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Using Cannabis to help you sleep - What you should know

Chris DeWildt

May 9, 2019 6 min read
May 9, 2019
6 min read

Using Cannabis to Help You Sleep

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In this article, The Sleep Help Institute provides some valuable information on how cannabis can change the sleep cycle and possible give you a great night’s rest.


The following is an article produced by a contributing author. Growers Network does not endorse nor evaluate the claims of our contributors, nor do they influence our editorial process. We thank our contributors for their time and effort so we can continue our exclusive Growers Spotlight service.


Cannabis and related products are becoming much more socially and legally acceptable and this is changing the way that the medical community views the product as well. Research has been done in the last few years to show that cannabis has the potential to have a great effect on your sleep cycle, and thus on the rest of your life. Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important no matter what stage of life you are in because it affects every part of your life, from your mood to what you want to eat to how much you stress out over small problems in your life.


Ways You Can Add Cannabis To Your Life

1. CBD Products
CBD is cannabidiol, a chemical derived from marijuana and hemp that is legal in most jurisdictions, because it contains only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that gives you the high you would expect from marijuana. Some products do include THC, but not nearly as much as any other type of marijuana would.

2. Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is a prescribed medication that is only available in certain states and for certain medical conditions. Many people use medical marijuana to treat issues that can exacerbate sleep problems like chronic pain and anxiety. This can be found in a pill such like Nabilone or in its traditional smokable and edible form.

3. Recreational Marijuana
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in most places, but that’s changing. You will usually find it sold as flower, shatter, hash and other extracts, as well as edibles. If you use recreational marijuana on top of a CBD product or medical marijuana, you are likely to find the effects too intense. Know your limits!



Possible Improvements to Sleep Cycle

Cannabis products can aid sleep in several ways, both directly and indirectly.

1. Promotes Long Term Melatonin Release
Medical marijuana and CBD can potentially increase the body’s natural production of melatonin, especially at night. This helps you to get rest by increasing the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When you have more melatonin released more often, you are more likely to get more REM sleep, which is key to feeling rested in the morning and throughout the next day.

2. Reduces Reasons for Lost Sleep
Cannabis in all of its forms is known for helping to reduce pain, even for people who struggle with chronic pain, as well as helping to keep the symptoms of anxiety and depression at bay. By reducing the reasons that many people lose sleep, these products make it easier for you to get to sleep and stay that way. It does this through acting as a mild sedative. You are also less likely to wake up in the middle of the night due to external disturbances thanks to that sedative effect.

3. Decreases Reliance on Prescription Meds
By reducing the amount of pain and anxiety that you feel through using cannabis, you won’t need to rely on short-acting prescription meds like Xanax or potentially harmful opioids to manage your troubles. This can help you deal with the side effects of your prescription medicines as well, such as digestive troubles. In fact, more than three-quarters of participants in a study published in the 2017 Journal of Psychopharmacology found that they used significantly less of their opioid painkillers once they started using medical marijuana. You could see similar effects. Not all of the effects of cannabis are great, however



Possible Issues

1. Need to Increase Dosages
As with most medicines, you will need to start on a low dose and work your way up until you get the desired effects. However, once you find a dosage that works for you, you may still need to increase it over time as you build up a tolerance to the lower dose. This means you need to be aware of the effects you’re after and the effects you’re getting. A previously effective dose may not be strong enough over time. It’s also not great to stop using cannabis cold turkey. While it’s not addictive, suddenly stopping your dose can result in restlessness and irritability.

2. Employer Issues with THC
Depending on your job, your employer may have issues with any product that you use that has THC in it. In order to avoid having drug issues at work, make sure that you read the employee handbook carefully. Products that have THC in them will show up on a drug screen and can cause trouble you aren’t looking for. You should also make sure your use doesn’t affect your ability to safely and effectively do your job.

3. Medical Issues
If you have issues with your kidneys, lungs or pancreas, or take any medicines for pain or anxiety, you will definitely want to talk to your doctor before using any kind of cannabis product. You want to make sure you won’t experience any negative interactions and that your existing medical conditions won’t be worsened by the cannabis product you use.



Growers Network would like to thank The Sleep Help Institute for taking the time to write this contributor article. What do you think? Have you incorporated cannabis into your life? Let us know in the survey below or better yet, click one of the “Join Now” buttons on this page and become a member of our forum. See you there!


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About the Author

SleepHelp.org is an independently owned and operated, unbiased sleep-health education site dedicated to bettering your waking life by improving your sleep.