Do you have a hard time falling sleep at night?
If so, you’re not alone. More than one-third of Americans (35.3 percent) report getting less than seven hours of sleep each night.
There are lots of natural remedies out there that claim to help with insomnia and poor sleep quality, but the cannabis plant appears to be one of the best for improving sleep.
Specific cannabinoids (compounds of the plant), including CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are highly effective at treating sleep issues. But, which one is the best?
If you’re having a hard time deciding between CBD vs THC for sleep, keep reading. All the information you need is explained below.
CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. This means that it will not get you high.
CBD offers a number of health benefits, and many people have been using it successfully over the last few years to treat conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to chronic pain and seizures.
Because CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, it’s often the preferred option for children, older adults, and people who simply don’t want to feel high but still want to experience the medicinal benefits that cannabis has to offer.
There are many different CBD products on the market that one can use to improve their sleep quality. Some of the most popular types of CBD products include:
Many CBD products are made from the hemp plant. Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant that contains very little THC.
Because it contains such a small amount of THC, hemp is legal to grow in the U.S. CBD products that contain CBD extracted from hemp are legal to sell and own in the U.S.
THC is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the psychoactive effects typically associated with consuming cannabis.
THC’s psychoactive effects are due to the fact that it binds to the body’s naturally present cannabinoid receptors. It specifically binds to the CB1 receptors, which are present primarily in the brain and spinal cord.
By binding to the CB1 receptors, THC affects several different parts of the brain, including the areas associated with memory, thinking, coordination, pleasure, and perception of time.
When these areas of the brain are activated, THC can cause the following effects:
THC offers a lot of health benefits, just like CBD. However, THC also offers some unpleasant side effects in some people, including:
Researchers have found that these unpleasant effects can be blunted when THC is consumed alongside other cannabinoids, including CBD, as well as other plant compounds like terpenes.
There are lots of products out there designed to help improve sleep quality? Why would people want to use cannabis when they can take over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills?
It’s true that these medications do work. But, in many cases, they also provide a lot of unpleasant side effects.
The following are some of the most common side effects associated with using sleep medications:
Clearly, there’s a lot that can go wrong when a person is relying on traditional sleep-inducing medications.
On the other hand, cannabis comes with significantly fewer side effects. This is especially true of CBD.
Researchers consider CBD to be very safe and haven’t reported any serious effects associated with overconsuming it. In most cases, people just find that they feel a bit more tired.
Now that you have some more general information on the difference between CBD and THC, we can address the specific question: which is better for sleep?
The short answer is that both CBD and THC both offer benefits to people who experience sleep difficulties. But, one appears to be more effective than the other.
There are many different ways in which CBD helps to promote better sleep quality and quantity in people who struggle with insomnia.
First is CBD’s anxiolytic effects. Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders have a hard time falling asleep at night. CBD can bring about a sense of calm, which, in turn, can make it easier for anxious individuals to fall asleep.
CBD is also a great pain reliever. For people who struggle with chronic pain and find that it keeps them up at night, CBD is a good option that can help them relax and fall asleep more easily.
Some people who have tried CBD for sleep complain that it actually made them feel more alert. This likely has to do with the fact that, in small doses, CBD has stimulating effects. They probably felt more alert because they didn’t consume enough CBD.
CBD’s stimulating effects are also important for promoting sleep quality, though. By taking CBD in small amounts in the morning, an individual can feel more alert during the day. As a result, when their sleep-wakefulness cycles are more consistent, they will feel more prepared for bed when nighttime rolls around.
CBD also reduces REM sleep abnormalities. It’s especially effective at minimizing REM behavior disorder.
This is a condition that causes individuals to act out physically while they’re dreaming. When these actions occur, individuals often wake up feeling less rested and may injure themselves or their partners while sleep.
Like CBD, many people also find that THC is very effective at treating sleep disorders. THC is a strong sedative and can have significant effects on the sleep-wakefulness cycle.
An individual who struggles with insomnia will likely experience better sleep when they consume THC before bed. People especially appear to experience a reduction in sleep latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep once the lights are off).
At the same time, though, it seems that THC can be too sedating.
Some researchers have found that, after consuming THC, many people experienced increased feelings of sleepiness throughout the day. In some cases, their memory was also impaired, and some experienced changes in their mood.
As you can see, CBD appears to be a more effective option for people who want to improve their sleep quality without experiencing any potentially unpleasant side effects.
THC can be effective when you’re really struggling and need to get to sleep quickly. but CBD seems to be a better option for long-term sleep improvements.
If you’re interested in using CBD for sleep, you might be wondering how to use it to experience the best results.
Most people prefer to use CBD oil over other products because it’s easy to take and comes in a wider variety of strengths.
Many people experience improved sleep when they take between 40 and 160 milligrams of CBD before bed. As a general rule of thumb, it’s typically best to start with a smaller dose and work your way up over time.
A few hours before bed, try taking about 40 milligrams. Holding the oil under your tongue for a couple of minutes can speed up your body’s absorption and help you experience the effects more quickly.
Because so much great research has emerged regarding CBD oil, lots of companies have jumped on the CBD bandwagon and have started producing CBD products. It’s important to note, though, that not all of these companies are created equal.
In order to experience the greatest benefits from taking CBD for sleep, you should make sure you’re using a premium, high-quality CBD oil.
Of course, identifying these high-quality oils can be easier said than done, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Some general guidelines you should keep in mind when shopping for CBD oil include:
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the extraction method. The manufacturer should use a clean extraction method that doesn’t involve petroleum-based products. These can leave toxins behind that taint the quality of your CBD oil.
Did this article help you determine your position in the CBD vs THC for sleep debate? Are you interested in using CBD oil to relax in the evenings and get a full night’s sleep?
If you want to try a high-quality CBD oil, head to our online store to check out our selection.
We offer a wide range of full spectrum hemp oil products that are organic, non-GMO, and totally free from herbicides or pesticides. Start shopping today!
Nine Tips For Better Sleep Hygiene (Get A Better Night’s Rest!) This article first appeared on MadebyHemp. What Is Sleep Hygiene? Why Does it Matter? Sleep hygiene is the series of routines, habits, and behaviors you partake in relation to your sleep.Read more