Over 70 million American suffer from insufficient sleep, insomnia, or other sleep disorders according to the American Sleep Association. With many people going through sleeping disorders, there has been a rise in the number of people using cannabis to treat this sleep disorder. Research has shown that cannabis can be an effective sleep aid as it can help to restore an individual’s natural sleep cycle. Whether you are finding it hard to sleep after a stressful day or you have a sleep disorder, cannabis can help you. This article explains how the cannabinoid THC and CBD affect sleep and which one is better.
How Does Cannabis Affect Sleep?
Cannabis works for sleep because it contains some cannabinoids, prominent amongst them Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is non-psychoactive, that is it does not cause you to feel high while THC is psychoactive which means it causes a high feeling. These cannabinoids affect the body’s physiological systems through the endocannabinoid system and the aspects of sleep.
How Does CBD Affect Sleep?
Serotonin is known as an inhibitory neurotransmitter but we don’t want to be flooded with this hormone constantly, we just want it at the right time. What cannabidiol does is it gives the body’s ability to use less when it needs less and use more when it needs more. Serotonin is a precursor to the hormone melatonin and you may have heard of this before as you can take it to fall asleep. Melatonin helps to regulate the sleep and wake cycle while serotonin can help to melatonin naturally in the body.
Studies have revealed that when the body increase melatonin naturally it could help to regulate when an individual fall asleep and wake up. A higher level of serotonin in the body shows a high prevalence of melatonin. What CBD does is it helps your body to sleep better at the time you desire to sleep and it is not like you will just fall asleep immediately you take it. CBD also help to trigger both the CB1 and CB2 receptors more than THC. It can interact more with the endocannabinoid system. Additionally, CBD possesses some healing effects such as pain relief and inflammation reduction. This means that if any kind of irritation or pain is stopping you from sleeping CBD can help to ease this.
How Does THC Affect Sleep?
THC is widely known to aid sleep but what makes this compound so effective. For a long time, studies have established THC as a strong sedative and a study found that the stronger a cannabis strain is the more it gets you high. This is due to the way THC interacts with the CB1 receptor and triggers the melatonin produced in the brain. All of these create an effect that helps you to fall asleep. However, you must get through the high stage first before you can enter the sleepy state. This why it is better to have a middle range of THC in your cannabis strain if you want to sleep better so as not to get too powerful or protracted a high. A major drawback of THC is the quality of long-term sleep as your body may expect a dosage of this compound to help it sleep. You can’t refer to this as an addiction; rather you can term it a dependency that you can liken to how you crave for caffeine in the morning to wake up properly. THC can be a lifesaver if you are having trouble with getting to sleep for a few nights. However, we do not recommend that you use this to fall asleep every night so as not to create more problems for you.
Which is Better for Sleep Between CBD and THC?
Cannabis has been in use for a long time as a convenient sleep aid, but it is only recently that research has shown that cannabinoids CBD and THC have a significant effect on the body system. Thanks to the numerous studies that scientists have carried out over the last few decades, we now know how cannabis works to affect our sleeping patterns and the best way to use it. Both CBD and THC help our body to sleep but they do in different ways. Therefore there is a need to understand why a person has a sleeping disorder before choosing the right one. If the reason a person sleeps poorly is that of stress, insomnia, or anxiety issues, THC is the best option as it helps to lull an individual into a sleep.
In contrast, if you are sleeping poorly because of inflammation, pain, or injuries, CBD may be the best option as it can help to ease any pain you may feel that is hindering you from falling asleep. Regardless of the one you go with, it is important to remember there is a long-term effect of taking either of them. When you take THC for a long time, it can lead to physical dependency as the brain can become used to it to fall asleep. Also, you have to deal with the high that accompanies the intake of this. However, there is not yet a long-term effect linked to CBD, and it doesn’t drastically affect your sleep cycle. Therefore, if you are looking for a short-term solution to your sleep disorder THC is the best option but if a chronic pain is keeping you up at night consider CBD.
Using cannabis to ease sleep disorder should be a short-term fix, to have a restful sleep you need to practice good sleep hygiene while also incorporating other behaviors that can help to support a lifestyle that promotes healthy sleep.