The benefits of cannabis for sleep make it the perfect alternative to pharmaceutical sleep aids.

Why We Love The Dreamy Advantages Of Cannabis For Sleep

  • The benefits of cannabis for sleep could make it the natural alternative to Big Pharma drugs you’ve been looking for.
  • Cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN all play a role in helping you both fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Learn all the ways you can take advantage of cannabis for sleep.

8-minute read

An All-Natural Alternative to Sleep Aids

Getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t sound like a dream. Whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, not getting enough rest can take a toll on your daily life. If you’re looking for a natural substitute for prescription medications or over-the-counter sleep aids, you might want to consider cannabis for sleep. Did you know people have been studying the use of cannabis for sleep since the 1800s? So, it’s not surprising that 11% of US consumers report that their primary motivation for using cannabis is for better sleep, according to a 2023 study released by New Frontier Data.

Does Using Cannabis For Sleep Really Work?

Pharmaceutical sleep aids have some pretty crummy side effects. So it’s no surprise that 75% of adults who take these kinds of meds want to reduce their use of Big Pharma sleep drugs. Many consumers, including us, find that using cannabis for sleep can be a fantastic alternative. Cannabis has a sedative effect that can maximize relaxation and help us drift easily off to dreamland. It also can help with staying asleep throughout the night. But, maybe most importantly, the majority of people who consume cannabis for sleep report that it helps them get some zzz’s without leaving them hazy in the morning.

Using cannabis for sleep might help you get more non-REM sleep.

A Quick Recap of Our Sleep Cycles

It’s probably been a minute since you took high school biology. So, let’s start with a quick recap of our sleep cycles to better understand the benefits of using cannabis for sleep. Our bodies shift between rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep throughout the night. Non-REM sleep is divided into 3 stages: falling asleep, light sleep, and deep sleep. Regularly completing this cycle is most important for physical recovery and feeling well-rested. On the other hand, REM sleep, where we experience vivid dreams, is vital for processing emotions and promoting healthy brain development. Recent studies suggest that cannabis may increase the amount of time you spend in non-REM cycles.

THC For Sleep

While cannabis can impact both falling and staying asleep, each cannabinoid can affect your sleep cycle differently. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is probably the most recognizable cannabinoid, and it plays a big role in how cannabis improves your snooze. Of course, it’s also the compound that makes you feel high. But the sedative effects of THC are notable, too. When we use cannabis for sleep, THC aids the body’s transition from wakefulness to sleep and regulates sleep-wake cycles. Without getting overly technical, THC connects with CB1 receptors in the brain. Those receptors play a role in managing our sleep-wake states. Basically, THC nudges us into sleep and encourages a good night’s rest throughout the night.

CBD For Sleep

If you’re looking for the calming benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive buzz of THC, CBD is the way to go. CBD is a popular cannabinoid that supports sleep without the high. That’s why CBD is much more widely available than THC products are. Most of us can even buy it online. (Check out our personally vetted CBD faves here.) Studies have shown that CBD can increase your total sleep time and contribute to helping you feel more awake during the day, too. It’s also linked to promoting generally more restful sleep—something all of us can benefit from!

CBN For Sleep

You might be thinking, “Ummm, what’s CBN?” CBN, or cannabinol, is just another cannabinoid. Similar to THC and CBD, it’s one of the many active compounds in cannabis. While it’s not as well-known, CBN was actually the first cannabinoid ever discovered—way back in 1899. As THC breaks down over time, it forms CBN. It’s been reported that, when used together, CBN and THC improve the overall quality of sleep. In fact, study participants found that, on average, they slept nearly 30 extra minutes per night! Added bonus? Like CBD, CBN is legally available for purchase in every state.

Using cannabis for sleep can result in a more restful slumber.

How Should I Use Cannabis for Sleep?

The effectiveness of cannabis for sleep depends a lot on the type of cannabis you’re consuming and how you’re doing it. From smoking and vaping to edibles, tinctures, and sublinguals, there’s plenty of options to choose from. But which is right for you? First, consider your needs. Are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you need fast relief, or long lasting effects? Let’s lay it all out.

Deep Breaths of Relief

We’ve all been there. It’s past midnight, and you’ve been tossing and turning for 2 hours. Now your anxiety is starting to spike because every minute that passes is one less minute of the rest you deserve. If you want to feel the effects of cannabis as quickly as possible, smoking and vaping are the way you’ll want to go. So, if your main issue is getting to sleep, inhalation could be the best option for you. It provides more immediate relief and can ease the anxiety that spikes when you can’t fall asleep.

When the Night Calls

Along the same lines, it can be frustrating to wake up throughout the night. Waiting for a sleep aid to take effect at 2:30 in the morning is hardly desirable. So, you might choose to inhale if it’s too late to take a sleep aid or if you have to wake up early. That’s because the effects from inhalation also dissipate the fastest—normally, in a few hours. By inhaling, you’ll get to sleep quickly and you won’t have to worry about waking up high.

Eating for Sleep

If puffing isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Edibles and tinctures are fantastic alternatives to inhalation. In fact, as routine sleep aids, they might even steal the spotlight. First, there’s no risk to your lungs. Second, when you ingest cannabis, your body processes it in an entirely different way. Your digestive system actually multiples the effects of THC when your liver processes it. That means you get more bang for your buck. Edibles also play the long game. Ingesting releases cannabinoids into your body more slowly for a more prolonged, dreamy effect. For those of us who struggle to stay asleep through the night, that’s a huge benefit.

All the Sleep, None of the High

CBD-dominant and CBN isolate products (like oils, tinctures, and capsules) are perfect options if you want the benefits of cannabis for sleep without feeling high. Isolate involves the harvest of single cannabinoids—like CBD or CBN—from the cannabis plant. This process filters out other cannabinoids and plant compounds. So, you can pick and choose what’s right for you.

House of Puff's Serenity Spritz is an exciting new way to use cannabis for sleep

The Best of Both Worlds

Finally, If you’re looking for something that bridges the gap between inhalation and ingestion, try a sublingual like The Spritz. Unlike edibles, sublinguals are absorbed underneath the tongue. So they bypass the digestive system and avoid that boost that THC gets in the liver. Bypassing the digestive system also means that sublinguals will kick in a lot faster than an edible. This is particularly helpful when you don’t have the time to wait for an edible to kick in but also don’t want to smoke or vape.

Which Cannabis Flower Works Best for Sleep?

Different cannabis strains can have a wide array of effects. And new science calls into question the old divide between sativa as cannabis A.M. and indica as cannabis P.M. For a full breakdown of some of our favorite cannabis strains, check out our strain guide. So, if you want to use flower for sleep, there’s a few things to remember.

Balancing the Right Ratio

Research suggests that balancing a high dose of CBD with a low dose of THC maximizes the therapeutic effects of cannabis for sleep. Since CBN is often associated with THC, high-THC strains like Death Bubba, Platinum Kush and Bubblegum can contain CBN. But check the label to see what testing reveals about the levels in that specific cultivation. Also, if THC levels are too high in any strain, cannabis can produce a stimulating effect. So, if you want to take advantage of CBN, choosing an isolate product with low THC could be the right way to go for you.

Our Fave Cannabis Products for Sleep

We’ve tried it all! There’s a ton of different products out there touting the benefits of cannabis for sleep. Here are some of the top contenders that you might want to try. They include a few of the permanent staples on our nightstands. Keep in mind that, in the US, legal cannabis has to be grown and processed in the state where it’s sold. So, the availability of these products will vary depending on where you live.

House of Puff Serenity Spritz

If you’re in New York, you definitely have to go pick up our sublingual spray, The Spritz. Its 1:1:1 THC to CBD to CBN ratio helps you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. Each pump is 1mg, so you can tailor your dose to match exactly what you need.

oHHo Blackberry Hush Dots

oHHo’s Blackberry Hush Dots are our gold standard. This delicious blackberry treat is enhanced by balanced 5mg doses of THC and CBN plus 25mg of CBD.

Rose Los Angeles Rose Delights

These Rose Delights are also a must try. Formulated with a holistic approach, they don’t contain any isolates or additives. So, the flower’s natural flavor and terpenes are preserved for maximum effect. Added bonus: they taste like really good Turkish Delight!

Potli Dream Honey

Dream Honey from Potli offers a different way to take advantage of cannabis for sleep. Mix it into your evening tea or drizzle it over your dessert and enjoy the way you glide into dreamland.

There are so many ways to take advantage of the benefits of cannabis for sleep

What Else Do You Need to Know about Using Cannabis for Sleep?

While cannabis can offer benefits for sleep, it’s still important to know about any potential drawbacks. Research about cannabis for sleep is still fairly limited, and cannabis can affect individuals differently. So, finding the right dose and strain for you might take some trial and error. Also, regular use can build up your cannabis tolerance. So, you might need more over time to experience the same effects. If you’re new to cannabis, remember to always “start low and go slow” when it comes to dosing, especially with edibles.

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These

Our dreams occur during REM sleep. Because THC can shorten the time spent in REM, regular cannabis users might not remember as many of their dreams. This can be especially therapeutic for people dealing with PTSD because it reduces nightmares and sleep disturbances.

Cannabis for Sleep in the Long Term

As with other medicines, consuming cannabis for sleep over the long term can have diminishing returns. And we do mean the long term. For some of us, the same 5mg gummies have been working for years. But, over time, you might discover that you need higher potencies than you’re comfortable with to get the same results. In that case, just take a tolerance break from cannabis for 4-6 weeks. We suggest that long because your body takes about 45 days to completely eliminate cannabis from your system. But, once it has, you should be able to start back up with a small dose to get a good night’s rest again.

Infuse Your Snooze With Cannabis for Sleep

Sleep and cannabis make a dreamy combination. When it comes to using cannabis for sleep, there’s a lot to be excited about. Cannabis can be wonderfully calming and help you luxuriate in deep, rejuvenating sleep. While there aren’t 1-size-fits-all solutions, cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN offer tremendous promise for those seeking an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical sleep aids. So, if you’re looking for a natural approach to support your slumber, exploring the benefits of cannabis for sleep could be a game-changer.

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