Cannabis and Sleep: Unveiling the Connection

Have you ever found yourself wondering whether this herb can be a potential ally in achieving that elusive restful slumber?

Let’s start by understanding how cannabis interacts with our bodies. Within the cannabis plant, there are hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids, but two of the most well-known are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is known for its psychoactive effects, while CBD is non-intoxicating and often associated with therapeutic properties.

When it comes to sleep, THC tends to take the spotlight. This cannabinoid has sedative properties that can help ease you into dreamland. It may reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase overall sleep duration. However, it’s essential to find the right dosage, as higher THC concentrations can have the opposite effect and interfere with sleep quality.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same sedating qualities as THC. However, it may indirectly contribute to better sleep by alleviating anxiety, reducing pain, and promoting relaxation. By addressing these underlying factors that hinder sleep, CBD can support a more peaceful slumber.

One critical factor to consider is the strain of cannabis you choose. Indica strains are often associated with relaxation and can be more sleep-inducing, while Sativa strains tend to have more uplifting and energizing effects. However, it’s worth noting that everyone’s response to strains can vary, so personal experimentation is key.

It’s crucial to recognize that cannabis affects individuals differently. Factors such as your body chemistry, tolerance, and overall health play a role in how you respond to cannabis. If you’re considering cannabis to help with sleep, it’s best to start with a low dose and monitor how your body reacts. Consulting with a healthcare professional who understands cannabis can also provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, moderation is key. Using cannabis as a sleep aid should be approached with caution and should not replace healthy sleep habits and a well-balanced lifestyle. It’s always a good idea to establish a consistent sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and prioritize practices such as regular exercise and stress management.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that cannabis may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, pregnant or nursing women, and those taking specific medications should exercise extra caution or avoid cannabis altogether. When in doubt, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances.

The connection between cannabis and sleep is an intricate dance of cannabinoids, body chemistry, and individual preferences. While THC-rich strains can assist with falling asleep faster and extending sleep duration, CBD can indirectly contribute to better sleep by addressing underlying factors like anxiety and pain. Nonetheless, moderation, personal experimentation, and professional guidance are essential to ensure a safe and beneficial experience.

Always remember to listen to your body, nurture healthy sleep habits, and always prioritize your well-being.

Seniors and Cannabis

In a Wall Street Journal essay by Aaron Greenstein and Haley Solomon, published on February 4, 2023, the team outlines the results of a research study they conducted on the the safety and efficacy of prescribing cannabis to seniors. The two Massachusetts-based doctors decided to pursue the study because they were seeing a very noticeable uptick in the number of their senior patients who were using [or at least, admitting to] using cannabis to cope with the daily challenges of getting older.

They ultimately published their findings in the  Harvard Review of Psychiatry, which reported that they patients “used cannabis in many forms—as salves to soothe arthritis pain, tinctures to help with difficulty falling asleep, joints to relieve the stress of chronic PTSD and edibles to heal the anxiety of day-to-day life.” They also found that cannabis could have a calming and soothing effect to the agitation felt during advancing dementia and citing a recent study that suggests “cannabis may help to relieve agitation by regulating neurotransmitters, reducing brain inflammation and improving circadian rhythm disturbances seen in dementia.”

Reach the full article here.

It’s important to note that the effects of terpenes on the body and mind are still being studied, and much more research is needed to fully understand their potential therapeutic benefits.

Quiz: Do You Know Your Terps?

How well do you know your terpenes?  Show us your stuff!

All About Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis terpenes are aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant that are responsible for its distinctive scent and flavor. They are a type of organic molecule that is produced by many different plants, including cannabis, and are often used in aromatherapy and as flavorings in food and drink.

Terpenes are found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, which are the small, hair-like structures that cover the buds and leaves. There are over 100 different terpenes that have been identified in cannabis, each with its own unique scent and flavor profile.

Terpenes are also thought to play a role in the effects of cannabis, as they are believed to interact with other compounds in the plant, such as THC and CBD, to produce various therapeutic benefits. Some terpenes, for example, are thought to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, or anxiolytic properties.

Some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis include:

Cannabis bud and leaf with sliced lemon depicting limonene terpene.

Myrcene has a musky, earthy aroma and is thought to have sedative effects. It is also found in mango and hops.

Cannabis bud and leaf with hoppy, pepper, lemons and fir needles Caryophyllene, humulene limonene and pinene terpenes concept on grey background.

Limonene has a citrusy scent and is thought to have mood-boosting and anti-inflammatory effects.

Pinene: has a pine-like scent and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Cannabis buds and leaf with red color pepper in small bowl. Caryophyllene terpene concept on grey background.

Caryophyllene: has a spicy, peppery scent and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

It’s important to note that the effects of terpenes on the body and mind are still being studied, and much more research is needed to fully understand their potential therapeutic benefits.