A number of compounds in cannabis are conducive to better sleep, so if you are suffering from sleep struggles, you are smart to think about taking an edible. However, not just any edible will send you drifting into dreamland, and taking the wrong dose at the wrong time could make your sleep problems worse than ever.
Before you start experimenting with nighttime edibles to cure your sleep concerns, you should read the following tips for using edibles safely and effectively for sleep.
Understand How Cannabis Compounds Affect Sleep
Despite being among the first crops ever domesticated by humankind, cannabis is still largely a mystery. Social stigma and laws have prevented rigorous scientific study of the drug until the past decade; though researchers are quite certain that cannabis is safe for recreational use and even beneficial in a number of medical applications, they still do not know exactly how different cannabis compounds function in the human body or manifest the exact effects users expect.
Studies on sleep have indicated that the sedative effects of cannabis interferes with the body’s natural sleep cycle. If you are already experiencing disrupted sleep, a change to your cycle could be beneficial. For example, those suffering from PTSD tend to have poor sleep as a result of frightening dreams, but because cannabis shortens the REM phase when dreams occur, PTSD sufferers enjoy much better sleep from edibles and other cannabis products before bed. You might want to talk to your doctor about your exact sleep struggles to determine whether edibles are a good solution for you.
Choose the Right Kind of Edible
There are three cannabis compounds that are believed to be associated with relaxing the body and improving sleep. These include two compounds with known sedative effects, THC and CBN, as well as CBD, which alleviates pain, anxiety and inflammation, three conditions that can interfere with restful sleep. A weed edible that contains all of these components will likely make it much easier to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night long. However, if you do not want the psychoactive effects of THC and CBN, you can use a product with CBD and melatonin to achieve a similar effect.
Don’t Rely on Cannabis Edibles Every Night
There is a chance that you will become dependent on any sleep aid you use frequently. It does not matter how natural, how gentle or how effective the drug is; your body will slowly begin to acclimate to its presence and rely on it to prepare for sleep. Thus, you do not want to be in the habit of using edibles to improve your sleep every night. It is best to reserve edible use for nights when you are seriously struggling to fall asleep or when you know that it is incredibly important that you feel rested the next day. If you do start relying on edibles every night, you should talk to your doctor about a more permanent solution to your sleep issues.
Prepare Your System for the Edible
Edibles are not as straightforward to use as they might seem. Because the digestive system is not as adept at absorbing cannabis compounds, you need to prepare your body for the edible to ensure it is effective at improving your sleep. Here are some arrangements you can make to ensure your edible works as well as possible:
Eat the edible with an oil-based food, which will digest slower and cause a steadier release of the compounds.
Expect at least an hour to pass before effects set in, because the compounds must make their way through the digestive system before they will be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Drink plenty of fluids and have water near the bed, as cannabinoids can have a dehydrating effect that will leave you parched in the morning.
Try Different Doses to Achieve the Right Effects
Currently, cannabis use is equal parts art and science. Everyone’s body responds to cannabis compounds in different ways, so you will need to experiment to find the right dose for you. You might consider keeping a sleep journal to track your edible consumption and sleep quality — which will also help you monitor your reliance on cannabis compounds and seek help for cannabis abuse disorder, should the issue arise.
Edibles can be helpful tools in your search for soothing sleep. As long as you have a healthy relationship with cannabis compounds and understand how to deploy them to maximum effect, you should find success and plenty of rest with edibles on your bedside table.