We’ve all been there. You’re lying in bed and you close your eyes but you can’t close your mind. A relaxation podcast just ended and your wandering mind is asking if cannabis might help. Or maybe you fall asleep like an infant but, also like an infant, you’re wide awake after a few hours and unable to fall asleep again until you hear the birds. Not fun. Sleep is one of the most common reasons people choose cannabis and perhaps we can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Cannabis in various forms has been used for centuries to help people sleep and once again it’s available to help us sleep. You may have heard that “indica” strains are more sedating and “sativa” strains are more uplifting. Indica and sativa are merely botanical distinctions that describe the shape of the plant and its leaves. The real differences in the effects of a cannabis plant depend on many other factors
For example, how you consume cannabis, the way it was grown and the “terpene” profile are more likely to bring the luscious rest you need than whether the label says indica or hybrid or even sativa. Terpenes are organic compounds found in most plants including cannabis. As with food, terpenes in cannabis influence taste and smell, but in cannabis terpenes alter how using that plant will feel for most people. If sleep is your issue, ask a Clear Sky Wellness Advisor for strains with a terpene profile that relaxes the body and mind leading to drowsiness. Some sleep-inducing terpenes to look for in your cannabis strains include caryophyllene (also in cloves) terpinolene (also in apples), myrcene (in mangoes), and linalool (in lavender).
Also, did you know that CBD can promote wakefulness in some people? If you are using CBD at night and you are not sleeping well, consider taking it earlier in the evening. You will still get the benefits of CBD for underlying conditions like pain and anxiety and you might sleep better.
Here’s another tip – THC changes over time to a less potent compound called CBN (cannabinol). CBN has less potential for inebriation than THC and it’s considered to be sedating. If you have cannabis that you bought more than 6 months ago, you might want to make that your “go-to” as you wind down for the evening.
How Can Cannabis Help When Sleep Is Elusive?
Sleep can be elusive for most of us at various times. Poor sleep is associated with depression, weight gain, heart disease and diabetes risk. Good sleep improves our immune function which has never felt more important. Don’t let a sleep problem take you down when you want to feel your best. Practice good sleep hygiene by reducing caffeine, establish a regular bedtime schedule and daily exercise. If you still need help, talk to your Wellness Advisor at Clear Sky. Try a few different strains and methods (tincture, edibles, flower, etc.) to see if adding cannabis to your wellness routine helps you sleep. Remember you may have to try several types of cannabis to find what works best for you as everyone is different. Be patient with yourself and think about how good you’ll feel after a great night of sleep.
Jean Welsh, EdD
VP, Learning & Development