Cannabis can be a splendid sleep aid, which is why many consumers keep a go-to favorite by their bedside. Even people with the most stubborn insomnia can find their escape to the dream world. While most consumers are aware that cannabis can help you get a good night’s sleep, there’s a lot more to that relationship than you might think.
So what effect do high-CBD strains have on sleep? A 2006 study tested the effects of CBD on animal models in both lights-on and lights-off environments and found that this non-intoxicating cannabis compound increased alertness with the lights on and had no discernable effects on lights-off sleep. The study’s authors concluded that CBD might actually hold therapeutic promise for those with somnolence, or excessive daytime sleepiness from a not-so-good night’s rest.
“Hops, chamomile, and lavender contain important terpenes also found in cannabis, but found in much higher concentration. These inclusions in the medical remedy will make for a greatly enhance sedation efficacy.”
So next time you bust out your favorite sleepy strain, think about pairing it with a cup of chamomile tea or a lavender bubble bath. Melatonin, 5-HTP, and valerian root supplements may also help improve your sleep quality.
CANNABIS INHIBITS REM SLEEP AND DREAMING BUT CBD DOES NOT
One thing you may find yourself missing while regularly consuming cannabis is dreams. Dreams occur during the final stage of your sleep cycle called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Cannabis use before bedtime is shown to reduce the time spent in REM, which means you won’t have as many dreams or as vivid dreams. However, if you halt long-term cannabis use, you’re likely to experience “REM rebound” in which you tend to have more dreams that are more lucid in nature.
CANNABIS MAY PROMOTE BETTER BREATHING
Sleep apnea is a sleep condition characterized by frequent obstructions of breath, with lapses that can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. As you can imagine, sleep apnea causes the individual to wake up many times over the course of the night, and leads to a myriad of unpleasant ripple effects like daytime sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, mood disturbances, inattention, increased susceptibility to accident, and other health problems.
Preclinical studies show that cannabis may improve this condition. A 2013 study measured the efficacy of an exogenous cannabinoid known as dronabinol (a THC “mimic”) and noted improvements in 15 out of 17 study participants following 21 days of treatment. Another 2002 study observed THC’s ability to restore respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling. We’ll need more confidence from clinical studies to be certain of cannabis’ efficacy, but researchers appear to be off to a good start.