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How Does Cannabis Affect Sleep?

It’s common to hear people complain about inadequate sleep and everyone suffers from sleepless nights every now and then, but the issue with sleep disorders runs deeper than that. In fact, the CDC considers insufficient sleep a public health problem. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 50 to 70 million adults are suffering from sleep disorders, and inadequate sleep is linked to medical and occupational errors, vehicle crashes, and even industrial disasters.

Sleep disorders refer to conditions that change sleeping patterns and contribute to sleeping problems. These can include conditions that cause excessive daytime sleeping, difficulty falling asleep, and irregular breathing and excessive movement during sleep. Among the most well-known representatives of this umbrella of disorders are sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy.

The effects of sleep disorders are not only felt on a national level, they also have a huge impact on the life of the person suffering from the condition, in particular, the person’s health. Chronic sleep loss, for example, is associated with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders, as well as depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. These health problems, and the fact that hardly anyone genuinely enjoys not sleeping well, drive people to find treatments for sleeping disorders.

Cannabis is among the list of substances that offer promising results for treating or dealing with sleep disorders. The plant, regardless if it’s used for medical or recreational purposes, often induces a relaxing sensation that clears the mind and calms the body. Marijuana and sleep go hand in hand for many regular cannabis consumers, so it’s not a surprise to find that the plant contains substances that may help people who have trouble sleeping. 

Prime Yourself For An Excellent Night’s Rest: This Is SLEEP.

How Marijuana Works

How does marijuana affect the body? The answer lies in the cannabinoids -- a group of active compounds -- found in the plant. There are at least 85 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, but 2 of them stand out from the rest.

The first, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. While THC can help alleviate the symptoms of certain diseases, it is mostly known as the substance that makes cannabis users feel high. The second, cannabidiol (CBD), is non-psychoactive and is known for its numerous health benefits.

The cannabinoids found in cannabis closely resemble the endocannabinoids that are naturally produced in the human body. These endocannabinoids are part of a system that regulates certain body functions such as stress response, metabolism, and even sleep and memory. When a person consumes marijuana, the cannabinoids from the plant interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body. This produces the effects associated with marijuana use. 

Cannabis and Sleep

There are numerous reports and anecdotes that highlight the medicinal benefits of cannabis. The plant and its extracts are found to help when it comes to managing pain, reducing inflammation, and controlling muscles spasticity, among many others. When it comes to treating sleep disorders, marijuana helps by allowing the person to:

1. Fall asleep faster. Consuming the right dosage of marijuana has been proven to help people fall asleep faster. As early as 1973, studies have shown that marijuana consumption can reduce the average time it takes for insomniacs to fall asleep. This means spending less time counting sheep or staring at the ceiling.

2. Breathe easily while sleeping. Sleep apnea is characterized by changes in one’s breathing pattern while sleeping. The condition may cause people to pause breathing for a few seconds to a few minutes. It is estimated that 25 million people in the US alone suffer from sleep apnea. The THC and CBD in marijuana help relax the lungs and muscles while during sleep, allowing the person to breathe evenly and easily. 

3. Find relief for stress. There’s a deep-rooted relationship between stress and sleep. Stress can keep a person from sleeping well, and lack of sleep can cause a person to become even more stressed. Marijuana consumption can help end this negative cycle by reducing anxiety and stress. In case of patients with PTSD, marijuana offers relief by reducing the occurrence and severity of flashbacks, nightmares, and nightsweats. If you’re finding it hard to relax after a stressful day or week, you can use marijuana extracts to treat yourself to a relaxing CBD sleep.

4. Manage pain better. Sleeping can be quite a challenge if you’re dealing with chronic pain that is caused by inflammation, tension on the muscles, or existing injuries. People have different reactions to pain medicine, and some types of pain may even be resistant to certain drugs and pain medications. Also, some drugs have serious side effects and can be addictive, which may make the patient a bit apprehensive when taking them. Marijuana has been shown to relieve pain and inflammation, and its effects can last for several hours, especially if it is taken orally. Also, using too much marijuana does not lead to fatal reactions, unlike overdosing on opioids, which claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015.

5. Have fun while undergoing treatment. THC shares a similar structure to anandamide, a neurotransmitter that’s known for inducing feelings of bliss and joy. Also known as the bliss molecule, anandamide is partially responsible for the happy feeling you get after exercising or eating chocolate. Due to their similar structure, it is believed that THC can produce the same effect as anandamide in the human body. This, then, leads to a more blissful and restful sleep.

It’s important to note the THC:CBD ratio of the cannabis product you are going to use. Depending on the effect you want to experience, you may need to go for THC-rich strains for a stronger high. If you’re after the relaxing effects of cannabis, it is best to find a product that has more CBD than THC. Regardless of your preferred marijuana strain or product, you'd still want to buy from a legal distributor to ensure the quality of your weed or weed extracts.

Thanks to growing support for the legalization of marijuana, people with sleep disorders now have more options to help them overcome their sleeping problem. If you're one of those people, you can finally rest assured that you can sleep like a baby whenever you please.  

SLEEP Is Designed To Prime You For Rest And An Excellent Night’s Slumber.