Is using cannabis for insomnia a good idea?
Do you find it hard to fall asleep at the end of the day? Well, you are not alone! A considerable number of the adult population find it harder and harder to fall asleep at some point in their lives.
Getting good sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet some people are unable to achieve this; especially after a stressful day.
The fact that many people have chronic insomnia and other sleeping disorders has resulted in the use of alternative cures.
With many countries and states reviewing legalisation, one of the remedies which has received much attention is cannabis.
What are the reasons for using cannabis for insomnia?
Cannabis is known to induce a state of relaxation and drowsiness that could help to induce sleep. It comes in different strains with some being energizing, calming and others sedating. Their ability largely depends on the balancing levels of the different cannabinoids. It can be extracted or in some instances, made synthetically.
The synthetic form of cannabis is found in various supplements and medication, where it is specially manufactured for its therapeutic abilities. Two of the most common cannabinoids are:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – is associated with several health benefits. The best part is that it is non- psychoactive, which means that it will not make you feel “high.”
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – is the psychoactive cannabinoid which is solely responsible for the “high” feeling. THC is also associated with inducing sleep.
So in the case where you are looking at getting some shut-eye, you will need to go for an Indica strain that contains more THC than CBD.
Cannabis helps increase the overall amount of sleep and reduce insomnia. Besides this, it can be used to stimulate alertness and reduce sleepiness during the day. This means that one is able to maximize daytime performance while regulating the consistency of the sleep-wake cycle.
How to choose a strain of cannabis to treat insomnia
Selecting a strain of cannabis should be like choosing a tea blend. The same way you can go for black, white, or hybrid tea all depending on your taste and needs. Some of the most common strain types you will come across include:
- Indica– this is a type of strain that is said to be soothing and relaxing
- Sativa- this blend is supposed to make people happy, excited, and energized.
- Hybrids– a mixture of both Sativa and Indica and mostly for manufacturers and dispensaries.
Dr. Jordan Tishler, who is a Harvard trained physician and also a cannabis therapeutic specialist, recommends that the best strain should contain less than 20 percent THC. He says taking anything more than this not only makes dosing tricky but can also make you feel groggy and sleepy the next day.
How does using cannabis for insomnia work?
A study that involved giving rats about 40mg of CBD showed that the rats that received this dosage had a better sleep cycle than the rats that did not.
Other studies also claim that ingesting marijuana strain with a high level of THC will reduce the amount of REM sleep.
What does reducing REM sleep mean? This means that dreams will be reduced especially for people who experience PTSD as well as alleviating nightmares.
Therefore, you will be likely to spend more time in deep sleep as the time you spend in dreaming is lessened. The state of deep sleep is a more restful and restorative part of sleep.
However, care should be taken against taking higher levels of THC as REM is still very important for a healthy immune system and cognitive functioning. Taking a high dosage of THC level could affect and impair the quality of your sleep in the course of time.
How to take Marijuana for a good rest
One conventional method of ingesting marijuana is to smoke it as a joint or using a pipe. However, the majority of people who smoke cannabis mix it with tobacco which brings other health issues.
If you do not like smoking or the odour of cannabis, you can try other methods such as using vaping devices or using THC-rich tinctures, which are dropped under the tongue.
The major question is how much marijuana should you use? The dosage range from one person to another and just getting the right one for you may take some time.
Therefore, you should not try this during the working week. You are advised to start with only a few puffs because a little goes a long way and it also helps you avoid waking up with grogginess the next morning.
Availability of Marijuana
The best part of marijuana is that it is readily available. You can buy weeds online and other places where it is legal to enjoy its benefits. However, you will need to do thorough research on the availability of the strain you are going for in your local dispensary.
Using cannabis for insomnia – Conclusion
Taking cannabis to sleep is not a natural method of inducing sleep.
The importance of sleep for a healthy lifestyle cannot be understated. This is because it’s when you are in deep sleep that your body can recuperate.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to reduce pain and nausea, as a sleep aid and to alleviate other mood problems. People with insomnia may benefit from the use of cannabis to treat these problems.
However be wary it is possible for cannabis use to become addictive and for it to have a negative impact on mental wellbeing, particularly in people who may be susceptible to anxiety or other mental health problems.