Stats suggest that nearly 1 in 3 people on this planet has trouble falling asleep.
However, gone are the times when one needed xanax, valiums and other medications to induce sleep; cannabis alone is more than capable of doing the job. Since cannabis is natural, there isn’t much fear of the kind of side-effects man-made chemicals bring.
Lack of sleep may not look a big issue at first, but in the long-term not having a good-night sleep can lead to a number of health issues, like reduced sex drive, high blood pressure, diabetes, forgetfulness, anxiety, etc.
Besides helping fall asleep, cannabis may also improve its duration and quality. Thus, it of immense importance that you know the following things about Cannabis and Sleep:
Cannabis may treat Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder (affects 1 in 5 Americans) wherein breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The lapses can last from a few seconds to minutes, leading to a dissatisfied sleep.
A large-scale clinical trial conducted in 2017, however, found that Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana, can help treat the condition.
“The drug targets the brain and nerves which regulate the upper airway muscles. It alters the neurotransmitters from the brain that communicate with the muscles, thus bringing relief,” the authors of the study wrote.
Enhances slow-wave sleep
Wondering what slow-wave sleep is? It is basically what we informally refer to as ‘deep sleep’, comprising of 3rd and 4th stages of the sleep cycle.
It has been seen that enhanced slow-wave sleep results in a significant reduction of beta-amyloid, a harmful protein linked to Alzheimer’s Disease (dementia), memory loss, and other cognitive problems.
Indica strains are better at treating insomnia
Indica strains are abundant in sedating terpenes, thus they prove to be a better option at inducing sleep as compared to its counterpart, Sativa, which is better known for its mood-uplifting and energizing properties. This is the same reason why hemp (0.3% o less THC) can only be obtained from the Sativa plant.
CBD:THC (ratio) is significant
While THC promotes sleep, CBD allows you to stay awake. These contrasting effects play an important role in treating the sleep disorder for which you are taking cannabis. If you are consuming it to treat insomnia, then you may choose a strain which has a moderate-to-high THC content (but not so high that it makes you repent the next morning).
May eliminate nightmares
A study published in the year 2008 found that consuming cannabis before going to bed leads to a reduced Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep, which implies that one is less likely to have nightmares.
Comes handy to treat lack of sleep caused by other conditions
Unable to fall asleep because of some chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder)? Tried cannabis yet? No? Then you may try some and see if it works for you. It should.
Taking a break from Cannabis may result in poor sleep
People who just one fine day decide to quit cannabis or take a break from it will very well know how hard it can be to pass the night tossing and turning. Tolerance breaks from marijuana, especially after prolonged use, can disturb a person’s sleeping patterns.
Shorter sleep time, sleep disruption, poor sleep efficiency are a few ‘common’ symptoms that people experience when they begin to refrain from or quit cannabis.
Can boost melatonin levels
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles and natural circadian rhythm. Some research, although vague, has suggested that THC can increase the production of the hormone in your body, thus helping you to fall asleep.
Using cannabis for a disorder may very well be justified. But developing a habit of smoking weed each night just for recreation may not be a wise option in the long-run.