Can cannabis be a sleep aid?
Cannabis is already legal in many places for approved medical use. It’s also slated to become widely legal for recreational use in Canada on October 17th 2018. The question we explore is; Can Cannabis be a sleep aid?
For some people they don’t and won’t use Cannabis – so it’s not really an issue. Others, already are using Cannabis – and so there isn’t much change for them too.
Still others, we’ll call “the 3rd group” – whom may be curious and thinking of trying Cannabis – perhaps for the first time ever.
Before we get too far into this blog post…let’s make sure that we call this article what it is. Written by non-physicians – we are not recommending you try anything! We’ve just looked at a few articles which may be of interest to our subscribers. But please consult your physician before trying Cannabis or any other substance like it.
So with that out of the way, we did find some interesting stuff about sleep and Cannabis.
A recent article in MedicalNewsToday set out to uncover the benefits and caveats of Cannabis and sleep.
“There are many different components found in cannabis. The two most commonly studied elements are:
- Cannabidiol (CBD): This is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that it does not induce the highs associated with cannabis.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): This is a psychoactive component that causes many of the feelings of being high.
Most medical research has focused on CBD, which has several proven health benefits.”
Cannabis & Insomnia – What the Science Says
A study specifically on the effect of Cannabis and Insomnia – it seems there is strong evidence of “reduced latency in falling asleep” with the use of Cannabis – even for those without sleep disorders.
PTSD? Have Trouble Sleeping?
For those that do have PTSD and issues with falling asleep – there was an improvement in falling asleep. In particular the results were;
“Those with high PTSD scores were more likely to use cannabis to improve sleep, and for coping reasons more generally, compared with those with low PTSD scores. Cannabis use frequency was greater among those with high PTSD scores who used for sleep promoting purposes compared with those with low PTSD scores or those who did not use for sleep promoting purposes.”
What Strain Do People Try? Indica vs. sativa vs. hybrid
A Healthline article, delves into what strains one could try and the various general effects of them.
If you have spoken to your doctor, and they’ve approved the use of marijuana to treat your insomnia, it’s time to choose a strain.
Think of choosing a strain like choosing a tea blend. You could go for straight white or black tea, or a hybrid. Here are the three most common kinds of strains you’ll encounter:
- Indica. This type of strain is considered soothing and relaxing.
- Sativa. Generally, sativa strains make people feel excited, happy, and energized.
- Hybrids. A combination of both indica and sativa, hybrids are blends that are often left up to the manufacturer or dispensary.
You can always talk to people at a dispensary to recommend a strain for you or help you find what you’re looking for. Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard-trained physician and cannabis therapeutics specialist, recommends a strain with less than 20 percent THC. Anything more than that, he says, will make dosing difficult. Too much THC might make you feel groggy and sleepy the next morning.
Different strains will also have different amounts of cannabinoids in them, but when it comes to getting sleep, both Roman and Tishler recommend an indica strain to induce sleep.
The Jury’s Still Out
It seems the ‘jury’ is still out regarding Cannabis as a sleep aid. There’s research that says it does assist, and there’s research that says it actually causes sleep problems!
So, be careful out there. Consult with your Doctor before trying anything new like Cannabis.