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How Does Marijuana Affect Sleep?

marijuana and sleep

Can Marijuana Help You Sleep Better?

Legal hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to have several benefits. CBD is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and it makes up over 40 percent of the plant’s extract. CBD is said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure properties, the reason why it is now used for relief from pain. Cannabis is also quite popular for another reason – aiding in sleep. Cannabis is used widely by CBD lovers for getting a good night’s sleep. Cannabis is the most popular natural remedy used for battling insomnia, and it is known to be effective. However, not many know why CBD is so helpful in making people doze off.

THC and CBD are both compounds found in cannabis, but they work differently. While THC causes euphoria and a feeling of being ‘high’ CBD is more calming and soothing. That is the reason why it is also used for treating anxiety. In a study held in 2006, it was found that non-intoxicating CBD increased alertness during the day and aided in sleep at night. This led researchers to believe that CBD could be beneficial for those suffering from insomnia and daytime sleepiness.

But how does this happen? A large number of people who aren’t into any other form of drugs smoke cannabis every night for better sleep. Although the science behind this isn’t completely clear, one reason is the terpenes in cannabis. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds which reduce stress and anxiety levels and bring in calmness. Terpenes are also found in lavender and chamomile, both of which promote sleep. In fact, cannabis along with a lavender bath or chamomile tea works even better to aid in sleep.

It has also been found that aged cannabis work better in promoting sleep. This is because as cannabis grew old, there forms a compound called cannabinol or CBN. This compound is known to be five times more sedating than THC or CBD, although it forms very slowly. Therefore old weed is stronger in promoting sleep, as compared to newer weed.

On the flipside, cannabis also may produce a mild hangover in the morning. If you ever notice that your head is a little groggy in the morning, it is probably from the cannabis you took at night. Although it is never like the hangovers caused by alcohol, it might still make you feel a little foggy, tired, and dehydrated. Some people may never experience this. Others usually get it from taking bad weed. The best way to avoid a hangover is to take it in moderation and drink plenty of water.

A significant and noticeable thing about consuming cannabis for sleep is the inhibition of dreams. This is because cannabis reduces the time spent in REM sleep, the final phase of sleep when dreams occur. When cannabis is consumed before bedtime, it inhibits the formation of vivid dreams. On the other hand, if you stop long-term use of cannabis, you will most likely experience REM rebound, when you have very lucid and vivid dreams.

Although the relationship between sleep and cannabis isn’t yet completely clear, it is definite that cannabis has a calming and soothing effect on the brain, causing drowsiness and sleep. Cannabis isn’t addictive and can be given up more easily than other means of inducing sleep. In coming days, cannabis as a sleep aid is likely to gain more popularity.


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