How do CBD and THC Affect Sleep? Are They Helpful?

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  • The data surrounding insomnia is eye-opening. According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 70 million people in the United States have a sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common disorder, with an estimated 30% of adults experiencing short-term insomnia. Meanwhile, some 10% have long-lasting insomnia.

    A lack of sleep is linked with numerous health problems, negatively impacting a person’s energy levels and ability to complete daily tasks. Indeed, nearly 40% of people admit accidentally falling asleep during the day. Concerningly, 5% of Americans say they have fallen asleep while driving!

    Treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), OTC medication, and prescription sleeping pills. CBT is among the best options, as sleeping pills can be habit-forming and may leave you feeling groggy in the morning.

    As such, there is an increase in demand for CBD and THC, two cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa L. plant. While THC causes an intoxicating high, CBD does not. This is why CBD gummies for sleep are in hot demand, as users claim the product is convenient and effective. This article briefly investigates the effects of the two compounds on sleep to determine their efficacy.

    CBD for Sleep: Is It Effective?

    Research into the sleep-promoting effects of cannabinoids is ongoing. However, the available evidence suggests that they could prove an effective remedy for insomnia due to their interactions with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. After cannabinoids such as CBD and THC bind to the receptors, they send messages to the brain, telling it to increase levels of adenosine, a chemical in human cells that promotes sleep.

    As far as CBD for sleep is concerned, a few studies are already showing promising results.

    One review of studies looked into the general therapeutic effects of CBD in humans. The researchers analyzed 34 studies. Among these studies, they located evidence that high-dose CBD, between 150mg and 600mg, could cause mental sedation, a process that may make it easier to fall asleep.  

    Another often-cited study, published in 2019, involved over 100 adults who reported primary concerns of sleep or anxiety. Seventy-two adults completed the study, and over 65% reported immediate improvements in their sleep quality. Moreover, CBD was well tolerated by over 90% of the participants.

    Generally, users of CBD for sleep say they feel relaxed after using the cannabinoid. Anxiety and stress levels are reduced, which may help explain why they find it easier to fall asleep.

    What About THC for Sleep?

    There is also evidence that THC could have sleep benefits. Indeed, there are countless anecdotal reports of people smoking marijuana before bedtime and claiming it helped them drift to sleep. Generally speaking, ‘indica’ strains are more likely to promote relaxation than their ‘sativa’ counterparts.

    It seems likely that the THC in cannabis enables you to fall asleep faster and alters your sleep architecture. This term outlines how long you spend in various sleep stages. Short-term marijuana use may increase the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep. This form of sleep enables you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

    However, it is important to note that THC appears to decrease the time spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During REM sleep, you spend more time processing emotions, dreaming, and creating new memories.

    It is also worth noting that marijuana remains a federally illegal substance. Therefore, it is only available in states that permit recreational or medical weed. Furthermore, there’s a possibility that anxious individuals will become even more anxious if they consume too much THC.

    Final Thoughts on THC and CBD for Sleep

    The cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa L. plant could enable you to fall asleep faster and enjoy longer sleep duration. THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana, which is only legal in certain jurisdictions. THC consumers say that the compound is an effective means of helping them alleviate stress, reduce pain and relax enough to get to sleep.

    However, there are several advantages to trying CBD for sleep. It is non-intoxicating which means you can use it anytime. Also, it is widely tolerated throughout the United States. Products such as CBD gummies are popular for sleep because of their convenience and taste.

    If you choose to use gummies, take one about an hour before bed. Don’t expose yourself to the blue light of screens, and set a new bedtime routine that revolves around CBD and relaxation. 


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