The world of sleep is one that continues to be explored—there is so much yet to learn on topics like how exactly dreams work. But one thing’s for sure: we all need to sleep. The recommended 7-9 hours for an adult help with benefits in energy, recovery, and cognitive performance that are too important to write off in the long term.
Without a regular amount of shuteye, we can start to see ripples in the rest of our lives take effect. However, sleep is still hard to find for many of us. Whether it’s the stresses of the waking world keeping us up or personal symptoms making it hard to stay asleep, the struggle for that consistent 7-9 hours is one of the most common issues our members come to us with. Thankfully, cannabis is proven to be a powerful tool to keep one’s head on the pillow, and we have recommendations for a variety of different approaches to tackling insomnia.
What’s getting in the way of our sleep?
The first question on what to try should be if we know the cause of insomnia. As discussed in our article exploring the benefits of THC, different cannabinoids can be the right fit for different situations. For example, an anxious sleeper or someone experiencing inflammation might benefit from the effects of a CBD oil, while tense muscles or a restless mind would get some help unwinding with a higher THC dose.
There are other, lesser known cannabinoids that can help as well, such as the baker’s best friend of CBN: a close friend to THC that is a go-to sleep aid. Some of our members come to us having been taking a CBD product that hasn’t been working, and are able to find the help they’ve been looking for by introducing some THC or CBN into the mix. The opposite can also be true, so it’s important to discuss one’s symptoms with those well-versed in medical cannabis while trying to find the right fit and proper strains.
Finding the right solution at the perfect dose
Once we have a better idea on the cause of our sleeplessness, we should then ask: what kind of product should I be taking? Are you looking for something to keep you asleep for the whole night, or just a nudge in the right direction? The method in which we consume cannabis has some important effects on how it’s processed through the body. Smoke some dried flower, and the effects will hit like the wind, but with a faster come up. Ingest cannabis orally to experience a longer, often deeper relief that can go up to 8 hours as your body digests the product, just don’t expect to feel much in the first thirty minutes to an hour.
Sublingual ingestion acts as a nice in-between from smoking to ingestion—by sticking a product underneath your tongue, you will start to feel effects as the product absorbs into your blood stream within fifteen to forty five minutes, lasting for a few hours. Several of our extracts, oils, and tinctures can be taken orally or sublingually, making them a flexible product to suit your needs.
Finally, with the above selected, the question of how much product to dose with presents itself. Most of our products come with an average recommendation on the amount to take for the intended effects, but the most consistent thing we learn from our members is that everyone’s body has different needs. Some members require only a few drops of a tincture to start feeling tired, while others may need to double up on a dose to get there. Our blanket recommendation is to start dosing low with a product and to ramp up slowly when trying to find the right fit, aka ‘dose low, go slow’. You’ll have a much smoother experience if you work your way up to your perfect range.
Tackling The Pillows With Some Support
Sleep is a complex issue, with several interlocking barriers getting in the way of having the best relationship with it. As we can see with cannabis, there are also various factors to consider in tackling them. Ultimately, cannabis should be considered a sleep aid—something that can help our mind & body get to a place where it can relax and unwind—and not a catch-all solution to the pervasive issue of insomnia.
Working through some difficult conversations via counseling or complex pain with bodywork may help untangle the knots keeping us awake. There are even herbs besides Cannabis that can help located in our sister apothecary. The BC Compassion Club Society stands for a holistic approach to health, and our Distribution & Wellness Centre staff are here to work through the different ways to get that consistent full night of sleep we all deserve.
Healthline. Sian Ferguson, Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, RN on 4/24/2019. Can You Use Cannabis to Restore Your Natural Sleep Cycle? https://www.healthline.com/health/medical-marijuana/cannabis-for-sleeping?c=125459151057 (2021)
Weedmaps. Reviewed by Dr. Adie Rae, Ph.D on The difference between CBN vs CBD https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbn-vs-cbd (2021)
Project CBD. https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/cannabis-sleep-disturbances (2021)