Monday, 15 August 2022 10:46

Green Dreams: Cannabis + Sleep

Written by  Josh Veal
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More and more people are turning to cannabis to help with physical and psychological issues, including one of the biggest parts of any human’s life: Sleep.

We spend roughly a third of our lives doing it, and the science is increasingly showing how important getting a proper night’s rest is to our health. It’s natural to wonder then: Can cannabis help you sleep?

In typical fashion, the answer is both yes and no. 

Cannabis certainly can help a person fall asleep, especially if it’s a calming strain (often designated as indica). Low THC strains may help lull you to sleep gently, while high THC strains might knock you out with “couchlock,” the sensation of feeling practically glued to the couch because you’re so comfy and so far gone. 

Once you are asleep, however, the situation gets a little more murky. Studies have shown that THC can help decrease the amount of time a person stays in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. You might already be thinking, “That sounds bad, I need my REM!” Well, if you’re dealing with a whole lot of stress in life, even having nightmares, then decreased REM is exactly what you want. If your mind is diving deep into trauma and trying to work through it every night, you’re not actually going to feel rested.

That said, REM sleep is important for both retaining memory and giving your brain a chance to process the day’s information, so you certainly don’t want to completely get rid of it. Plus, underlying trauma and stress should always be worked through in a real way, not just by masking it with cannabis use. 

Instead, think of THC as a balm — it can help you fall asleep and may give you an escape from bad dreams when you need it, but you still need to address the real issue at play, if you’re having serious trouble sleeping. And while I hate to admit it, taking a day off from cannabis now and then should help you get REM sleep when you need it.

Then there’s CBN, which is a cannabinoid just like THC or CBD, and is often discussed as a sleep aid. On the one hand, studies have yet to prove that CBN itself directly impacts sleep, and the scientific community has called for more extensive research. As they say, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

On the other hand, it seems that CBN can reduce psychological arousal, stimulation, and inflammation, all of which would obviously help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, from purely personal and anecdotal experience, these products have definitely knocked me right out and put me into a long, deep rest. 

So now that we know a bit of the science, let’s take a look at a few cannabis products available in West Michigan that may help you get a good night’s sleep.

Camino Midnight Blueberry Sleep Gummies

Available at: Green Koi, Jars, The Green Door

“Settle in for a smooth slumber in a cozy lake cabin and let all your worries go.” These gummies pair relaxing terpenes with a hint of chamomile and lavender for a soothing, restful effect boosted by CBN. With just 5 mg of THC and 1 mg of CBN, the effect is more mild but still plenty effective.

Synergy Sleepberry Gummies

Available at: Jars, Great Lakes Provision Center

These yummy gummies have the same blend as Fluresh! They might not set in quite as quick as the softgels, but clearly
5 mg THC, 5 mg CBD and 10 mg CBN is a winning combination.

Fluresh Softgels: Rest

Available at: Fluresh, Exclusive, and others

These softgels are fast-acting and quite effective, in my experience. Each one has 5 mg THC, 5 mg CBD, and 10 mg CBN. I found that mix to be quite effective, as all the components worked together to chill me out and put me to sleep. That’s called the “entourage effect!” Just make sure you don’t have an important meeting in the morning.

Vive CBD Sleep Gummies

Available at: Exclusive

No THC? No problem. These gummies have 20 mg of CBD and 2 mg of CBN per piece, and they’re orange hibiscus flavored, which is a perfectly relaxing combination. Just remember that CBD products work best when taken repeatedly and regularly.

Treetown Blackberry Lavender Gummies

Available at: Pharmhouse Wellness

These gummies from trusted edible makers Treetown mix up the proportions once again, with each piece having 5 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBN. Again, the blackberry lavender blend should be nice and calming.

Dream On Tincture

Available at: Grassy Knoll

This original tincture from Grassy Knoll is perfect for those who want all of the effects without having to eat a gummy every night. One bottle has 500 mg of CBD and 140 mg of CBN. You just hold a dropper under your tongue for a bit before bed and let the cannabinoids do the work! Just remember: Consistency is key with CBD.

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