Cannabis, CBD, and Improving Sleep
Sleep is the foundation of our well-being, cognitive capacity, and mental health. Can cannabis or CBD help you get a good night’s rest? There are many reasons why people use cannabis. Falling asleep faster (and staying asleep) are often cited among those reasons.
What is known about cannabis, CBD and sleep?
First, if you’re experiencing insomnia or other sleep-related issues, you should talk to your doctor about what’s causing your sleep issues and the treatment plan that’s best for you. The Sleep Foundation can be a good place to start your research. Take advantage of what scientists and doctors have learned – and use it to improve your overall health and well-being.
Sleep issues in America are common with over 50 million people suffering from some type of sleep disorder. In addition, one in three American adults does not receive enough sleep on a regular basis. Sleep disorders stem from a variety of issues like chronic pain and anxiety. Cannabis and CBD have been explored as a possible sleep aid.
Contemporary scientific research has shown that cannabis has relaxing and sedative effects – and that those effects may contribute to making it easier to fall asleep. There are studies that have found cannabis shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, both for people with and without sleep issues. Other studies have revealed some evidence that suggests that cannabis use can lengthen time in REM sleep.
But there really isn’t enough good data yet to know for sure. Some other studies suggest that using cannabis as a sleep aid can delay sleep and even disrupt your sleep pattern, affecting the amount of quality sleep (or deep sleep) you get.
As you consider these issues for yourself, it’s also important to make a distinction between the two primary cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant – THC and CBD. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is the one responsible for making you feel “high”. CBD, on the other hand, has long been thought to have wellness and healing properties.
In a 2019 study, researchers looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and reduce anxiety on 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. Each subject was given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form daily. In the first month, 79.2% of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep.
According to another study, CBD improved the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) in four Parkinson’s patients. RBD is a disorder associated with poor sleep and nightmares.
All studies relating to cannabis and sleep should be read with caution. Any credible scientist on this subject will admit that more study needs to be done on the subject. Some are hopeful about its benefits, but it’s important to temper our expectations.
What is suspected to be true?
Because of the federal prohibition on the use of cannabis, the scientific community lacks rigorous, experimentally controlled studies examining the effects of cannabis on many conditions, including sleep.
Yet we still see claims made by brands, manufacturers and growers about how their cannabis product or method will help you sleep. How do they know?
The truth is – they don’t. There is some evidence to support their claims. But they are in the same boat as us. It’s widely accepted (although not necessarily true) that indica strains of the cannabis plant are more likely to make you sleepy or relaxed while sativa strains are more likely to make you feel energized and social. But any cannabis or CBD enthusiast will readily admit that the same product can have varying effects depending on the day, your dose, and many other factors.
How do you find out if cannabis or CBD will help you sleep better? Get a sleep app like Sleep Cycle. And download Jointly.
Getting Answers With Jointly
Jointly is Your Cannabis Companion – a smartphone app that answers your important questions by aggregating experiences from a community of users just like you. Jointly is safe, secure, private, unbiased, and easy to use. Jointly only includes legal and licensed products from legal and licensed brands.
Jointly can help you identify the best products for improving your sleep, based on real experiences of other people, like you, with the same goals.
Then, Jointly helps you learn how to use those products to their full potential. You can determine your optimal dose, minimize any side effects, and learn how the quality of your cannabis experience can be impacted by sleep, hydration, exercise, diet, and more.
We hope you get the results you deserve. And, be sure to learn about the steps you can take to increase your odds of success.
And, if you have any feedback or ideas for improving Jointly, please let us know. We’re here to help, but also to learn.
In no way is any of the information contained on this site or in the Jointly app intended to be a medical or prescriptive guide or a substitute for informed medical advice or care. If you believe or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your doctor or health care provider. You should never delay seeking or disregard advice from a medical professional based on something you have read here.