A good night’s sleep. For many adults, a full night of restful sleep is elusive. In fact, recent studies have found that just under half of all Canadians, men and women, do not find their sleep refreshing. Not to mention that about 30 percent of all adults will experience insomnia at some point in their lives, making just falling asleep impossible.
Not getting enough sleep or enough restful sleep can have a significant impact on people’s health. Being short on sleep can:
- Cause daytime drowsiness
- Impact both long and short-term memory
- Effect the ability to think and concentrate
- Weaken the immune system
- Cause high blood pressure
- Increase the risk of developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease
Thankfully, there are sleep aids available on the market. Some people prefer to seek out and use natural remedies instead of pharmaceutical options that carry the risk of dependency.
One natural sleep aid to consider is marijuana.
How Marijuana Helps People Sleep
Marijuana as a sleep aid is not uncommon. In a 2019 Canadian survey of 1,000 people, 75 percent of them reported having used weed at some point to help them sleep.
Cannabis is known for its relaxing and sedative effects, making it a natural step for users searching for a good night’s sleep.
There are a few different ways cannabis helps users sleep.
- Cannabis can help make falling asleep easier. For people who suffer from insomnia or can’t seem to shut off their minds to fall asleep, weed is an appealing option.
- Weed can inhibit REM sleep. This can prevent dreaming. For those who struggle to sleep due to something like PTSD, the promise of a dream-less sleep can make weed a good option.
Importance of Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain
When most people think of weed, they usually picture the drowsy effects it offers. They may picture the typical stoner on the couch. Not all marijuana strains will give users this type of effect, though. That is why choosing the correct type of weed is so important when your goal is to get some sleep.
The first thing users will want to look at when searching for a strain to help them sleep is the type of marijuana strain. There are three types of marijuana strains:
- Indica. This strain has short, broad leaves on its plant. It is known for inducing relaxing effects, stimulating the appetite, and helping people sleep. Because of this, indica strains are usually best suited for nighttime use.
- Sativa. This strain has long, thin leaves. Sativa strains are known to boost energy, provide uplifting effects, and even increase the user’s energy. Because of this, it is best for daytime use.
- Hybrids. These are the most popular plants on the market. They are a cross between indica and sativa. Hybrid plants will either be considered indica-dominant or sativa-dominant and show the breakdown. This helps users know what type of effects they can expect from that strain.
In addition to the type of plant, users will want to look at the plant’s THC content. THC is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for weed’s sedative effects. A plant with a high THC content will have more sedative effects than those on the lower end of the spectrum.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is another well-known cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBD is non-mind altering but still promotes relaxation. This relaxation effect plays a role in helping people fall asleep. Look for a strain that contains some CBD rather than one that has no CBD at all.
Strains to Try
Although knowing the content of different strains can help users find cannabis to help them sleep, here are some to consider trying:
- Granddaddy Purple. Offering a grape flavour and full-body relaxation effects.
- Pink Kush. With a sweet, candy-like smell, Pink Kush is quite potent. Even a small amount has been known to help users overcome insomnia and drift to sleep.
- Blue Ox. This indica strain boasts a berry-flavour and is known for helping users relax and doze off.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis to Sleep
Although many people turn to cannabis since they are looking for a natural sleep aid, there are some factors to be aware of before using weed for this purpose.
First, while THC plays a key role in promoting drowsiness in users, too much of a good thing is never good. Ingesting too much THC via overuse or a strain with too high of a THC content can cause next-day grogginess. Users may feel not only groggy but a bit fuzzy as well.
Weed does come with its own mild side effects. Indica strain users may experience side effects such as dry mouth, increased appetite, and even dry eye when taking marijuana.
Finally, although marijuana is non-habit forming as a sleep aid, stopping it cold-turkey can impact users’ ability to fall asleep. Once stopping cannabis, it may take users a bit longer to fall asleep.
Importance of Dosing
When it comes to using marijuana to help induce sleep, it is important to take the correct dosage. Too much can make it difficult to function the next day. Instead, it is better to start low. If users don’t get the results they want, take a little more.
Keep in mind that some cannabis strains take a while to take effect, even a few hours for full effect. Allow it time to work before taking more.
Marijuana As a Sleep Aid in Conclusion
Those who are new to using marijuana for sleep may need to try different strains and different doses to find the right combination that works for them. Just remember to start low and go slow when increasing the dosage.