insomnia? Using Cannabis To Help Help You Sleep
Sleep is the most important part of any person's life that greatly impacts day-to-day function. Unable to fall asleep or difficulty in staying asleep is termed insomnia. According to American Sleep Association, around 70 million Americans are suffering from some sleep disorders, out of which 30% of adults are going through short-term insomnia.
The main causes of insomnia vary from person to person, but depression, anxiety, and poor sleeping habits are some of the prevalent causes. People have been using a number of herbs to get themselves to sleep, but cannabis has been proved to be the best cure for insomnia. Several types of research have proved cannabis to be safe for insomniacs, majorly due to the presence of THC.
How Does Cannabis Treat Insomnia?
People used to take cannabis for insomnia even when many such studies were not available in its support. We can have early evidence of people using cannabis centuries ago for treating sleeping disorders. With the increasing popularity of cannabis, a lot of clinical research has been carried out, and a lot is still underway concerning the use of cannabis to help insomnia.
In recent research, it has been found that the major reason people use cannabis is for insomnia. Depression, anxiety, and body pain are the second top reasons. Our natural sleep cycle is disturbed by insomnia. Medical cannabis works by restoring a person's natural sleep cycle and helping him sleep comfortably.
The cannabis strain and intake method both decide the cannabis effects. Cannabis is available in various forms, including gummies, tinctures, oils, tablets, edibles, vapes, and whatnot. Smoking cannabis may be beneficial for a few hours only. However, consuming cannabis like a medicine in the form of edible will have its effects for a longer time.
Scientific evidence published in 2019 proves that cannabis is actually beneficial for sleep. In the report, 84% of people found cannabis very effective against insomnia.
THC and Insomnia
The presence of THC in cannabis is the contributor that fights insomnia. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major psychoactive ingredient present in cannabis that is known to cause the high. Apart from causing the high, it is helpful in pain relief, depression, and sleeping problems.
The REM sleep cycle consists of the stage linked with learning, dreaming, and problem-solving. The breathing and heart rate is higher at this stage since the brain becomes active at this stage. THC has its job in reducing the time spent at the REM cycle.
People who have insomnia due to this REM stage can easily recover from it by using high THC-containing cannabis products. Ultimately, the time spent in slow-wave sleep increases that helps you get rid of insomnia. This is most helpful for people with PTSD as less time in REM means little to no nightmares.
Not to forget, THC can induce anxiety in many people. Therefore, cannabis products containing only THC can have some side effects. CBD helps reduce anxiety. Therefore, a mix of THC and CBD is beneficial against insomnia.
In scientific research, a number of individuals participated in getting rid of insomnia, pain, and anxiety using cannabis. Several participants reported having been relieved from these diseases only with the use of cannabis.
Role of Terpenes in Boosting Sleep
Apart from THC and CBD, some other compounds are also present in cannabis plants. Terpenes are one such compound. Though they are primarily responsible for giving the aroma and flavor to the plant, terpenes may have their role in fighting against diseases.
Hundreds of different terpenes are found in various strains of cannabis plants. Terpenes added in cannabis products have sedative effects on the person using them. Nevertheless, they are also therapeutic against inflammation and body pain.
Many terpenes have been found to be effective against insomnia. Among these, Pinene and Python are the best for insomnia as Python promotes early sleep, while Pinene helps sleep longer.
The evidence about terpenes being helpful against insomnia is very limited. But more and more scientists are interested in knowing the effects of individual terpenes as the cannabis industry is at its peak.
Role of Endocannabinoid System in Sleep
The CB1 receptors in our bodies are responsible for regulating sleep patterns. Insufficient sleep affects our creativity a lot. Apart from that, stress, memory, and heart are also affected due to irregular sleeping patterns.
CB1 receptors are a important part of the endocannabinoid system, which works to keep our bodies in a homeostasis state. Many evidence proves that THC binds with the CB1 receptor to help it do its function. As a result of binding, a person feels drowsiness and relief from pain.
Considering this, high THC strains are far better at inducing sleep than the strains containing more CBD and less THC. As THC reduces the time spent in REM, an insomniac person sleeps peacefully.
Which Cannabis Strain Is Best For Insomnia?
Indica is thought to be a night strain as it has relaxing effects and contains more THC than Sativa strains. But overdosing on THC is an issue that can make you feel hungover. This is why a proper balance of CBD and THC is necessary for a product.
The high amount of THC is also associated with anxiety, which can be overcome by taking the right dosage of CBD. This way, some of the negative effects of THC can be balanced by using CBD.
Along with the inclusion of the right terpenes, the THC and CBD content in the cannabis product should also be accurately measured. Doctors usually recommend less than 20% THC. Make sure to read the label of the product for terpenes and THC concentration.
It is also important to note that CBN is a compound that forms by the oxidation of THC. CBN is equally beneficial in sleeping as THC is. This is the reason many cannabis products that are made specifically for sleep aid contain CBN.
Using Medical Cannabis for Treating Insomnia
There are some tips that you should follow to treat insomnia with medical cannabis. Going astray may prove detrimental to your health.
Don't Use Cannabis With Other Sleeping Pills
You might have already been using sleeping pills to overcome insomnia. If that is so, don't use medical cannabis along with those pills. This will prove harmful to your health. The chemical compounds present in cannabis may react with those in sleeping pills or other sleeping aids you are using, which can have a negative effect on your body.
Always see a doctor before using anything for clinical purposes.The doctor will guide you best about these things.
Change Your Sleeping Patterns
Taking pills alone won't do any good unless you don't incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. Lack of exercise is sometimes the major cause of insomnia. Try to have at least a 10-minute workout every day. Along with that, make sure you shut your eyes right at ten at night to get a good sleep.
Pick the Right Strain
Cannabis has hundreds of different strains, each with its own characteristic flavor, aroma, and effects. The concentration of THC and CBD vary greatly in each of these strains. For insomnia, normally, Indica strain is recommended as it has calming and relaxing effects and it promotes comfortable sleep.
Don’t Use More Then The Recommended Dose
It is better to start with a low dose in the beginning to prevent any side effects. When your body system gets used to it, you can eventually increase the dose to a certain level. You can start from 2-milligram if you have previously used THC. However, if you are totally new to this compound, start from even less than 2 mg.
10 milligram is the maximum dosage you should take. Anything above that will disturb your sleeping pattern. Instead of getting rid of insomnia, you might end up having a poor sleep.
Pick Oral THC
Oral doses are far better than other forms. Make sure you take an edible or a pill. Simply drop the pill in the back of your mouth and swallow it with water. THC taken orally has its effects slowly, typically lasting 6 to 8 hours.
Considering this, if you have a problem falling asleep, you should take an oral dose at least 1 or 2 hours before hitting the hay. However, if staying asleep is difficult for you, take the pill right when you go to bed.
Timing of Intake
Timing of intake is really crucial, especially when you have to use cannabis daily. High THC content is likely to cause grogginess in the morning. Therefore, it is better to take cannabis pills a few hours before sleeping. The effects will slowly kick in and have you wake up all fresh in the morning.
THC is a psychoactive compound that is gaining popularity as it is effective against sleeping problems and pain. CBD and THC combined are really beneficial for insomnia. Using the right product in the right dosage will definitely keep insomnia away from you forever.