Cannabis is commonly used as a natural sleep aid for people living with insomnia and other sleep disorders. But the relationship between sleep and marijuana is complex. Some strains leave you nodding off in no time, while others will do just the opposite.
Smoking marijuana before bed can affect dreams, sleep cycles, and more. Let’s look at what happens when you sleep high, plus the science behind why some strains are better than others for a good night’s sleep.
How Marijuana Affects Sleep
Cannabis strains have distinct effects. THC-rich strains make you high, whereas CBD-rich ones don’t. Both chemicals affect sleep differently. CBD and THC affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system of neurotransmitters and receptors maintains healthy nervous system function. The ECS controls sleep, hunger, memory, emotions, and temperature.
It also secretes hormones. CBD and THC may affect various bodily systems by altering the ECS. CBD lowers blood cortisol. The stress hormone cortisol keeps you awake. Cortisol might make it hard to sleep. CBD-rich strains may help you fall and stay asleep. Low-THC strains have similar benefits, but low CBD levels may stimulate you.
Sativas, Indicas, & Sleep
Indica and Sativa strains may both put you to sleep. Many people relate Indica strains with feeling heavy, pleasant, and sedated. Sativa strains are considered to energize.
The terpene myrcene seems crucial, and terpenes give cannabis plants their distinctive smell. After using specific cannabis strains, these chemicals affect your mood. Marijuana strains strong in myrcene are more sedating. In contrast, those low in it and high in other terpenes like limonene are more uplifting.
Do You Sleep Better After Getting High?
Short answer? Both yes and no. It depends on the cannabis. For instance, if you sleep high on a low-myrcene, high-limonene strain, you may lay there looking at the ceiling with a million thoughts, resulting in little to no sleep.
Marijuana may alter sleep architecture and stage duration. Other cannabis strains help you fall asleep quicker and avoid nighttime awakenings. Short-term use of THC-rich marijuana may enhance deep sleep duration, leaving us rejuvenated and rested.
REM is essential for processing emotions and forming new memories. Random, fast eye movements, sensory deprivation, and intense dreaming define this phase. Marijuana shortens REM sleep.
Research suggests that post-traumatic stress disorder patients may benefit from less REM sleep (PTSD). Cannabis may help persons with PTSD or REM sleep behavior disorder sleep since dreams and nightmares occur during REM.
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Can Being Too High Cause Insomnia?
As indicated, high-CBD and low-THC strains may significantly affect sleep by reducing cortisol levels in the blood. Lower cortisol reduces anxiety and prepares you for restful sleep. Smoking too much or the incorrect strain might cause adverse effects. According to research, high dosages of THC may cause anxiety, paranoia, and poor sleep.
THC tolerance may cause sedation at large dosages. THC may also enhance cortisol levels, which normally leads to feeling energetic and alert. These hyperactive effects might overwhelm new cannabis users.
If you struggle to obtain adequate sleep, it would be a good idea to avoid smoking specific strains beyond mid-afternoon. Energizing strains have less myrcene and more limonene or terpinolene. THC smoking may cause paranoia and anxiety, so moderate yourself. Sometimes, a few puffs are all you need.
6 Best Weed Strains for Sleep
These strains are based on anecdotal evidence, so you may discover a superior one. Cannabis with low-to-moderate THC, moderate-to-high CBD, and soothing terpenes like myrcene, humulene, and linalool can help you sleep.
1. Northern Lights
Northern Lights is a legendary Indica. Its earthy, spicy, herbal, and floral taste relaxes, sedates, and provides euphoria to its consumer. Northern Lights may increase sleep quality and deepen sleep because of its THC and myrcene levels.
2. Girl Scout Cookies
This OG Kush-Durban Poison hybrid is Indica-dominant. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) typically provide euphoria and full-body relaxation. GSC includes 19% THC, which is powerful but not overpowering for beginners, particularly at modest dosages. GSC may help you fall asleep faster if you have trouble sleeping. It may help chronic pain sufferers sleep.
3. Bubba Kush
In recent years, this Indica strain has become popular in the US. Bubba Kush is ideal for insomniacs because of its calming and tranquil qualities. Sweet chocolate and coffee is the flavor of this strain. Bubba Kush may make you hungry, so have food accessible. Many individuals use Bubba Kush for sleep because it relaxes muscles and calms the mind.
Gelato is a balanced hybrid marijuana strain for non-REM sleep. Gelato has the best of both Indica and Sativa genetics. This strain induces full-body relaxation and euphoria. Its powerful effects are ideal for chronic pain, sleep disruptions, and other sleep difficulties.
5. Granddaddy Purple
Granddaddy Purple is a hybrid of Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan, all famous strains. The union produces a powerful Indica strain with high THC levels. Smoking or dabbing this dank flower makes you feel cozy, sleepy, and comfortable. Granddaddy Purple may be ideal for light sleepers or those with trouble falling asleep.
Harlequin contains equal CBD and THC levels (8-10 percent CBD and 7-15 percent THC). These two cannabinoids balance and counteract, making such strains ideal. Sleeping high on Harlequin causes the entourage effect. When two or more cannabinoids interact synergistically, new and distinct effects occur. Due to its low THC content, Harlequin produces a slight buzz rather than a robust high. This reduces anxiety and may help treat sleeplessness.
The Takeaway Is…
Consider relaxing variations if you want better sleep. Look for high-CBD, myrcene-rich strains with low-to-moderate THC. If THC makes you worried or alert, smoke less before bed. These strains may sedate THC-tolerant users. Cannabis may improve your sleep pattern with the correct strain and dosage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD Or THC Better For Sleep?
CBD affects cortisol directly. It aids sleep after use; thus, CBD-rich cannabis may promote sleep.
Can You Use Marijuana With Melatonin?
Darkness causes the brain to release melatonin. Melatonin controls sleep-wake cycles. Marijuana naturally boosts melatonin, so smoking before bed may eliminate the need for medication.
Is Sleeping High The Same As Sleeping Drunk?
No. Alcohol before bed reduces sleep quality. Alcohol slows REM sleep, causing morning grogginess and worsens sleep issues before bed, unlike weed.