Most regular cannabis consumers know that Indica strains provide more of a “body high.” These strains are preferred if you are looking to relax and sleep. Sativa strains are provide a more upbeat experience and can often interfere with sleep.
Falling asleep is as easy as laying down and closing your eyes. But about 40 million Americans have some sort of sleep issues and marijuana can help, but first, let’s explain exactly why does marijuana make you sleepy.
Ask your budtender for help identifying “sleep strains.” You may have to do a little of trial and error before you find the right strain for you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers sleep apnea and other related disorders as a dangerously hidden public health issue. According to the CDC, “persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”
Studies have also found that cannabis is effective for treating nightmares in military personnel with PTSD. Many veterans use cannabis as a sleep aid in order to keep the nightmares at bay. If you suffer from PTSD or anxiety, cannabis may work for you.
Before you grab your bong, here are a few things you should know:
The science of why cannabis promotes sleep is not entirely clear, but some research suggests that the terpenes in cannabis are doing the work. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in marijuana and they interact with your body in favorable ways.
The downside of edibles? Since the cannabinoids are processed differently and stay in your system longer, you may wake up still feeling the effects of the dose. Typically, the high dissipates after a hot shower and a cup of coffee or tea.
- Daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged” or light-headed
- Tired feeling, loss of coordination
- Stuffy nose, dry mouth, nose or throat irritation
- Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach
- Headache, muscle pain
What you need to know about THC and CBD and Zzzz's
The best way to manage cannabis sedation is simply to pick a strain that doesn’t make you tired. As opposed to indica strains, sativa strains boost your energy levels. If you don’t want that extra lift, you can choose a hybrid strain that balances the effects of sativa and indica strains.
If you don’t use marijuana medicine as a sleep aid, you have many options for managing the drowsiness. Patients who deal with sleepiness from weed medication usually don’t have to discontinue their treatment once they figure out how to handle it.
Just about any kind of marijuana product can make you feel sleepy, but some are more likely to do so than others.
While THC causes the “high” we associate with cannabis, CBD does not. In large doses, THC can make you tired after you feel the initial high. It communicates with the receptors in your body and brain related to your sleep/wake cycle. As it interacts with those receptors, it causes a feeling of sleepiness.
Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
To understand how marijuana causes tiredness, we have to delve a bit into the chemistry behind it. Cannabis contains numerous components called cannabinoids. When we talk about cannabinoids, we usually look at the two most prevalent ones in the marijuana plant: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Also, medications that affect the entire body or brain tend to cause sleepiness more than other ones. These include edibles and patches.
In the case that you must use a medication that causes sleepiness, you can try taking it before your bedtime. You can sleep off the drowsiness. If you can’t take your medication before bed, take the same precautions that you would with any drug that causes sleepiness. Don’t operate anything that can cause harm like a car or heavy machinery.
Other side effects generally don’t help patients, but they tend to be mild and easy to handle. These include giddiness, anxiety and memory issues.
Learn why some cannabis users experience drowsiness as a side effect and how to combat side effects to get the most out of your cannabis.