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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis For Sleep

According to the 2019 World Drug Report, about 200 million people smoke marijuana. The number is still rising. And, with more US states accepting marijuana use for medical purposes, people are considering the herb as a natural alternative to opioid medications, sleep pills, and other prescription drugs.

There’s scientific evidence that cannabis can help in managing various conditions, such as pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. To access medical marijuana legally, you require a doctor’s recommendation.

Medical Marijuana For Sleep

Sleep plays a key role in overall health. It provides relaxation and helps in healing the blood vessels. Sleep deficiency can increase the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Moreover, research says that lack of sleep can lead to common mental illnesses, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Marijuana contains medicinal properties, which can help boost sleep, relieve pain, anxiety, etc. Medical use of the herb is legal in 33 states, currently. And, you can buy, possess and use cannabis with a medical marijuana card signed by an MMJ doctor Oceanside.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system, also called ECS, is a complex system that exists in the body. It’s responsible for regulating a wide range of functions, including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, etc. In other words, the ECS helps in the proper functioning of the body.

The system comprises three main components-


These are chemical compounds that are naturally produced in the body. They are similar to cannabinoids present in marijuana plants. Researchers have found two important endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). 

Endocannabinoid Receptors

Endocannabinoid receptors are found in different parts of the body. The endocannabinoids bind to these receptors to perform an action. There are two types of receptors in the body, i.e. CB1 and CB2 receptors. 


They break down endocannabinoids after they perform their functions. The two important enzymes are monoacylglycerol acid lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase.

The marijuana plant comprises more than 100 cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. When you consume these phytocannabinoids, they bind to cannabinoid receptors, just like endocannabinoids. This helps in altering functions, such as sleep, mood, memory, appetite, etc.

CBD vs Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone linked to sleep. The body produces melatonin when the sun is about to set. The function of the hormone is to tell the body that it’s time to relax and feel drowsy. That’s the reason why doctors recommend sleeping in a dark room to sleep soundly.

Lack of production of melatonin can lead to sleep disturbances. So, melatonin supplements are used as an effective sleep remedy. The supplements work by correcting the imbalances, thus boosting sleep.

When using melatonin supplements for sleep, getting the right dose is important. Otherwise, you may feel drowsy the next morning. Also, melatonin supplements are considered as dietary supplements, thus they don’t get heavy regulations from the FDA. They may contain more amounts of melatonin than what’s advertised.

On the other hand, CBD is known for providing relaxing and calming effects naturally. It can help in managing sleep disorders such as insomnia without causing high effects as THC. It can help in alleviating anxiety, aches, and pains. There are many ways to consume CBD, such as oils, tinctures, and edibles.

It’s important to note that CBD may not be effective if the sleep problems are caused by hormonal imbalances. So, it’s good to talk to a licensed MMJ doctor Oceanside to get sound advice for managing sleep problems.

Medical Studies

There are many studies supporting that cannabis is effective for improving sleep. Listed below are some of them-

According to a study published in 2008, high-THC strains can help in reducing the amount of REM sleep, and promoting deep sleep. The herb is beneficial for patients with PTSD to reduce nightmares.

Another study examined the effects of cannabis use in 147 participants with or without sleep problems. Researchers reported that marijuana helped in improving sleep.

In a survey of patients with anxiety (47) and sleep problems (25), researchers analyzed the effects of CBD use after a month. It was noted that ⅔ of the participants improved sleep. However, ⅓ of the participants reported worsening of symptoms.

A 2013 study reported that dronabinol (2.5-10 mg daily dose) is a safe, effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dronabinol is a synthetic form of THC. However, more research is needed to find how exactly marijuana works for managing OSA.

Choose The Right Strain & Dose

There are different types of strains, high-THC, high-CBD, and balanced THC & CBD. To alleviate your symptoms, you need to get the right strains by checking the levels of cannabinoids.

To find what’s right for you, try different strains with varying cannabinoid profiles. Make a cannabis journal and note down your experiences with each strain. This will help you figure out what’s right for you.

Additionally, dosage is important. Medical experts believe that using different doses of the same strain can deliver different results. So, always consult an MMJ doctor Oceanside for professional advice.

Related- A Beginner’s Guide to Being Safe With Cannabis

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Despite many health benefits, cannabis use can also cause addiction by influencing the reward centers of the brain. When you smoke cannabis, THC causes releasing more dopamine, which triggers the brain’s reward system, thus remembering and repeating the action.

Some of the common signs of marijuana addiction are-

  • Continue using cannabis even after experiencing negative effects
  • Lack of control and unable to stop cannabis use
  • Abandoning social activities

Moreover, patients can build a high tolerance to the substance. That means, they need to consume higher amounts to experience high effects.

Some medical studies have found that teens and young adults are more likely to experience the negative effects of marijuana.

Natural Ways to Boost Sleep

Exercise Regularly

Science says that when you exercise, the body releases endorphins—the feel-good chemicals. These chemicals are effective in reducing stress and pain. Moreover, exercising can help boost mental health.

Change Your Diet

Avoid eating certain foods and beverages containing caffeine. Eat a light meal a few hours before going to bed. Some of the best foods you can add in your diet for boosting sleep are—almonds, walnuts, white rice, chamomile tea, and kiwi.

Quit Smoking

Researcher says that smoking can increase the risks of sleep apnea and some other health issues, which can cause sleep problems. Quitting smoking can help you improve sleep and overall health.

Control Exposure to Light

Melatonin is effective in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. And, the body produces melatonin in the dark. So, you should prefer sleeping in a dark room. Additionally, avoid using a smartphone or laptop before going to bed.

Key Takeaways

Marijuana can help boost sleep effectively. It contains chemical compounds that bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, thus changing various bodily functions including sleep, mood, and appetite. Research says that medical marijuana can ease pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and various other conditions that are linked to sleep problems.

Before you use cannabis for sleep, increasing your knowledge about your condition is important. Choose the right stains and dose properly to receive the desired medicinal effects and avoid negative effects such as dependence. 

Apply for MMJ recs to access medical marijuana legally. Now, you can see an MMJ doctor Oceanside online. Here’s the process-

  • Sign up an account
  • Talk to the doctor online
  • Receive an MMJ rec letter via email