Cannabis, Nature’s Sleep Aid
Many things happen to our bodies as we age but some impact our lives more than others. One change that has a significant impact on older individuals is the disruption of sleep patterns. Over time our bodies produce less of the hormone responsible for sleep, melatonin. These lower levels of melatonin cause sleep to become more sporadic which undermines the restorative properties so important to a goodnight’s rest. In addition to the lack of melatonin, mental and physical health issues as well as side effects from medications can also contribute to poor sleep. Let’s explore how cannabis affects the body’s sleep cycle and which products are best suited for falling asleep and staying asleep.
When cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain they send messages to produce more of sleep-promoting adenosine. At the same time, cannabis also suppresses the brain’s arousal system which directly impacts wakefulness. Both THC and CBD (as well as other minor cannabinoids like CBN) can promote sedation. Some individuals may find THC to be stimulating especially at higher doses so less is more when it comes to sleep. It is also important to pay close attention to the strain of cannabis. Indicas are generally known to be more sedating while Sativas can be stimulating.
CBD differs from THC in that at low doses it has been reported as stimulating while at higher doses it often has sedative effects. Generally, the best results for sleep are achieved with a product that combines THC, CBD, and other minor cannabinoids. A popular cannabinoid for sleep which still needs more clinical research is CBN. CBN is produced when THC degrades and breaks down into a non-psychoactive but sedating compound.
Finding a product with low levels of THC and CBN and high levels of CBD is generally found to be the most effective formula for healthy, uninterrupted sleep.
THC: Strawberry Cream CBN Hard Candies
For a THC item formulated specifically for sleep, Nurse Kurt recommends the Strawberry Cream CBN hard candies from Sundrift. Each candy has 10mg of CBD, 5mg of CBN, and 2.5mg of THC making them an excellent choice for deep and uninterrupted rest. For best results, take one candy an hour before bed for at least 2-3 days. If you feel more sedation is needed after that time, try two candies at once.
CBD: Upstate Elevator Deep Calm Tincture
(CBD Sold at our sister store, Cape Ann Botanicals)
For those looking to get to sleep without the high, try Upstate Elevator’s Deep Calm tincture with organic peppermint flavoring. This 1500mg tincture is formulated with a 1:1:1 ratio of CBD, CBG, and CBN making it a potent and powerful tool to get some shut eye. Start with a quarter of a dropper (0.25ml) about 30 minutes before bed and stay with that dosing for 2-3 days. If 0.25ml does it for you, great! If not, titrate up to 0.50ml and wait another 2-3 days before determining if you need a higher dose.
Sleep is a complex issue that will most likely require a multi-faceted approach. While cannabis is a powerful sleep aid, the best results come from having many different tools in your tool box. Having good sleep hygiene such as no electronics before bed, no alcohol or caffeine too late in the night, and getting daily exercise will drastically improve your chances of getting a deep and restorative night’s sleep.
Want More Support?
*If you’re 65+ your first private consultation with Nurse Kurt is Free. For more private conversations you can call 978-356-3493 to book a consultation or book online here.
QUICK CHAT? Look for the “Nurse” sign inside the store where our Nurse Kurt can assist you. He’s available Mon-Friday from 10am to 2pm.