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Meds Cannabis and Sleep

Does cannabis help you sleep?

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Vapor Accessory Addict
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I sleep much better if I have a couple dabs of a good indica a bit before going to bed. But some strains can have the opposite effect on me. How does cannabis help or hinder your sleep?

Does marijuana affect your sleep?

If you speak to someone who has suffered from insomnia at all as an adult, chances are good that person has either tried using marijuana, or cannabis, for sleep or has thought about it.

This is reflected in the many variations of cannabinoid or cannabis-based medicines available to improve sleep – like Nabilone, Dronabinol and Marinol. It’s also a common reason why many cannabis users seek medical marijuana cards.

I am a sleep psychologist who has treated hundreds of patients with insomnia, and it seems to me the success of cannabis as a sleep aid is highly individual. What makes cannabis effective for one person’s sleep and not another’s?

While there are still many questions to be answered, existing research suggests that the effects of cannabis on sleep may depend on many factors, including individual differences, cannabis concentrations and frequency of use.

Cannabis and sleep
Access to cannabis is increasing. As of last November, 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia had legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Research on the effects of cannabis on sleep in humans has largely been compiled of somewhat inconsistent studies conducted in the 1970s. Researchers seeking to learn how cannabis affects the sleeping brain have studied volunteers in the sleep laboratory and measured sleep stages and sleep continuity. Some studies showed that users’ ability to fall and stay asleep improved. A small number of subjects also had a slight increase in slow wave sleep, the deepest stage of sleep.

However, once nightly cannabis use stops, sleep clearly worsens across the withdrawal period.

Over the past decade, research has focused more on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Individuals with insomnia tend to use medical cannabis for sleep at a high rate. Up to 65 percent of former cannabis users identified poor sleep as a reason for relapsing. Use for sleep is particularly common in individuals with PTSD and pain.

This research suggests that, while motivation to use cannabis for sleep is high, and might initially be beneficial to sleep, these improvements might wane with chronic use over time.

Does frequency matter?
We were interested in how sleep quality differs between daily cannabis users, occasional users who smoked at least once in the last month and people who don’t smoke at all.

We asked 98 mostly young and healthy male volunteers to answer surveys, keep daily sleep diaries and wear accelerometers for one week. Accelerometers, or actigraphs, measure activity patterns across multiple days. Throughout the study, subjects used cannabis as they typically would.

Our results show that the frequency of use seems to be an important factor as it relates to the effects on sleep. Thirty-nine percent of daily users complained of clinically significant insomnia. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of occasional users had insomnia complaints. There were no differences in sleep complaints between nonusers and nondaily users.

Interestingly, when controlling for the presence of anxiety and depression, the differences disappeared. This suggests that cannabis’s effect on sleep may differ depending on whether you have depression or anxiety. In order words, if you have depression, cannabis may help you sleep – but if you don’t, cannabis may hurt.

Future directions
Cannabis is still a schedule I substance, meaning that the government does not consider cannabis to be medically therapeutic due to lack of research to support its benefits. This creates a barrier to research, as only one university in the country, University of Mississippi, is permitted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse to grow marijuana for research.

New areas for exploration in the field of cannabis research might examine how various cannabis subspecies influence sleep and how this may differ between individuals.

One research group has been exploring cannabis types or cannabinoid concentrations that are preferable depending on one’s sleep disturbance. For example, one strain might relieve insomnia, while another can affect nightmares.

Other studies suggest that medical cannabis users with insomnia tend to prefer higher concentrations of cannabidiol, a nonintoxicating ingredient in cannabis.

This raises an important question. Should the medical community communicate these findings to patients with insomnia who inquire about medical cannabis? Some health professionals may not feel comfortable due to the fluctuating legal status, a lack of confidence in the state of the science or their personal opinions.

At this point, cannabis’s effect on sleep seems highly variable, depending on the person, the timing of use, the cannabis type and concentration, mode of ingestion and other factors. Perhaps the future will yield more fruitful discoveries.
Fo my whole life, as long as I can remember, I never slept well at all....
I even got to a point where I spent about 5 years of my life staying awake for 2 days, then sleeping one night....

Iv spent my life as a proper insomnac...
I also used to have to smoke a massive joint and go straight to be so i could fall asleep in that initial groggy dizzy (now know to be poisoned and oxygen deprived) stage....

So imagine my delight when I gave up smoking, and suddenly started passing out at 10 o'clock at night... and waking up at 6am with no alarm clock....

This has been easily the best, and most noticeable effect from moving to vaping...
It has truly changed my life, and I am grateful every single night for it....

Sometimes I feel myslef slipping away at about 9:30, so I make sure my vapes are off, and hold the tv remote, with my finger over the off button, and hope I can press it before I'm gone......
I fucking love this, and do not take it for granted...
I am appreciative every night...

Thanks vaping....

One other thing though, I wouldn't slip off to sleep so easy if id literally just vaped for the first time of the day...
For me, when I vape, I'm sort of buzzing for a good hour or 2.... Then the sedated effects come on....
One other thing though, I wouldn't slip off to sleep so easy if id literally just vaped for the first time of the day...
For me, when I vape, I'm sort of buzzing for a good hour or 2.... Then the sedated effects come on....
Good point.

It would be a rare day that I didn't vape until bedtime. I usually start right after coffee in the morning (which may or may not require a nap in the afternoon lol....). But I do find that the couple of dabs I take 'before bed' are actually a good hour or two before I actually go to sleep. And if I don't have them I can't fall asleep.

That said I haven't slept a full night in years. I usually fall asleep hard for about 4 hours and then toss and turn the rest of the night.
I tend to not remember my dreams.... or I should say rarely remember them. I know I've been dreaming... but have no recollection as a rule. I've been using cannabis for so many years I have no idea if it has an effect on my dream patterns or not. I've heard, from people who have taken extended t-breaks, that their dreams became more vivid. How do you guys feel about it? Do you remember your dreams or notice any difference when you've stopped vaping for a while?

According to this article, it has an effect on how long you are in your REM cycle of sleep; which is when you dream.

Does Smoking Cannabis Prevent Dreams?

People have long used cannabis for their sleep problems. They find that it helps them have a better, longer, and more restful sleep. Surprisingly, they also experience less vivid dreams when they smoke cannabis. But how can smoking cannabis prevent dreams, and what is its clinical significance?

The Stages of Sleep

There are four stages of sleep; the first three stages belong to the non-REM sleep and the last stage is the REM sleep. We have about four to five cycles of these phases each night.

The first stage lasts for about 10 minutes. It prepares you for the second stage. Your muscles relax and your thought process slows down, but any stimulus can easily wake you up.

The second stage is called light sleep. Your muscles are even more relaxed, and your pulse rate and breathing slow down as your body prepares for deep sleep.

The third stage is deep sleep. It is at this stage that your body takes the time to heal and repair itself. There are no dreams in this stage, and it would be quite difficult to rouse you when you’re in deep sleep.

The fourth stage is the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This stage prepares your body to wake up, so the brain becomes more active and your breathing and pulse rate starts to pick up. It is also at this stage that dreams occur, some of them so intense and vivid that you can easily recall them when you awaken.

Cannabis Effect on REM Sleep

Cannabis has the ability to interrupt the normal sleep cycle by suppressing REM sleep. By decreasing your REM sleep, you get to stay longer in the deep-sleep stage and have a better, more relaxed sleep; and because your deep-sleep stage is lengthened, you also experience fewer dreams.

So how does cannabis prevent dreams? It’s unclear exactly how, but one study done in 1975 showed that a high dosage of THC was able to significantly decrease rapid eye movements during sleep. Decreased eye movements, in turn, led to reduced REM sleep duration. These findings were recorded via ECG readings.

However, the same study also showed that cannabis discontinuation led to a phenomenon called “rebound effect.” This means an increase in REM activities and more sleep problems.

Clinical Significance

Numerous studies have already been done on the effect of cannabis on sleep, and anecdotal stories have supported the fact that cannabis gave them better sleep and reduced the number of dreams.

One noteworthy study, in particular, demonstrated how cannabidiol, the nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis, can help Parkinson’s Disease patients who are suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder or RBD.

RBD, the exact cause of which is unknown, is a type of sleep problem common in people suffering from degenerative neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease. It is characterized by vivid, often violent, nightmares wherein the patient physically acts out whatever it was that’s happening in his dreams.

CBD, according to the study, was able to reduce the symptoms of RBD. The participants reported a decreased frequency in their RBD symptoms (punching, pushing, kicking, yelling, swearing, etc.) after CBD administration.

In an unpublished study, smoking cannabis was able to help Israeli war veterans control their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, including recurrent nightmares.

A study on oral THC and PTSD also supported this finding. The participants reported a significant improvement not only in their PTSD symptoms and sleep quality, but also a reduction in the frequency of their nightmares.

Sleep is very important, particularly the deep-sleep stage. Without it, our cells won’t be given the time they need to recover and repair from injuries. But there are many factors that prevent us from having a restful sleep – chronic diseases, sleep disorders like insomnia and RBD, nightmares from PTSD. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on our health and worsen any medical condition we may have.

Cannabis, as proven in these studies, does have an effect on sleep and dreams. It can enhance the deep-sleep stage by decreasing REM activities and REM sleep duration; and in doing so, also suppress the development of dreams and nightmares. Because of this effect, cannabis can make a perfect alternative therapy for people with sleep problems.

Quality sleep is critical to human emotional, mental and physical health, yet it eludes between 50-70 million Americans. In this report, we will explore why sleep matters, the role of the endocannabinoid system in sleep, and how cannabis and its components—in particular, CBD and THC—may benefit those with sleep issues.


  • Sleep disturbances are the most common health problem in America. Those with sleep issues are poorly served by prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills and other pharmaceuticals, which have serious risks.
  • CBD and other plant cannabinoids show promise for treating insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other sleep-related disorders.
  • CBD co-administered with THC improves sleep more efficaciously than single-molecule medications.
  • Chronic, heavy consumption of THC-dominant cannabis can disrupt healthy sleep patterns.
  • Our ability to be awake, fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling rested is part of an internal biological process regulated by circadian rhythms and the endocannabinoid system.

Shut-eye overview
Although sleep is essential for our health, its biological purpose is not fully understood. Oddly, the seemingly inactive state of sleep is actually a dynamic and critical process that helps us store memories, build immunity, repair tissue, regulate metabolism and blood pressure, control appetite and blood sugar, and process learning, along with a myriad of other physiological processes – all of which are regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institute of Health (NIH), new findings suggest “sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.”

Poor sleep is the number one reported medical complaint in the Unites States and a serious public health concern. The average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep per day. Yet, 10-30 million Americans regularly don’t get enough sleep.

Over 60 percent of American adults report having problems sleeping several nights per week.

Over 40 million Americans suffer from more than 70 different sleep disorders. The most common sleep-related ailments include:

  • Insomnia - when one cannot fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Sleep apnea - which involves impaired breathing while sleeping.
  • Restless leg syndrome - characterized by tingling, discomfort and even pain in the legs that increases at night and is relieved by movement.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders - when one’s internal clock is off and one’s sleep patterns are disturbed.
  • Parasomnias - which entails abnormal movements and activities while sleeping, including sleep walking and nightmares.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness - when an individual experiences persistent drowsiness during daylight hours from narcolepsy or another medical condition.
Poor sleep is a risk factor for serious illness. Compared to people who get enough sleep, adults who are short-sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) are more likely to experience one or more of 10 chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke and depression.

Those with chronic illnesses are at greater risk for insomnia, which exacerbates their discomfort. Comorbid medical disorders – including conditions that cause hypoxemia (abnormally low blood oxygen levels) and dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing), gastroesophageal reflux disease, pain, and neurodegenerative diseases – have a 75-95 percent increased risk of insomnia.

Pills that kill

In 2016, according to the industry research firm MarketsandMarkets, Americans spent $3.38 billion on prescription sedatives and hypnotics, over-the-counter (OTC) sleep drugs, and herbal sleep aids. It’s projected that the market for such products will experience about a 4.5 percent growth rate between now and 2021.

The quest for good night’s sleep can be hazardous to one’s health. Daniel F. Kripke, MD, sleep expert and co-founder of Research at Scripps Clinic Vitebri Family Sleep Center, discusses the dangers of sleep aids in his paper “Hypnotic drug risks of mortality, infection, depression, and cancer: but lack of benefit.”

Dr. Kripke reviewed 40 studies conducted on prescription sleeping pills, which include hypnotic drugs such as zolpidem (Ambien, Edlmar, Intermezzo and Zolpimist), temazepam (Restoril), eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), triazolam (Halcion), flurazepam (Dalmane and Dalmadorm), quazepam, and other barbiturates used for sleep. Of these 40 studies, thirty-nine found that consumption of hypnotics is “associated with excess mortality” to the tune of a 4.6 times greater risk of death for hypnotic users.

Grim statistics: 10,000 deaths per year are directly caused by and attributed to hypnotic drugs, based on medical examiner data. However, large epidemiological studies suggest the number of fatalities may actually be closer to 300,000-500,000 per year. The difference can be attributed to underreported use of hypnotics at the time of death and the fact that prescription hypnotics are rarely listed as the cause of death.

Dr. Kripke concludes that even limited use of sleeping pills causes “next day functional impairment,” increases risk of “on-the-road driver-at-fault crashes,” increases falls and accidental injuries especially among seniors, is associated with “2.1 times” as many new depression incidents compared to randomized placebo recipients, and increases the risk of suicide. Furthermore, the use of opioids combined with hypnotics – two known dose-dependent respiratory suppressants – can be extremely dangerous, especially when mixed with alcohol and other drugs.1

Alarming data
Another concern: Data from controlled hypnotics trials resulted in 12 cancers in hypnotic participants compared to zero cancers in the placebo group. (When the FDA conducted the same audit, they found 13 cancers.) But it is unclear if the hypnotics were a causative factor in these cancers or if they were promoting progression of cancer that had previously gone undetected. Animal and in vitro (test tube/petri dish) studies also attest to the pro-cancer potential of hypnotics. To learn more visit Dr. Kripke’s website.

In addition to these risks, meta-data (combined data) from placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials showed participants in the hypnotic groups had a 44 percent higher infection rate than the placebo participants.

Are over-the-counter sleep aids any better? These also have adverse side effects. Most OTC sleeping pills (Benadryl and others) have the antihistamine diphenhydramine as the primary ingredient. It can knock you out, but it’s unlikely to provide truly restful sleep.

In an email exchange with Project CBD, Dr. Kripke writes: “Usage of diphenhydramine is associated with developing Alzheimer’s disease, though which is cause and which is effect is certainly unclear. One well-known aspect of diphenhydramine is that it is anticholinergic [blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine], that produces some heart symptoms sometimes as well as digestive symptoms such as constipation. In some patients, also, diphenhydramine at night causes rather a lot of daytime sleepiness.”

A large number of OTC sleep aids also include acetaminophen, a pain reliever that has a narrow therapeutic window – meaning at one dose it’s therapeutic, but the slightest increase can be toxic to the liver. All too often consumers don’t read the warning labels about these drugs and consume them with alcohol and other meds. This can cause liver toxicity and/or fatal respiratory suppression.

OTC sleep aids are intended only for occasional or short-term use – never more than two weeks at one time. Although it is not typically reported in the published literature, those who use OTC and prescription sleep aids find that once they start it’s hard to stop.

The endocannabinoid system and sleep
Given the problems with conventional soporifics, medical scientists have been exploring other ways to improve sleep by targeting the endocannabinoid system (ECS). As the primary homeostatic regulator of human physiology, the ECS plays a major role in the sleep-wake cycle and other circadian processes.

Italian scientist Vicenzo DiMarzo summarized the broad regulatory function of the endocannabinoid system in the phrase “Eat, sleep, relax, protect and forget.”

Another study revealed that 40 percent of insomniacs also suffer from anxiety and depression or another a psychiatric disorder. (Roth, 2007) Would it surprise you to learn that people with mood disorders who use cannabis have the highest rates of sleep benefit at 93 percent? (Babson & Bonn-Miller, 2014)

“Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep.” So said Thomas Aquinas.


What about specific plant cannabinoids for sleep?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is alerting or mildly stimulating in moderate doses, while its psychoactive counterpart delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) tends to be sedating. However, the science is somewhat paradoxical.

Research data and anecdotal accounts indicate that CBD and THC have differential effects on sleep – both can be alerting or sedating depending on dosage.

The biphasic dose response triggered by CBD and THC is one of the factors that may contribute to conflicting research results with respect to cannabinoids and sleep.3

The association between low-dose cannabidiol and increased wakefulness underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for narcolepsy and other variants of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Curiously, CBD can help people fall asleep as well as stay awake. An insomnia study indicated that the administration of 160 mgs of CBD decreased nighttime sleep interruptions and increased total sleep time, suggesting that high-dose CBD therapy can improve the quality and duration of sleep.

In addition to showing promise as a safe and effective alternative to conventional psychiatric treatments for insomnia, cannabidiol can reduce symptoms of REM behavior disorder (RBD), which is characterized by the acting out of vivid, intense, and sometimes violent dreams. A preliminary study examined the efficacy of CBD in patients with both Parkinson’s disease and RBD and the results were encouraging.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent form of sleep disorder breathing that affects nine percent of American adults. Research involving animal models of this condition has shown that THC and the endogenous cannabinoid oleamide are effective in reducing sleep apnea events. (Babson 2017) Human studies indicate that dronabinol, a FDA-approved synthetic version of THC, reduces sleep apnea and is safe and well tolerated.

Additionally, cannabinol (CBN), most commonly associated with aged cannabis, is said to potentiate the sedative properties of THC when these two cannabinoids are used together, although this notion may be more modern-day marijuana folklore than scientific fact.

Pain and sleep
Besides the desire for good sleep, treating pain is another common reason for using cannabis. Chronic pain is a major public health issue that directly affects around 20 percent of U.S. adults, many of whom also suffer from diminished sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to know if the pain is causing sleeplessness or if sleeplessness is triggering the pain.

Patients seeking both pain relief and better sleep may achieve positive results with cannabinoids and other cannabis components.4 In their paper “Cannabis, Pain, and Sleep: Lessons from Therapeutic Clinical Trials of Sativex®, a Cannabis-Based Medicine,” Russo et al summarized 13 studies that examined varying cannabis preparations for pain and sleep.

Of particular interest is a Phase II study, involving 24 patients with intractable multiple sclerosis, which compared three different preparations: Tetranabinex (a high THC product); Nabindolex (high CBD); and Sativex® (an almost a 1:1 THC:CBD sublingual remedy).

Different cannabinoid ratios helped in various ways: “Compared to placebo, the CBD-predominant extract significantly improved pain, the THC-predominant extract yielded significant improvement in pain, muscle spasm, spasticity and appetite, and combined THC:CBD extracts (Sativex®) significantly improved muscle spasm and sleep.”

The authors concluded that a combination of CBD and THC (15 mg of each) “improved sleep synergistically.” Of the thirteen studies profiled in this paper, seven showed improvements in sleep. Six of the seven were conducted with Sativex®, the 1:1 CBD:THC sublingual spray, indicating that balanced a cannabinoid profile facilitates sleep improvements among patients with chronic pain.5

The gift of forgetting
The use of cannabis is prevalent among those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A small open trial conducted in Israel showed that 5 mg of smoked THC twice a day resulted in improved sleep and reduced frequency of nightmares in patients with PTSD. (Mechoulam, 2015) This directly correlates with similar test results involving nabilone, a synthetic THC-like drug.

Memory processing occurs when we are asleep, so it stands to reason that someone suffering from PTSD– especially those who experience nightmares – would benefit by using cannabis or cannabinoids to sleep better.

At first glance, it may appear that cannabis is merely a coping mechanism for PTSD patients; it is sometimes negatively characterized this way in the medical literature. Thus far, the majority of studies involving cannabinoids and PTSD have been conducted from an addiction perspective – will cannabis harm PTSD patients and turn them into addicts? – but that may be changing.

Increasingly researchers are recognizing the limitations of the addiction framework, which overlooks the crucial role that the endocannabinoid system plays in helping us forget painful memories, a normal process that is somehow dysregulated when one experiences PTSD.

In some cases, THC and other plant cannabinoids can provide enough relief so that PTSD sufferers are able to embark upon the task of making sense of their traumatic memories and begin the healing process. None of that can happen without quality sleep.

“If you can’t sleep your world goes to hell in a hand basket real fast,” said Al Byrne, a U.S. Navy veteran and medical marijuana advocate.

Many military veterans and victims of sexual abuse are using cannabis to treat their PTSD-related symptoms. A 2016 case study provided clinical data that validated the use of CBD-rich oil as a safe and effective treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with PTSD.

Pharmaceuticals provided minimal relief for a 10-year-old girl who had been sexually abused as a young child. And her meds caused major adverse side effects. But a CBD-rich oil regimen resulted in “a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.”

This is not an isolated example. CBD-rich oil, an increasingly popular treatment for anxiety and sleep problems, has emerged in recent years as a viable alternative to Big Pharma drugs.

Dosing for slumber
Cannabis therapeutics is personalized medicine – and this is certainly true with respect to using the herb and its components to treat sleep disorders. The effectiveness of cannabis as a sleep aid is highly variable, depending on the individual user, how the remedy is administered, its cannabinoid ratio and aromatic terpene profile, the timing and dosage – all these factors come into play and influence different outcomes.


Success may rest upon how well one manages the psychoactive qualities of cannabis. As with any medicine, there are some risks involved when consuming cannabis to sleep better. Short-term use of cannabis may decrease sleep onset latency (how long it takes to fall asleep). But this improvement may weaken over time. Tolerance develops with chronic consumption, which can impair long term sleep quality.
Too much of a good thing can be problematic for frequent recreational cannabis users, who may begin to experience a reduction in slow-wave deep sleep, leaving the individual feeling like they are not well rested. Could this be because recreational users tend to prefer large amounts of THC-dominant cannabis varieties?

Sleep disturbance, ironically, is perhaps the most notable withdrawal symptom when a heavy user stops smoking marijuana. Compared to kicking addictive pharmaceuticals, cannabis withdrawal is a minor discomfort with symptoms typically lasting for a few days (sometimes a few weeks) after cessation. And cannabis, unlike prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, has never killed anyone.

Medical cannabis users often experience better outcomes with lower doses, especially when they are treating something in addition to sleep disturbances, such as pain, spasticity, or post traumatic stress disorder. Based on the available literature reviewed by Project CBD, it appears that a 1:1 CBD:THCpreparation will most likely confer restorative sleep. Cannabis-naïve patients may find relief with as little as 2.5 mg of THC and 2.5mg CBD. A somewhat higher dose – 5 to 15 mg each of THC and CBD – may work wonders for experienced cannabis users.

The combination of odiferous terpenes present in a given cannabis strain or product can also significantly impact sleep. Individual terpenes have sedating or stimulating effects, thus affecting the sleep-wake cycle. Terpenes can be therapeutic in their own right. As important modulators of cannabinoids, terpenes contribute significantly to how a given cannabis strain or cultivar makes one feel.

Sedating terpenes include terpinolene, nerolidol, phytol, linalool, and myrcene. In addition to causing the infamous “couch-lock” effect at high levels (+0.5%), myrcene can be mildly stimulating at lower levels. Those trying to address pain and sleep issues should consider cannabis remedies that include beta-caryophyllene, as this terpene is also a strong anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever.

Practical Tips for Improving Sleep
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 27 percent of respondents indicated that they used complementary, non-pharmaceutical therapies for fatigue and 26.4 percent for sleep deprivation.

Here are a few simple lifestyle modifications and holistic healing options that may improve your sleep quality.

  1. Create an inviting sleep environment. Having a comfortable bed in a relaxing environment is key to quality sleep. Reduce outside or harsh overhead lighting and maintain a comfortable temperature for sleeping. And, reduce noise. If you are a light sleeper consider using a white noise machine to drown out unwanted sound. Salt lamps may help clean the air by reducing negative ions (and provide enough light to get to the bathroom without intruding on sleep).
  2. Have a sleep routine. Going to bed and waking at the same time seven days a week is optimal. Additionally, it is helpful for some people to have a relaxing bedtime routine that lets the mind know it is time to get sleepy. This may include a small warm cup of milk or green tea 45 minutes to an hour before bed, or a few simple yoga stretches to relax, or an Epsom salt bath.
  3. Avoid overstimulation. It is best not to have a television in the bedroom and not to watch violence shows before bedtime, especially for those with adrenal fatigue. Avoid reading or using your phone, laptop or tablet in bed.
  4. Exercise daily. Regardless if your preference is jogging, weightlifting, gardening, walking or tai chi, do some form of exercise every day. But avoid exercising within two hours of bedtime.
  5. Avoid stimulants after 1PM. Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, certain herbal supplements and drugs may leave you feeling “hyper” and overstimulated, which can impede the brain’s ability to transition into sleep.
  6. Aromatherapy. Many of the sedating essential oil components present in cannabis can also be found in other plants at your local grocery or natural products store, along with misters that spay the oil into the air. Aromatherapy can be relaxing and very helpful to induce sleep. Lavender essential oil, for example, can be help to manage certain sleep disorders.
  7. Use sleep supporting herbs. It is best to work with a healer or someone knowledgeable about herbs and supplements instead of buying whatever sleep cure is touted on the internet. Herbs that have sleep-promoting properties include Valerian, Kava, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Passion Flower, California Poppy, Hops, Lemon Balm, Linden, Skullcap, and Oats. Visit the American Herbalist Guild to find a qualified practitioner.
  8. Nutritional supplements. Consult your physician about products made with Kava, calming minerals, and taking the right kind of magnesium at night.
  9. Other therapies. In addition to cannabis, safe holistic healing alternatives include cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, and bright light therapy for circadian rhythm disorders.
1 In 2014, there were 47,055 accidental opiate overdose deaths. Dr. Daniel Kripke estimates one third of them also involved various hypnotics as a cause of death. It should be noted that cannabis has been shown to improve safety and effectiveness of opiates making it possible for the patient to take a lower dose, thereby reducing the risk of side-effects including death. In some cases, cannabis can replace both the opiate as an effective painkiller and the hypnotic.

2 Highly complex, the sleep-wake cycle is driven by various neurochemicals and brain pathways. Neuroscientist and sleep researcher Dr. Eric Murillo-Rodriguez, says that “Sleep is generated by sleep-promoting neurons placed in the anterior hypothalamus that utilize GABA to inhibit wake-promoting regions in the hypothalamus and brainstem. Then, the brainstem regions inhibited during wake and slow wave sleep become active during rapid eye movement sleep (REM).”

3 In “The effects of cannabinoid administration on sleep: a systematic review of human studies,” Gates et al scrutinized cannabis-related sleep studies prior to 2012. But they found “little consistency in the results [of] six studies with objective sleep measures. Slow wave sleep was described as increasing for a week in one study, whereas three studies reported a decrease in slow wave sleep, and one study showed no change. Rapid eye movement sleep was reported to increase in one study, decrease in a second study, while four studies showed no effect. Stage two sleep [see sidebar] was reported to increase in two studies, while four studies showed no effect. Sleep latency was reported to increase in one study, decrease on a high THC dose in a second study, while two studies showed no effect and two studies did not measure sleep latency.”

4A 2014 article by Babson & Bonn-Miller indicated that over 83 percent of surveyed patients taking cannabis for pain said they experienced improved sleep.

5Nicholson et al had similar results in a double-blind placebo-controlled with a 4-way crossover design study evaluating the effect of cannabis extracts on nocturnal sleep, early-morning performance, memory, and sleepiness in eight subjects ages 21-34 years old. A cross-over design is one where each group of participants take two or more interventions; in this case four different preparations were tested, including THC (15 mg) alone; THC and CBD together (5 mg each and 15 mg each); and a placebo. They scientists found that “although impaired memory was observed the next day when 15 mg THC was given alone overnight, there were no effects on memory when 15 mg THC was ingested with 15 mg CBD.” They also found that the effects of THC and CBD appeared to be dose dependent as evidenced by the fact that 7.5 mg of THC did not impair memory, but 15 mg did.

Nishi Whiteley, a Project CBD research associate and contributing writer, is the author of Chronic Relief: A Guide to Cannabis for the Terminally and Chronically Ill (2016).

Copyright, Project CBD.

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Hi @momofthegoons - as I have said many times, I vape primarily at night for pain and sedation. Ten years ago I injured my back and that was the last full night sleep I have had. My back just wakes me up constantly and I'm always waking up, rolling over with the plethora of pillows I use to support my back. I'm usually out of bed and walking downstairs for a few minutes 3-4 times a night, sometimes 5 times. I have no idea how many times I awake and adjust my position and go back to sleep without getting up...but its often.

I do indeed vape just prior to going to bed (well, not with the Tangie but if I have any indicas or indica leaning hybrids I do). I actually like the psychotropic effects as I lay there and day dream which turns into real dreams as I slip into sleep somewhere in there.

The problem with cannabis as a sedative, IMO, is that is is of relatively short duration. I get 2 1/2 hours of initial sleep usually but have found myself leaving the Nano plugged in so i can get up, do .05 - .1 g, then go back to bed. I was advised to try edibles for longer lasting sedation effects...eat edible, vape to go to sleep, let edible kick in later and keep me asleep. Problem is, as it is with many folks, that edibles are terribly variable in on-set time and level of effects...that and I just don't really like the effects that much....like wearing a heavy wet blanket. Just not for me as a core technique.

I have cut back on the amount I vape to sleep...oh, don't get me wrong, I'm 65 and have been using MJ since I was 14. I definitely rock recreational; particularly on a Friday night, drinking scotch, music on, grilling some steaks...you get the idea, yeah? LOL

But I'm finding if I keep my doses down a little, I actually get better sleep than when I wail away. Wail away, yeah...I'm out like a light...but 2 hours later its nada and vaping again. If I keep the amount down, I think I'm finding a better night sleep.

Of course, for the last month or so my back has been really, really good. Its idiosyncratic in its variability. I have no idea why, but some periods its really bad and then I'll have 4-6 weeks where it seems better. But when I am curled up in a fetal ball with pain in a bad period, and trying to find the magic amount of body curl to give me some lumbar relief....well, then its "fuck it" and I'll break out the big guns.

Worth noting....our dispensaries are STILL not open yet (soon) so I don't have the luxury of picking specific varieties for specific effects and I may find MMJ helps my sleep better when I can confidently buy Bubba Kush or similar and know its real.

Thanks for posting the article.
The problem with cannabis as a sedative, IMO, is that is is of relatively short duration. I get 2 1/2 hours of initial sleep usually but have found myself leaving the Nano plugged in so i can get up, do .05 - .1 g, then go back to bed

If only you could rig up some sort of auto vaping delivery device, to administer a hit while you still sleep... involving a gas mask and an arizer eq on fan 1, on a timer...
Ridiculous..... but I wanna try it...
Hi @momofthegoons - as I have said many times, I vape primarily at night for pain and sedation. Ten years ago I injured my back and that was the last full night sleep I have had. My back just wakes me up constantly and I'm always waking up, rolling over with the plethora of pillows I use to support my back. I'm usually out of bed and walking downstairs for a few minutes 3-4 times a night, sometimes 5 times. I have no idea how many times I awake and adjust my position and go back to sleep without getting up...but its often.

I do indeed vape just prior to going to bed (well, not with the Tangie but if I have any indicas or indica leaning hybrids I do). I actually like the psychotropic effects as I lay there and day dream which turns into real dreams as I slip into sleep somewhere in there.

The problem with cannabis as a sedative, IMO, is that is is of relatively short duration. I get 2 1/2 hours of initial sleep usually but have found myself leaving the Nano plugged in so i can get up, do .05 - .1 g, then go back to bed. I was advised to try edibles for longer lasting sedation effects...eat edible, vape to go to sleep, let edible kick in later and keep me asleep. Problem is, as it is with many folks, that edibles are terribly variable in on-set time and level of effects...that and I just don't really like the effects that much....like wearing a heavy wet blanket. Just not for me as a core technique.

I have cut back on the amount I vape to sleep...oh, don't get me wrong, I'm 65 and have been using MJ since I was 14. I definitely rock recreational; particularly on a Friday night, drinking scotch, music on, grilling some steaks...you get the idea, yeah? LOL

But I'm finding if I keep my doses down a little, I actually get better sleep than when I wail away. Wail away, yeah...I'm out like a light...but 2 hours later its nada and vaping again. If I keep the amount down, I think I'm finding a better night sleep.

Of course, for the last month or so my back has been really, really good. Its idiosyncratic in its variability. I have no idea why, but some periods its really bad and then I'll have 4-6 weeks where it seems better. But when I am curled up in a fetal ball with pain in a bad period, and trying to find the magic amount of body curl to give me some lumbar relief....well, then its "fuck it" and I'll break out the big guns.

Worth noting....our dispensaries are STILL not open yet (soon) so I don't have the luxury of picking specific varieties for specific effects and I may find MMJ helps my sleep better when I can confidently buy Bubba Kush or similar and know its real.

Thanks for posting the article.

Have you tried any inactivated medibles/ cannacaps? I'm having pretty good luck with a 50/50 mix of THCA/CBDA in a cannacap and at a fairly low dose. Mine might not be 100% of the acid form, because I do get a weak buzz, but they're great for pain, and if your comfortable it makes sleep easier.
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Have you tried any inactivated medibles/ cannacaps? I'm having pretty good luck with a 50/50 mix of THCA/CBDA in a cannacap and at a fairly low dose. Mine might not be 100% of the acid form, because I do get a weak buzz, but they're great for pain, and if your comfortable it makes sleep easier.

I wonder if suppositories are the way to go..
That's gotta be a slow realease right..???
I wonder if suppositories are the way to go..
That's gotta be a slow realease right..???
Well.... according to this article it would be a better option. According to it:

It's difficult to absorb enough of the drug through the lungs, and gastric acids interfere when someone eats it, he said, adding that it's more effective to take the drug by other means, such as under the tongue.

"Rectally is actually a lot more preferred because of the volume of absorption. You can put a lot more and it gets absorbed a lot better
Have you tried any inactivated medibles/ cannacaps? I'm having pretty good luck with a 50/50 mix of THCA/CBDA in a cannacap and at a fairly low dose. Mine might not be 100% of the acid form, because I do get a weak buzz, but they're great for pain, and if your comfortable it makes sleep easier.
I quit the drug's for sleep.

My method is not for everyone however for some it work's?

  1. I keep a MOD & run it about 30 watts with a GOON Tank RBA + ROSIN = KOP (knock out punch) very high THC +
  2. CBD very little.
  3. My EJUICE is 0 NICOTINE and laced with KIEF
I sleep very deep.
It freak's me out to eat or ingest CANNABIS.
VAPORIZING is better in my case.

Whatever work's for you I guess?
I'm having pretty good luck with a 50/50 mix of THCA/CBDA in a cannacap

Well, with our dispensaries not quite open, I'm not sure where I would get this as I do not have access to high CBD herb.

Thank you...perhaps something to try in the future.

I wonder if suppositories are the way to go..
That's gotta be a slow realease right..???

It may well be.....but man, I really don't want to read a thread about putting MMJ up my bum! LOL

P.S. more seriously, there was a thread on making suppositories on another board and discussion of the different absorption pathway and the effects thereof. Some of the less mature members made the expected snickering comments (like I just did above). But there was a lot of serious discussion and for this particular patient, this was a VERY important topic. So, my apologies for making light of it. Suppositories are a very valid and time proved delivery mechanism for certain medications.
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Does Marijuana Work Better Than Sleeping Pills For Insomnia?

If you’re not currently receiving any treatment for insomnia, or if your current treatment isn’t enhancing the duration and quality of your sleep, you may want to give weed a try.

One of the most common home-remedy uses for cannabis is as a natural sleep aid or cure for insomnia. There is no shortage of discussion on the matter—pitting the power of Cannabis sativa against that of C. indica, weighting the virtues of eating versus smoking, and calibrating the optimal balance between THC and CBD. Much of this speculation is impassioned, some if it is persuasive, and all of it is anecdotal.

On the other hand, the science is pretty meh. In lab mice, cannabis has been observed to increase slumber duration. In people, it tends to make falling asleep easier and to deepen sleep. But it doesn’t seem to lengthen overall sleep, and it even shortens the REM phase. A number of studies have shown that cannabis improves sleep in general, but one comparison study showed that it was less effective than amitriptyline, a not-particularly impressive aid.

Longterm use of cannabis may lessen the drug’s effects, and withdrawal can cause not only insomnia but also a rebound REM effect that temporarily produces more vivid and frequent dreaming.

If it’s anxiety that keeps you up at night, the intoxicating and relaxant properties of cannabis can help that, much as a slug of whiskey would. But, unlike cannabis, booze will shorten your slumber and make it shallower. So if you do want to drug yourself to sleep, pick up the bong, not the bottle.

With that said, if you’re currently taking sleep medication, consult your doctor before making any changes. That’ according to Dr. Jordan Tishler, a holistic care expert, who says contrary to what common marijuana myths might try to tell you, cannabis will not: significantly increase your risk of developing cancer, interfere with your hormonal levels, cause you to sleepwalk, induce seizures, or cause lingering impairment the day after use.

It can, however, reduce stress (which, in turn, can improve sleep), reduce the amount of times you wake up in the middle of the night, and shorten the amount of time it takes for you to fall back to sleep.

Unlike many sleep aids (such as Ambien and Lunesta), marijuana is safe for long-term use. And even when used long-term, marijuana is still significantly less likely to be habit-forming. Dr. Tishler says benzodiazepine drugs (better known as “benzos”), such as Valium and Ambien, create dependence in about 18% of adult patients, whereas the dependency rate for marijuana users is only about 3%.

Every patient responds differently, which is why some find that prescription sleep aids ultimately work better than marijuana. But if you’re not currently receiving any treatment for insomnia, or if your current treatment isn’t really working for you, you may want to give weed a try.
Marijuana Vs. Prescription Sleep Aids: Which Is Better For Insomnia?

Some of the most commonly-prescribed sleep aids come with serious risks of their own. Is it a safe and effective alternative to treat insomnia with cannabis instead?

Sleep disorders like chronic insomnia are incredibly prevalent in the United States, affecting as many as 70 million Americans, according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control.

Beyond causing drowsiness and irritability, insomnia can also result in a slew of serious health problems, such as increasing your blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Additionally, because fatigue interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly and make fast decisions, insomnia also increases the risk that you’ll get into a car accident or accidentally injure yourself.

In light of the many problems a sleep disorder can cause, insomnia sufferers should get prompt medical treatment. But what many people don’t initially realize is that some of the United States’ most commonly-prescribed sleep aids come with serious risks of their own.

Is it a safe and effective alternative to treat insomnia with cannabis instead?

What Are the Risks Of Using Sleep Medications?
I want to preface this article by emphasizing I am not advocating that you stop taking your sleep medication. You should never make changes to any medication regimen without discussing it in advance with your doctor, who will be able to make safe, gradual adjustments to your dosage or the type of medication you’re currently taking.

That being said, I do feel it’s important to point out some of the serious health risks associated with popular prescription sleep aids. As a physician, I always want patients to be well-informed about the pros and cons of various treatment plans.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Believe it or not, doctors actually recommend simple drugstore Benadryl — not heavily-advertised prescriptions like Lunesta or Ambien — more often than any other drug as the first line of defense against chronic insomnia. Because Benadryl is a familiar household product available over the counter for just a few dollars, many patients are lulled into a false sense of security, assuming that nothing serious could go wrong.

Unfortunately, that’s not always accurate. Few people realize it, but Benadryl carries a few major health risks for elderly individuals, including:

  • Increased risk of falls, which the CDC reports are responsible for over 95% of all hip fractures in the U.S. adult population aged 65 or older.
  • Urinary retention in older men. Complications of urinary retention can include urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder damage, and kidney damage.
Lunesta (Eszopiclone)

On May 15, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release announcing the FDA would cut the recommended starting dose of Lunesta by half.

Explaining its reasoning for the mandate, the FDA referenced “findings from a study of 91 healthy adults ages 25 to 40,” which showed that, “compared to [placebo], Lunesta three mg was associated with severe next-morning psychomotor and memory impairment” for up to seven and a half hours after taking the drug. The FDA also noted that, when taken at the formerly recommended dosage, Lunesta could “cause impairment to driving skills, memory, and coordination as long as 11 hours after the drug is taken.”

Adverse Effects of Other Common Insomnia Drugs
All of the following adverse effects and health risks have been identified by the National Institutes of Health:

  • Ambien (Zolpidem) – Unusual moods and behaviors which the user may not remember the next day, dizziness or drowsiness the morning after use
    • While the risk is small, studies published in BMJ Open and Mayo Clinic Proceedings have indicated that using Ambien potentially could slightly increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
  • Oleptro (Trazodone) – Increased risk of bleeding, disturbance to heart rhythm, decreased sodium levels (hyponatremia)
  • Rozerem (Ramelteon) – Hormone changes, mood swings, sleep-walking, a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (i.e. anaphylactic shock – typically associated with bee stings)
  • Sonata (Zaleplon) – Increased menstrual pain, vision problems, reduced sense of smell
  • Valium (Diazepam) – Paranoid ideation, suicidal ideation, birth defects (if the patient is pregnant), seizures
    • If you ever find yourself experiencing suicidal thoughts while taking valium, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 immediately.
Yet even this laundry list of adverse effects doesn’t fully cover the risk factors associated with our most commonly-prescribed sleep aids. Virtually all prescription sleep drugs currently on the market have been linked to either next-day “hangovers” (feeling groggy or fatigued), impaired physical coordination, increased risk of accidental falls, or physical dependence — and in some cases, all of the above.

If an insomnia medication leaves you feeling cloudy, drowsy, and clumsy the day after use, it’s worth asking: how much is the drug really helping you?

How Does Cannabis Compare? Is it Safer?
Stated simply, cannabis does not carry any of the serious health risks which have been discussed in this article. Contrary to what common myths about marijuana might try to tell you, cannabis will not significantly increase your risk of developing cancer, will not interfere with your hormonal levels, will not cause you to sleepwalk, will not induce seizures, and will not cause lingering impairment the day after use.

It can, however:

  • Reduce your stress, allowing you to let go of the day’s events and slide into restful sleep more easily.
  • Promote muscle relaxation.
  • Improve mood, which makes falling asleep easier.
  • Reduce the frequency with which you wake in the middle of the night.
  • Shorten the amount of time it takes you to fall back asleep after waking.
Furthermore, marijuana is safe for long-term use, whereas most sleep aids (including Ambien and Lunesta) are meant to be used as a short-term remedy, generally for no longer than seven to 10 days. For people who suffer from persistent insomnia, a week or two or relief is not real relief at all. And, even when used long-term, marijuana is still significantly less likely to be habit-forming. Benzodiazepine drugs (better known as “benzos”), such as Valium and Ambien, create dependence in about 18% of adult patients, whereas the dependency rate for marijuana users is only about 3%.

That being said, every patient responds differently. Some find that prescription sleep aids ultimately work better, while others find that adding cannabis to their current regimen is optimal, and yet others respond best to cannabis alone. The bottom line is that if you’re not currently receiving any treatment for your insomnia – or if your current treatment isn’t enhancing the duration and quality of your sleep – you may want to explore the other care options that may be available to you.
I use weed or oil at night to help with pain, anxiety, sleep and because I like it.

One of marijuana’s main benefits is its ability to help people relax, unwind, and de-stress. Because of this, it’s also a natural sleep-aid.
People who have difficulty turning off their brains or letting go of a stressful day may find marijuana particularly effective for falling asleep faster.
Cannabis is also known to be an effective pain reliever, so it helps not only people with stress or PTSD, and it can also provide sleep-inducing relief for those suffering from pain or headaches.

Indica Strains are Better Sleep Aids
Of the two types of strains available, Indica and Sativa, Indica is widely considered to be a better aid for inducing drowsiness. People often point to Granddaddy Purple as a favorite to put them to sleep, while Sativa has a reputation for providing more energy.
One theory behind this difference in strains has to do with something called “terpenes.” Terpenes are the oily compounds found in plants that give them their smell. Essential oils are a commonly used terpene. The smell has an evolutionary purpose for the plant, whether it’s to ward off predators or attract pollination.
Cannabis contains over 200 different types of terpenes, and many are associated with therapeutic benefits, like pain relief, muscle relaxation, and even heartburn. What about that skunky smell that marijuana is so famous for? That’s the terpene called Myrcene, which is known to have a sedative effect as well as an anti-inflammatory one, too.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Indica strains are often higher in the terpene myrcene, which explains why this one knocks people unconscious most often.

Aged Cannabis Might be More Effective
Wine isn’t the only thing that gets better with age. Cannabis can also become a more powerful sleeping aid if it’s left alone for a while to mature. The only catch is that for this bio hack to be effective, the marijuana is going to have to dry for a couple of years in a controlled, low humidity environment.

The reason this works is that the THC degrades over time and is replaced by cannabinol, which is dramatically more sedating. However, the process takes years, so unless you’re very patient or have a connection to a grower or dispensary with this type of herb available, you’ll be stuck only with the fresh stuff.
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Can CBD, CBN, THC And TERPENES Help Restore Sleep Cycles?

Can CBD, CBN, THC and TERPENES help restore sleep cycles?

“Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together” – Thomas Dekker

According to the National Centers for Biotechnology Information, around 70 million Americans experience sleep disruption. Thousands of people cannot sleep properly due to insomnia in our country during the pandemic. Dr. Sam Friedlander, who is practicing at theUniversity Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, commented, “We are going through an unprecedented time where there is so much stress affecting people. I have been seeing a lot of sleep problems.”

In the last few years, cannabis has become quite popular due to its various health benefits. One of the primary health benefits of cannabis is that it may help people cope with insomnia. It helps to restore the normal circadian rhythm thus potentially eradicate insomnia.

The natural chemical compounds present in cannabis may help people fall asleep fast. Both cannabinoids and terpenes have sedating effects, which help people sleep 30 minutes sooner than before. Active ingredients like Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN), and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) help people with insomnia fall asleep quickly. Even those who don’t have insomnia can sleep 15 minutes sooner than before. The THC ingredient promotes deep sleep often without nightmares. As such, people can have peaceful and undisturbed sleep.

  1. CBD helps to reduce pain, stress, depression, and anxiety. These factors help to relax your mind and potentially fall asleep faster.
  2. CBD doesn’t have any harmful side effects on your mind. Moreover, it helps to boost your concentration power.
  3. CBD doesn’t make you feel sleepy throughout the day. It helps you to stay awake and alert.
  4. CBN helps you to sleep quickly due to its sedative effects.
  5. THC helps to improve the breathing cycle during sleep and lowers the chances of obstructive sleep apnea.
  6. Linalool – a lavender-scented terpene helps to increase the adenosine (sedating hormone) and drive people to sleep.
  7. Limonene helps to elevate the serotonin level, which lowers the depression symptoms.
  8. Myrcene has both sedating and anti-inflammatory properties, which help people to sleep.
  9. The analgesic properties of cannabis help to give some relief to individuals who suffer from chronic pain. These factors may enhance peaceful sleep at night.
How to use cannabis
You may use cannabis in various ways. You can smoke or consider trying the vaping method. You can also eat CBD infused edibles or take CBD capsules. Taking a CBD tincture is yet another option for you. Get detailed information from here.

The dosage depends on your response, overall health needs and tolerance level. Start low and increase slowly. It’s not for everyone and may take some getting used to. The best time to consume cannabis is during the day, when you have nothing to do so you may assess your reaction and adjust accordingly.

Cannabis contains various natural chemical compounds that help you fall asleep quickly. But the most important ones are cannabinoids and terpenes, which we will discuss today.

Cannabinoids – The first natural chemical compound
Cannabinoids are natural chemical compounds found in cannabis that have several health benefits. Some studies have shown that cannabinoids help people have longer, deeper sleep with few disruptions. Moreover, these natural compounds may also help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc.

The most popular cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC|). Let us discuss how they help to get relief from insomnia and restore a natural sleep cycle.

  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) – In many individuals, CBD helps to relax your mind, reduce pain, increase clarity, reduce stress, and lower anxiety. All these beneficial factors may help you fall asleep faster. You won’t should not experience the high associated with THC. The best part of CBD is that it can helps you stay awake and alert during the day. Most individuals don’t feel sleepy during the daytime. So, you can attend classes or the office without feeling sleepy. Your sleep-wake cycle won’t get affected. Here’s how you can take our featured cannabinoids.
  2. Cannabinol (CBN) – Usually found in old cannabis, cannabinol is well-known for its sedating effect, which becomes quite strong when it is paired with THC. Although CBN is not as popular as CBD, its beneficial powers can’t be ignored. CBN has pain-relieving power and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps stimulate your appetite. THC may convert to CBN over time.
  3. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – This is a psychoactive cannabinoid, which isresponsible for giving that feeling of high many people enjoy. It helps to reduce nausea and pain. Like CBN, THC may also have sedating effects. Thus, you may fall asleep quickly. The popularity of THC has increased in the last few years due to its ability to improve breathing when you are sleeping. Due to this beneficial power, THC may be used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
THC has been shown to be beneficial for individuals with PTSD. PTSD patients often experience sleep disruptions due to nightmares and traumatic dreams. Now, dreams usually appear during the last stage of the sleep cycle, which is known as Rapid EYE Movement sleep. THC cuts down the time spent in REM sleep. It promotes slow-wave sleep. Due to this reason, people are less likely to have dreams if they take THC before going to bed every night.

Terpenes – The second natural chemical compound – Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in cannabis. They have relaxing and energizing effects, which help people cope with insomnia and other mental health conditions.

Types of terpenes that help you to sleep

Here are five types of terpenes that help you cope with insomnia and get back into a natural sleep cycle.

  • Linalool – It is a lavender-scented terpene, which is found in cannabis. Research shows that this lavender-scented terpene helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. It also increases the sedating hormone called adenosine, which helps you to sleep. Stress hurts the immune system. Linalool also helps to protect the immune system against the harmful effects of stress.
  • Limonene – It is a citrus-scented terpene with multiple health benefits. This particular terpene is easily found in cannabis. Limonene helps to reduce OCD symptoms, depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and stress. Moreover, limonene has a unique quality of increasing the serotonin level in the brain. In short, limonene has an overall positive effect on mental health. It helps to promote sleep and lower insomnia symptoms.
  • Myrcene –This terpene has anti-inflammatory properties and sedating effects. It is usually found in cannabis, mangoes, thyme, and basil.
  • Caryophyllene – This peppery scented terpene has many health benefits. Ithelps to reduce anxiety, pain, and stress. Otherwise known as analgesic, relaxing, and anxiolytic properties.
  • Terpineol – This terpene has sedating effects, pain-relieving, and relaxing properties. All these properties help to get relief from insomnia. You can find this terpene in cannabis and lilac.
Indica and Sativa – How do they help to cope with insomnia?
Indica and Sativa are two types of cannabis strains. Indica helps to relax your mind and induce sleep. Sativa generally helps you to feel energized and happy.

Now, you know that Sativa and Indica are two cannabis strains. If you mix these two types of strains, then what you will get is the hybrid strain. Usually, manufacturers know how to combine the two strains in the right proportion. Doctors and cannabis therapeutic specialists can help find the perfect strain based on individual requirements.

It’s somewhat like tea leaves. You can mix different types of tea leaves to get a hybrid tea for enhanced texture and flavor. Likewise, Indica and Sativa can be combined to form the hybrid strain. Some individuals use hybrid strains to strike a balance between the sedating and uplifting effects.

Patient risks and warnings
  1. You may feel groggy the next day due to over indulging, so keep a journal.
  2. Smoking or inhaling is the fastest onset of cannabis and often is beneficial when determining outcome/feelings. One puff at a time and the smoke can be harsh. Go low, start slow.
Patient insights
Sang Choi, a pharmacist at a New York City-based dispensary said, “We know that cannabis can help with sleep issues. Our patients tell us that they’ve gotten really good sleep at night.”

Choi adds that the chemical compounds in cannabis help to restore the natural sleep cycle. The biggest benefit of using cannabis is that it not only helps to relieve insomnia but it also has been shown to suppress depression and anxiety symptoms. So, patients get multiple benefits.

Patients should choose cannabinoids based on the strains. For instance, they can choose THC- dominant strains when they want to suppress the symptoms of depression, insomnia, anxiety, etc.

Many consumers find relief by choosing a CBD dominant strain, which has a small amount of THC to have a clear mind.

If you have never had cannabis before or you have various questions, alwaysconsult medical professionals via Skype, Zoom, or phone. It is better to consult with medical professionals and make informed decisions.








How Can Cannabis and CBD Help You Sleep Better?

Cannabis is renowned for its relaxing effects, and it is no surprise that many people use it to help them get to sleep. Yet, there are some people who find that some varieties and products have the opposite effect! This is usually due to two reasons:

  1. Individual differences in a person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  2. The set of cannabinoids and terpenes being used, and in what dosage.

Which Cannabinoids and Terpenes Help You Get to Sleep?​

The following cannabinoids (cannabis chemicals) and terpenes can help a person get to sleep:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – even low doses can help a person get to sleep. This is because THC is a partial agonist of the CB1 receptors in the brain, meaning that it turns them on and produces the more sleepy, “high” or “stoned” effects usually associated with cannabis.
  • Cannabinol (CBN) – results from aged THC, losing some of its psychoactivity, but still retaining some of its sedative effects.
  • The terpenes myrcene, linalool and humulene are “sleepy” terpenes. Terpenes interact with and influence the way cannabinoids behave.
  • The terpene bisabolol can increase THC’s sedative effects. Bisabolol is a floral-smelling terpene found in chamomile.

Does CBD (Cannabidiol) Help You Get to Sleep?​

It is commonly claimed that CBD can help you get to sleep, and there are certainly reports from people who say, “Yes, it does.” However, the picture is a bit more complex. For some people, CBD on its own can actually have more wakening effects than sleepy ones.

This is not a surprise because to feel sleepy, our bodies need the CB1 receptor to be activated but CBD can work to reduce this receptor’s activity. This means it is generally the more psychoactive cannabinoids that have more sedative effects.

However, there is a way that CBD can help a person get to sleep, and that is to lower anxiety and improve mood throughout the day. If you can turn down the volume of the background noise during the day, you are less on edge at night.

Some people have also reported that moderate to high doses of CBD have made them feel sleepy. This could be due to CBD calming down the brain to an extent, but could also be due to the action of sleepy terpenes.

Which Cannabinoids and Terpenes Can Keep You Awake?​

The following combination of cannabinoids and terpenes can have more “awake” or energizing effects:

  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – low doses are a CB1 receptor antagonist, meaning it can have more clear, energetic effects compared to THC.
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) – similar to CBD, is a selective CB1 receptor antagonist, meaning it “turns off” the sedative actions of CB1 receptor agonists like THC to a certain effect. Similar to CBD, CBG may help with insomnia via treating anxiety.
  • A mixture of the terpenes beta-caryophyllene, limonene and pinene in high amounts can promote wakefulness. On their own or in small doses, and they can be relaxing.

How to Dose and Ingest Medical Marijuana for Sleeplessness and Insomnia​

Do you get between 6 and 8 hours of undisturbed sleep per night on a regular basis? If you are sleeping less than 6 hours regularly and/or get 6+ hours, but this 6 hours is broken and disturbed, then you could be suffering from insomnia. 6 hours of undisturbed sleep per day is the baseline for optimal sleep health.

Less than this, and you are more prone to illness, depression and anxiety. Your immune system is dampened, and injuries can take longer to heal. Chronic insomnia and sleeplessness can lead to chronic inflammation, and can actually cause chronic joint and bone pain, and can make arthritis worse. Weight is also harder to control and maintain.

Although everyone is different, here is a general protocol that you can use when it comes to dosing cannabis for insomnia:

  • You can use CBD during the day to lower your anxiety.
  • Use about 2.5 mg of THC (preferably with a mix of CBN, linalool, myrcene, humulene and bisabolol as well) in tincture form about 30 minutes – 1 hour before bed.
  • After a period of time, reassess: do you now get 6+ hours of undisturbed sleep? (And not more than 9 hours – oversleeping can be an issue.)
  • If you don’t, increase the dosage by another 2.5 mg. Please note: the more THC you use, the more psychoactive it can get. Some people can get anxious if they use too much THC, which is not helpful for sleep!
  • Optional: tinctures can have long-lasting effects and can help a person stay asleep. Some people may vape or inhale a small amount of cannabis flower or extract to help get to sleep, as the effects are immediate.

Does Using Cannabis and CBD Lead to Better Quality Sleep?​

One of the criticisms of using cannabis (particularly THC) for sleeplessness is that it can lead to less time in REM sleep (dream sleep). A lack of REM sleep may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and depression, although cannabinoids can treat these conditions as well! REM sleep also helps with memory retention. One of the reasons why it is best to see if using a low dose of THC and a mixture of other, less psychoactive cannabinoids like CBN is effective, is to reduce the negative impact on REM sleep due to over-intoxication.

What cannabis does do is increase the number of hours in deep sleep or slow wave sleep. This is known as the restorative stage of sleep. This can help aid in recovery from pain and injuries, and keeps your immune system in better shape. The increased number of hours in deep sleep can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and depression, so some of the negatives of a lack of REM sleep may be mitigated to some extent.

So, these are the stages of sleep cannabis can potentially help in, and where it can be negative:

  • Stages 1, 2 and 3 – the transition phases of sleep, where the body goes from lighter to deeper sleep in a progressive manner. Cannabis can help in this stage.
  • Stage 4 – deep sleep. The restorative stage of sleep. THC increases the amount of time in this stage of sleep.
  • Stage 5 – REM sleep. This is where the brain consolidates memories and restores the brain to a normal level. The amount of time spent in this stage of sleep is decreased when using THC. Some people find that they can wake up feeling a little groggy after using THC the night before, and the lack of REM sleep could be one of the reasons why. Using lower doses of THC, the terpene pinene, and balancing out the THC with CBD use during the daytime may help mitigate this to some extent.

Is Cannabis and CBD the Right Choice for Me?​

Cannabis and CBD shouldn’t be your first solution when it comes to improving your sleep. Before any medication is recommended or prescribed, here are some things you can do to ensure a restful, refreshing night’s sleep:

  • Get 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 4 – 6 times per week and/or a minimum of 5,000 steps per day, if possible.
  • A healthy, balanced diet.
  • Turning off all screens one hour prior to sleep – the blue screens of computer monitors and televisions disturbs sleep.
  • Herbal teas containing lavender, chamomile, lemon balm and/or valerian roots can help reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Avoiding refined sugars.
  • Avoiding the use of caffeine after 5 pm.
  • Sticking to a fixed bedtime routine.
  • Do not eat anything 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoiding strenuous physical or mental activities 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Meditation.
When these do not work, medications may be prescribed. These can include:

  • Melatonin – the sleep hormone. This is useful for short-term use, and unlike many other sleep medications is not physically addictive. However, tolerance can build up, and some people experience side-effects like headaches, nausea and dizziness. Melatonin can also interfere with diabetes medications, anticoagulants, immunosuppressants (drugs that reduce the immune system), and anticonvulsants (which are often sedatives).
  • Low doses of antidepressants can help treat anxiety, which can help some get to sleep as well.
In more severe cases of insomnia, sedatives may be prescribed. These include:

  • Benzodiazepine sedatives: triazolam (Halcion), estazolam, lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), flurazepam, and quazepam (Doral).
  • Non-benzodiazepine sedatives: zolpidem (Ambien, Intermezzo), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and zaleplon (Sonata).
These sedatives are physically addictive, and can have many other side-effects like:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Light-headedness
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory problems
  • Blurred and/or double vision
  • Rashes
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Incontinence
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Jaundice (yellow skin) – rarely
  • Blood disorders – rarely
Cannabis and CBD is certainly a better alternative to sedatives, which are far more addictive, dangerous and have many more negative side-effects. If you suffer from insomnia, nothing else works, and you do not want to use sedatives, then cannabis and CBD may be a better choice for you.
I'm not sure that I would agree with this study.... and find that I have trouble sleeping if I don't vape a bit prior. The only downside I've found is that I don't dream as much since I use cannabis daily... all day.

New Study Determines Correlation Between Cannabis and Sleep

A new study reveals that sleep and cannabis may not be linked in the way we previously thought. However, research is not conclusive.

A toke before sleep is the key to shut-eye for many, but new research published this week suggests that may not be the case.

The study, published Monday in The BMJ, sought to “determine the relationship between cannabis use and nightly sleep duration in a nationally representative dataset,” which was a “cross-sectional analysis of adults was undertaken using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2005 to 2018.”

According to CNN, the study “analyzed use of marijuana for sleep among 21,729 adults between the ages of 20 and 59,” and that the data was “considered representative of over 146 million Americans.”

“Respondents were dichotomized as recent users or non-users if they had used or not used cannabis in the past 30 days, respectively,” the authors explained in the study’s methodology. “The primary outcome was nightly sleep duration, categorized as short (<6 hours), optimal (6–9 hours), and long (>9 hours). Multinomial logistic regression was used to adjust for sociodemographic and health-related covariates, and survey sample weights were used in modeling.”

The study showed that “adults who use weed 20 or more days during the last month were 64 percent more likely to sleep less than six hours a night and 76 percent more likely to sleep longer than nine hours a night,” CNN reported, adding that moderate consumption of weed, defined as “using weed less than 20 days during the past month… didn’t create short sleep problems, but people were 47 percent more likely to snooze nine or more hours a night, the study also found.”

CNN said that “addition to issues with short and long sleep,” the study also found that people “who used weed within the last 30 days were also more likely to say they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and were more likely to say they have discussed sleep problems with a health care provider.”

“The problem with our study is that we can’t really say that it’s causal, meaning we can’t know for sure whether this was simply individuals who were having difficulty sleeping, and that’s why they use the cannabis or the cannabis caused it,” said Calvin Diep, a resident in the department of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Toronto who served as lead author of the study, as quoted by CNN.

“The issue is that there’s a disconnect between these anecdotal reports of people reporting therapeutic benefits and the evidence behind it in terms of the data,” Diep added.

Cannabis has been cited as a critical sleeping aid for many who suffer from insomnia. A peer-reviewed study in 2018 of 1,000 medical cannabis patients in Colorado showed that among individuals using weed to promote sleep, “84 percent found it very or extremely helpful, and most of those taking over-the-counter (87 percent) or prescription sleep aids (83 percent) reported reducing or stopping use of those medications.”

Dr. Karim Ladha, staff anesthesiologist and clinician-scientist in the department of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Toronto, told CNN that the discrepancy could be attributed to a host of different factors.

“A lot of the older data related to cannabis is based on lower doses of THC than what patients are using now, and there’s very little research related to CBD,” Ladha told CNN. “Studies tell us about what happens at a population level, but on an individual level that discussion is much more personal. The studies just give us the possibilities that (marijuana) could hurt your sleep, but it may help and so we just don’t know until you try it.”

“Patients are spending money and time and resources to obtain cannabis right now to help with sleep,” Ladha added. “I think as the medical community, we need to do everything we can to make sure that we enable our patients to make the best possible decisions for their health.”

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