a cannabis flower next to a jar full of cannabis used to help with sleep

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Can Cannabis Help Your Sleep?

For thousands of years, cannabis has been used as a sleep aid. In fact, many people say it makes you drowsy. However, there are quite a few factors that contribute to sleep issues. Does cannabis help you fall asleep faster or sleep better? Or is it more complicated than that? If you are interested in cannabis as a natural sleep aid, we are going to go over some facts about cannabis and sleep. And, hopefully, answer the question for you, does cannabis help you sleep?

What makes us feel sleepy?

Many of our biological processes take place every 24 hours, including our wake-sleep cycles. These patterns are referred to as circadian rhythms Circadian rhythms are seen in humans, animals, and even plants and bacteria. One way our body knows when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up is based on cues from the sun and moon. When it’s daylight we feel more wakeful, and when the sun sets, we felt sleepy.

The sun and moon cause biological processes to happen in our body such as inducing melatonin production, a hormone that helps us fall asleep. But in today’s homes and workplaces, most of us don’t get these natural cues. We are exposed to artificial lighting, caffeine consumption, and stress, which disrupt our natural sleep cycles.

How cannabis helps with sleep.

The cannabis plant has been used as a sleep aid long before we had homes with electricity or any of the modern-day issues that disrupt our natural sleep rhythms. Cannabis has a sedating effect for many people and it’s why so many use it to help them sleep. There’s a lot of evidence to support its use as a sleep aid.

Researchers believe that the reason cannabis makes us sleepy is because of the interaction between cannabis and cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When cannabis binds to receptors in our brain, it signals our brain to increase the adenosine levels in our brain. Caffeine has the opposite effect on adenosine and blocks adenosine receptors, which makes you feel more alert and awake. 

Cannabis may help with our sleep cycles in two ways, by increasing the amount of the sleep-inducing adenosine our brain produces and by suppressing our brain’s arousal system.

Cannabis contains several compounds that affect our sleep and sleep cycles.

Cannabis contains several cannabinoids. The ones we hear about most are TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), but there are also several minor cannabinoids that affect the way we sleep. What’s interesting is that THC is typically considered sedating, but for some people, it can have a stimulating effect in higher doses. CBD tends to promote alertness at low doses and makes people feel drowsy at higher dosages.

Both CBD and THC have been shown to help with sleep.  One recent study published in the journal Medicines collected data on 409 people who struggled with insomnia. It found that treatment with the cannabis flower was effective at decreasing insomnia symptoms in these patients. 

Along with CBD and THC, another minor cannabinoid that many have heard little about is CBN, or cannabinol. It is not produced at high levels naturally, but has been shown to have strong sedative effects when combined with THC. This is because cannabinoids often work better together. It is also interesting to note that when researchers first studied the cannabis plant, they thought CBN was the psychoactive cannabinoid that caused you to feel high.

Does cannabis help you sleep?

Cannabis may help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer. One recent study found that cannabis reduces the time to fall asleep. People who used cannabis before bed fell asleep an average of thirty minutes faster. And, according to the study, even when people rarely have problems sleeping, cannabis helps them to fall asleep faster than without cannabis.

At Fifth Element, we carry a wide variety of cannabis products such as vapes, flowers, concentrates, and edibles. Our staff is available to answer your questions and help you find the best cannabis products for your individual needs, whether you’re looking for something to help you sleep or just relax.

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