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February 25, 2022

When you think of self-care, you probably think bubble baths, candles, and face masks, but there is perhaps nothing more important than getting a good night of sleep if you want to stay refreshed and revitalized. Cannabis can be a helpful aid if you’re struggling in your relationship with sleep.

Taking on the day starts with a good night of rest. A consistent sleeping routine can help manage anxiety and sluggishness so that you’re ready for the daily stresses of life! Unfortunately the quality and amount of our sleep is often the first thing that suffers when we’re under stress, causing even more anxiety and exhaustion. For those that suffer from issues with sleep, certain calming strains of cannabis may just be your new best friend.

What prevents sleep?

It’s increasingly common to suffer from sleep issues. According to Healthline, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders every year. Things like keeping a good diet, getting plenty of exercise, and spending less time looking at screens are all key for maintaining ideal physical and mental health, but we know that the realities of our daily lives often make these things difficult. So where does cannabis come into play to help manage it?

Does cannabis help or hinder sleep?

Cannabis, with its reported effects of easing anxiety and calming the body, has been known to reduce those inhibitions that prevent sleep. The THC in cannabis flower, the cannabinoid that produces the “high” feeling, is what helps bring on that sleepiness.

Meanwhile, preliminary studies are suggesting there is some connection with cannabidiol’s (CBD) effectiveness with sleep disorders. One study showed that 42.5% of people using CBD regularly do so for help with sleep, and it's working. Researchers are also starting to examine the tandem effects of CBD and other cannabinoids, like cannabinol (CBN.)

However, studies prove conflicting points as to the effectiveness of cannabis as a sleeping aid. According to WebMD, some studies have shown that while cannabis can be a quick-fix solution to sleeping longer without interruption, the long-term impact on the quality of rest is up for debate. 

Other studies suggest that THC can suppress REM sleep, but whether that’s a bad thing is inconclusive. REM, or “rapid eye movement” is the stage of sleep where you’ll have intense dreams. During REM, the brain activity increases, meaning sleep is not as deep. But if reducing REM sleep by consuming THC means reducing dreams, you could spend less time dreaming and more time in a “deep sleep” state, (which is thought to be the most restorative, restful part of the sleep cycle). For those who experience PTSD, it could mean reducing nightmares too. And if you’re a heavy THC consumer who’s taken a break, you’ll likely be familiar with REM rebound, or the return of vivid and unusual dreams as your mind becomes reacquainted with the REM stage of sleeping.

It’s also been reported that cannabis use before bed contributes to the morning canna-hangover. We recommend always starting with a lower dose to avoid that groggy morning feeling! 

The best strains and consumption methods for sleep

Generally, indica strains - such as our Black Mamba or GG #4 - are considered to be the go-to if you’re looking to calm down your body and mind, and bring on that sleepy sensation. However, in recent years, research has shown that looking specifically at the effects of certain terpene profiles is a more accurate way of determining what kind of cannabis experience you’re likely to have. Look for strains that have a heavy presence of these terpenes:

  • Caryophyllene: Can reduces pain and quells stress. Amherst Sour Diesel, Headband, and GG #4 are high in caryophyllene.
  • Myrcene: Can act as an anti-inflammatory and rich with tranquilizing effects. Apple Fritter, Blue Dream and Granddaddy Purple are high in myrcene.
  • Limonene: Can be anxiety-reducing and has been shown to increase the duration of sleep. Black Mamba and MAC1 are high in limonene.

Terpenes are not just found in cannabis, but are naturally present in other spices and flowers, such as linalool in lavender! According to Leafly, this might be helpful in understanding how pairing cannabis with other natural sleep-inducing aids, such as tea, can prove to be effective. 

When it comes to consuming cannabis for sleep, the most important thing to remember is that plant-based medicine works for everyone in different ways. We recommend starting with a low dose and experimenting with what works for you. (See our guide on microdosing!) 

Pro tip: Timing is everything. Give yourself plenty of time before bed for the cannabis to kick in, and always test your dosage on the weekend or whenever you don’t have to worry about any next-day commitments.

If vaping or smoking flower isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of ways to consume and get your beauty sleep. We recommend tinctures, edibles, and even drinkables! Though they may take longer to kick in than smoking, they can be more effective in keeping you snoozing throughout the night. Check out our limited edition Blackberry Lemon IHP Fruit Chews for a relaxing, soothing experience.

If you’re new to the world of pairing plant-based medicine with sleep, stop by your local Massachusetts Temescal Wellness dispensaries, located in Framingham, Pittsfield and Hudson to talk out what you need! Our PSAs are there to help match you with the right strains, consumption methods and instructions to ensure a smooth, successful experience. If you’re placing your order online, feel free to reach out to info-ma@temescalwellness.com for any questions you may have.

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Educational Information about Cannabis from Temescal Wellness


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