Cannabis and Sleep

man sleep cycle

Miscellaneous Information about Cannabis and Sleep

Low-doses of CBD have a stimulating effect, while high-doses of CBD have a sedating effect.[1] So if you use CBD for sleep, make sure you take a high enough dose.

 

Sleep problems are often multifaceted. The best solution — THC, CBD, or both — depends on the cause of your problem.

Cannabis and Sleep Cycles

During the course of an eight-hour sleep period, a healthy sleeper should cycle through the different sleep stages every 90 minutes or so:[2]

Stage 1: Transition period from being awake to falling asleep.

Sleep latency is the time it takes for you to fall asleep.

Pain or anxiety can make it difficult for you to get to sleep. In either of these cases, cannabis can help you sleep by relieving both pain and anxiety. Sources suggest that cannabis with higher doses of CBD and lower doses of THC tend to do better at relieving anxiety. Cannabis with at least moderate doses of THC and also some CBD have been reported to do better at relieving pain.[1]

Cannabis helps bring on Stage 1 sleep by causing your brain to release chemicals that relax your body and induce sleep. Sources suggest sleep latency problems are best-addressed using cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD and lower concentrations of THC.[1]

Stage 2: Breathing and heart rate begin to slow.

Stage 3 (Delta Sleep or Slow Wave Sleep): Regenerative period where your body heals and repairs itself.

Cannabis has been reported to cause you to spend more time in deep sleep (Stage 3). You then tend to feel more rested when you wake up.[1]

Stage 4 (REM sleep or “rapid eye movement” sleep): Period when we dream.

Cannabis has been reported to lead you to spend less time in REM sleep (Stage 4). So if you have nightmares, cannabis can help prevent them.[1]

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.med.upenn.edu/cbti/assets/user-content/documents/s11920-017-0775-9.pdf

[2] https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/importance-of-sleep-understanding-sleep-stages/

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The Medical Cannabis Primer

Check out the recent book by co-founder and principal technologist, Ruth D. Fisher. This compendium provides easy-to-understand, comprehensive information about medicinal cannabis for patients and healthcare professionals.

 

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