April 22, 2022
2 Mins read
Benefits of Nighttime Cannabis Consumption
More and more Americans are struggling to fall asleep at night. The reasons for this are varied, but mental health issues, stress, and the pressure of our fast-paced modern world are significant contributing factors. This situation has likely been further exacerbated by the pandemic and the economic crisis that followed shortly after.
As sleep medicine psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD puts it, “Any type of stress is often the main trigger for insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or waking up and having an inability to return to sleep.”
Quality sleep is vital to the normal functioning of the nervous system. Sleep helps the body maintain a state of homeostasis, promotes cognitive abilities, and keeps diseases at bay.
The thing is, treatments for sleep disorders can vary. Traditionally, many people have turned to over-the-counter sleeping pills that are readily available, such as Melatonin. However, disappointment and frustration kick in once they start experiencing serious sleeping pills side effects. It is no surprise that many are now turning to cannabis to help improve their sleep quality, but does this work?
Cannabis has several bioactive molecules, which are made up of phytocannabinoids and terpenes. These molecules interact with the body through receptors of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Now you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with sleep?
Benefits of THC for a Better Sleep: What the Research Says
A review that was conducted in 2020 highlighted several important factors about THC and sleep. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most well-known phytocannabinoids in cannabis.
Here are some of the evidence-backed benefits of THC for sleep:
1. THC binds to the CB1 receptors of the ECS and causes a hypnogenic (sleepy) state.
2. Acute exposure to THC decreases the amount of time it takes for a person to fall asleep after turning their light off.
3. THC reduces nighttime waking.
4. THC increases slow-wave sleep and reduces active (REM) sleep.
5. In a 2017 survey involving more than 1,500 participants, over two-thirds of the participants with sleep disorders reduced their use of traditional pharmaceutical medication following cannabis use as a sleep aid.
6. Cannabis may improve sleep in patients suffering from PTSD and pain.
7. THC increases melatonin production and hence promotes sleep.
The studies mentioned above have shown modest sleep improvement benefits following cannabis consumption. Anecdotally, patients have cited sleep improvement as a motivating factor for using cannabis.
However, some concerns have been raised about the long-term use of THC as a sleep aid. Some studies have shown that when THC is withdrawn, the patient may experience “withdrawal” and not be able to fall asleep at night. With this in mind, THC can be an effective and safe short-term fix for sleep disorders, but what about CBD?
Benefits of CBD For a Better Sleep: What the Research Says
Most studies conducted to investigate the benefits of cannabis for sleep have focused on THC and not CBD. However, new research has revealed that CBD has several properties that can be utilized in sleep promotion.
Here are some evidence-backed benefits of CBD for sleep:
1. Using CBD in the nighttime will relieve stress and anxiety, which will go a long way in promoting restful sleep.
2. CBD promotes relaxation and relieves fatigue, helping one sleep better at night.
3. CBD helps treat obstructive sleep apnea, which affects about 30% of adults.
4. CBD offers hope for treating REM sleep disorder, especially in patients with Parkinson’s disease, as a recent study revealed.
5. CBD may reduce nightmares in patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
6. CBD may reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.
7. CBD may improve sleep in patients with chronic pain and can be safely used for a long time, as this study has revealed.
Both THC and CBD offer significant sleep-promoting benefits. While THC may be an effective treatment for acute sleep problems, CBD may be more effective in the long run.
Combining THC and CBD for Sleep
Some studies have shown significant benefits to combining THC and CBD. In fact, most cannabis users report better results when they consume both THC and CBD before bedtime. One possible explanation for this is the entourage effect. When THC is combined with other phytocannabinoids such as CBD, the therapeutic effect produced is more powerful and will last for a longer duration.
Apart from that, science has revealed that CBD may help reduce some of the adverse effects associated with THC consumption. CBD does this by offsetting THC from the CB1 receptors.
Consuming THC and CBD before bedtime may provide much-needed relief from sleep disorders. At the same time, the side effects are likely to be minimal, if any occur at all.
How To Consume Cannabis For Better Sleep
Consuming cannabis at nighttime will help you fall asleep sooner and remain asleep for longer. Ensure that you go for a high-quality product that will deliver its promise. A strain such as Head Cheese is a cannabis hybrid strain that contains high amounts of THC, averaging 28%. However, it has 0% CBD and may not be ideal for long-term use. The Calm Cucumber Melon vape pen is intended to promote calm and relaxation. It contains high amounts of THC and CBD, making it ideal for long-term use.
When using cannabis to induce sleep, always allow ample time for the effects of cannabis to kick in. If you smoke or vape flower, you should give yourself at least 15 minutes before feeling the effects. On the other hand, if you are indulging in some fine cannabis edibles, you will need at least a solid hour before you start to feel drowsy. The pure CBD Cheeba Chews are an excellent option for nighttime consumption, available on our online menu. As you drift off to sleep, you will savor every chocolate-flavored bite of this CBD-infused edible!
The bottom line is that it may be hard to choose the proper consumption method, as many cannabis products can aid with sleep. Talk to your local Oasis budtender about strains that will help you get the rest you need!