Marijuana-based sleep aids are becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for insomnia. Additionally, researchers are interested in the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana as a sleep aid.
Some researchers are trying to prove that the long-term consumption or occasional consumption of marijuana is good for sleep. As per claims of the sleep foundation, approximately 70 percent of young adults are getting benefits from the effects of marijuana to sleep.
Some studies proved that it helps to cure conditions like insomnia, pain, sleep disorders, and anxiety. The result came out when the participants felt improvement in these conditions.
So, the question is, what happens when you sleep high? Does marijuana aid sleep or act as a barrier to good sleep?
How Marijuana Affects Human sleep?
There are numerous impacts of marijuana on the human body. It can induce feelings of lightness, hunger, joy, sickness, or in this case, sleepiness. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary component of marijuana. This molecule brings on the psychological impacts of marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that our systems naturally produce cannabinoid compounds, and marijuana pushes them into overdrive.
Numerous negative health impacts are possible by marijuana use to aid in sleep. It may influence your sleep cycle, REM sleep, sleep apnea, and sleep quality. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can support these factors, which leads to improved sleep.
The University of Michigan conducted research on this issue. The result came out that the higher frequency of smoking weed by individuals leads to sleep problems and deficiency. The research applied to a total of 98 individuals of three categories. Their categories include a non-user control group, daily users, and non-daily users of marijuana use.
The results were shocking because the daily marijuana users noticed high insomnia problems compared to the non-daily consumers. So, the higher consumption of even medical marijuana leads to poor sleep and several sleeping problems.
What Are The Impacts Of Marijuana On REM Sleep?
Rapid Eye Movement, often known as REM sleep, is the last phase of our sleep cycles. Dreams take place at this phase. Smoking prior to sleep decreases REM sleep and dreams. However, the reason behind it is still unknown. Some claim it’s because marijuana has a propensity to blunt dopamine responses. Our focus is guided by dopamine, which also gives rise to dreams.
Your dreams are likely to return with feelings of extreme resentment if you suddenly cease smoking after doing it for a prolonged period without having dreams or even having minor dream episodes. This is due to smokers occasionally regaining very unstable levels of dopamine sensitivity.
After smoking, many people claim not to have any dreams while they are sleeping. If they do, they won’t be able to recall them. Those who have smoked for a month or more practically every night typically experiences this situation.
Marijuana And Its Impacts On Sleep Apnea
Breathing irregularities while sleeping is known as sleep apnea. Millions of people are suffering from this situation which makes them extremely tired because they aren’t getting enough sleep. According to a study conducted in 2002, marijuana use before bed may be able to prevent sleep apnea.
A person with sleep apnea may frequently wake up during the night. Lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems, including moodiness, headaches, an increased risk of accidents, and other physical problems.
Over the course of 21 days, 17 people took part in a different study. This investigation evaluated the effectiveness of the THC-imitating cannabinoid “dronabinol.” 15 of these 17 persons showed improvement in their sleep apnea. A different study revealed a rise in respiratory stability.
How Marijuana Changes Your Sleep Cycle
We go through 4 phases of sleep, including REM, as you probably are aware. These stages all have a different impact on how we sleep. Let’s dissect them.
The body enters a comfortable sleep during this phase, which lasts for the first few minutes before we truly fall asleep. If a person is in pain or under stress, this period may last longer than the typical seven minutes. Marijuana is popular for its calming and soothing properties. So, it seems that marijuana would make you feel more relaxed and help you fall asleep faster.
Your brainwaves are slowing down at this point, and your eye movement has stopped. You fall into a light sleep. As a result, making it easier to wake you up. Nobody is certain why this stage appears to be the least influenced by marijuana.
The Third and Fourth Phase
Slow waves of sleep identify these phases. These stages appear to be the most stimulating of the four stages because they come under a single stage. The consumption of cannabis lengthens this period as well. This might be related to a greater decline in beta-amyloid, a compound that has a frequent link to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although additional research is necessary, which is difficult given that marijuana is legal, it still appears promising.
Your breathing becomes faster, eyelids twitch, and the limb muscles temporarily become paralyzed during REM sleep. Dreaming slows down or stops when you smoke. Particularly if you don’t have dreams, it is less probable that you may awake from one. It is a deep sleep phase.
Influence of Marijuana On Human Sleep Quality
Marijuana has a wide range of physiological effects. The Human body contains a system known as the “endocannabinoid system,” which controls sleep patterns, among other things. As indicated above, marijuana contains these compounds as well. So how does everything fit together to benefit you?
Becoming Sleepy is Simpler
This approach has been verified by researchers. People smoke when they are anxious or hurt. They can become sleepy after only one or two hits.
Early marijuana study demonstrates that THC can speed up the process of falling asleep for both healthy persons and those who suffer from insomnia. In research on healthy individuals conducted in 2013, THC was discovered to facilitate sleep.
Longer and Deeper Sleep
People identify this condition of longer and deeper sleep patterns after a marijuana dose. When you ask them how they slept the night before, the response is always the same: “Great.” They no longer wake up during the middle of the night, toss and turn less, and feel rested when they wake up.
Early research suggests that using THC or CBD can improve sleep. According to one study, an increasing THC dose enhanced the length of time spent sleeping. A word of caution: very high THC doses can give you the sense that you drank all evening and just slept for an hour.
THC can enhance the quantity of slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep, which we need to sleep longer and deeper. Experiencing that deep sleep is crucial for both our health and our moods since it plays a significant role in our recovery process when we sleep.
Which Kind Of Marijuana Is Useful for Sleep?
Cannabis comes in a variety of strains, each of which has a unique effect. Indica and Sativa strains are the most widely used types.
Some people believe that indica is more soothing and may contribute to a sense of relaxation and drowsiness. When it comes to pain relief, relaxation, and sleep, people seem to prefer indica.
Sativa is believed to be more energizing and might provide some people with a euphoric high. Individuals usually utilize it to improve their energy.
Indica may be regarded as the ideal cannabis type for sleep due to its calming properties. On the other hand, Sativa might be preferable for those who consume cannabis to prevent nightmares. Depending on the precise composition of cannabinoids and other chemicals, hybrid strains containing a combination of indica, and sativa may generate a variety of effects.
Consumers’ subjective impressions of the effects of various cannabis varieties are the primary basis for distinguishing sativa from indica. According to some experts, the variability in THC level and other components in any given product is more important than the distinction between indica and sativa strains21.
Risks Of Taking Marijuana For Sleep
Cannabis may accelerate your ability to fall asleep if used briefly. Such natural sleep aids have the possibility that could have an adverse effect on your sleep quality and result in other side effects. So, health professionals typically do not advise using sleep aids, especially cannabis, on a long-term basis.
According to studies, those who utilize cannabis as a sleep aid on a regular basis may become tolerant to its sedative effects. They require higher doses to achieve the same benefits. Heavy cannabis usage, especially over an extended period, may have negative effects on sleep, such as:
- It takes longer to fall asleep
- Overall, less sleep
- A shorter period of profound sleep
- Frequent waking up
According to one study, using large amounts of THC at midnight can have undesirable side effects the next day, like drowsiness and memory loss. Other sleep-related adverse effects of cannabis withdrawal include bizarre dreams, trouble getting asleep, and a reduction in the amount of time spent in deep sleep.
Cannabis use over an extended period may have negative health impacts. According to studies, the drug may decrease your brain’s gray matter volume and raise your risk of developing chronic bronchitis when smoked. Additionally, medical professionals advise against consuming cannabis if you are a nursing or pregnant woman.
Guide To Using Marijuana For Sleep Problems
Your healthcare practitioner can offer the best advice based on your requirements and medical background if you choose to try cannabis as a sleep aid. However, being aware of the other natural sleep aids choices accessible is beneficial.
Suitable Marijuana Strains
You can consume, vaporize, ingest, smoke, or even apply marijuana in the form of oil. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. Smokers who are anxious about how smoking may affect their lungs could choose to abstain from doing so.
The amount of active THC that will enter your bloodstream depends on the type of cannabis you are using. This is known as bioavailability. As the THC reaches your system immediately when you inhale cannabis, it typically has a high bioavailability. In contrast, the digestive process causes edibles to lose a large quantity of THC. Cannabis can have solubility levels as high as 56% when you smoke them. Moreover, the ratio will be low when you orally consume them, such as 4% to 20%.
Best Time to Consume Marijuana
It is important to keep in mind that different strains of cannabis also take longer or shorter to start working when selecting one. In general, you start to feel the effects of cannabis almost immediately after smoking it. However, edibles may take longer to take action because they must first pass through your digestive system.
Cannabis smoke has a wide range of effects depending on the user, the duration and frequency of inhalations, among other variables. The fact that THC levels often peak after ten minutes may be useful.
Role Of Effects You Notice
You might need to test before discovering the format, amount, and timing that are effective for you. The reason is that cannabis comes in a number of strains and affects people differently. THC is a psychotropic substance that frequently has other health impacts besides aiding in sleep. You could experience drowsiness, relaxation, euphoria, or vigor.
Some users of cannabinoids may also experience hallucinations, lethargy, dry mouth, vomiting, nausea, disorientation, and nausea. Additionally, anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia are possible.
As you can see, marijuana has some beneficial impacts on your body based on numerous studies, research papers, and clinical trials. The only way you could experience a negative effect is if you smoked it excessively.
Marijuana is the most natural option if you frequently experience unmanageable pain or simply need to sleep better. Put the alcohol, sleeping pills, and sleeping medications away. Don’t worry if you’re still resistant to the thought of using marijuana to help you sleep. Choose a cozy mattress for yourself, cuddle up beside your spouse, and try to fall asleep.
The Medical community agrees that marijuana helps in sleep quicker, but long-term cannabis may suffer from the negative effects of marijuana. Sleeping high may sometimes feel like an alcohol hangover. However, it is necessary to force yourself to a tolerance break; otherwise, you will face more sleep problems.