pillows and cannabis

Posted on July 19th, 2023 by Dan McCarthy

How to Use Cannabis for Sleep

When you need to get good sleep, cannabis is the answer for a lot of people. Does weed help you sleep? How do you use cannabis for sleep? Find out more about using cannabis for sleep support below.

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Does Cannabis Help You Sleep?

Cannabis and sleep have a tricky relationship. Without question, cannabis can help with sleep on some levels—around 85 percent of medical users state that cannabis helps them sleep. Many people find cannabis helps with anxiety and other conditions that impede sleep as well. Studies on cannabis for sleep have revealed that cannabinoids may lower sleep onset times, improve the quality of sleep, and possibly help with sleep disturbances. However, the research into cannabis for sleep is actually in its preliminary stages, and a few things are not wholly clear.

For example, while cannabis helps with sleep latency (falling asleep), there has been some back-and-forth as to whether cannabis is good to use for long-term sleep support. Some studies suggest that cannabis may affect sleep structure or stages. For instance, THC may decrease time spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Researchers question whether these changes in sleep architecture could be problematic when it comes to experiencing the most restful sleep.

For some individuals, it can be beneficial to spend less time in REM. PTSD sufferers commonly experience nightmares during REM sleep. Therefore, cannabis may be beneficial even with changes in sleep structure and stages.

How to Use Cannabis for Sleep

1. Examine Your Needs and Expectations

Consider what sleep issues you are looking to address before looking to cannabis as a sleep aid. Cannabis may be most effective for some individuals with specific sleep concerns, such as those who:

  • Struggle to fall asleep fast enough
  • Deal with pain, stress, or other conditions that impede sleep
  • Have issues with insomnia or sleep disruptions like nightmares

Also, make sure your expectations are in the right place. Cannabis can indeed help you fall asleep, but the effects can go beyond sleepiness. And, certain products will not be the best pick for every individual because people can process cannabinoids differently.

2. Pick the Right Cannabis Strain or Product

As noted earlier, different products can have different effects. So, it could take some experimenting to find the best cannabis for sleep for you personally. Some people find the highest THC strains in Massachusetts work best for sleep. While others get better sleep with a low-THC or high-CBD flower. Likewise, you may find the best cannabis for sleep isn’t flower at all, but something like CBD gummies or cannabis products with minor cannabinoids.

3. Consume Your Cannabis Sleep Aid at the Right Time

Be mindful of the onset time with different types of cannabis products. If you vape or smoke, you can expect the effects to happen quickly. Therefore, you can consume your cannabis for sleep just before bed. By contrast, if you’re consuming something like an edible, you may want to take the edible about an hour or so in advance of bedtime.

4. Dose, Correctly, Stay Hydrated, and Watch Late-Night Food Intake

There is such a thing as a hangover after cannabis consumption, but this isn’t the same as an alcohol hangover. Instead of a throbbing head and sensitivity to light, you may feel like your eyes are a little heavier and dry, or feel a little groggy. This is especially common after consuming something with high levels of THC. To negate this experience, consume only enough cannabis to help you get to sleep, stay hydrated, and avoid reaching for high-sodium or high-fat snacks due to the munchies before bed.

Best Weed Strains for Sleep

Some strains are notorious for sleep-supporting properties, especially those with Indica-dominant genetics. While the best strain for sleep can definitely vary by person, a few tried-and-true strains include:

Get Advice About the Best Weed for Sleep at Canna Provisions

Not sure what direction to take to help you get some blissful rest? Be sure to ask our budtenders at Canna Provisions in Holyoke and Lee to find out what’s working for everyone else.

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