How Does Cannabis Affect Sleep?

Sleep disorders affect one's quality or amount of sleep. Sleep disorders vary widely, causing some patients to sleep too much (hypersomnia), and others to not sleep at all (insomnia). Other disorders cause people to fall asleep randomly (narcolepsy), or cause odd symptoms during slumber, like sleep walking (somnambulism). Sleep disorders are often caused by other conditions, and discovering this cause is an important step for relieving a patient's sleep issues. Now, patients who suffer from a sleep disorder can try cannabis as a sleep aid that helps patients fall asleep and remain asleep, specifically in deep sleep or the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) period.

Interestingly enough, cannabis strains high in THC are especially effective as sleep aids. One 1973 study found THC helped insomnia patients fall asleep earlier than normal, but noted that strong doses actually delayed the onset of sleep. Cannabis also gave patients a form of a "hangover" the next day. Another study from 2002 and published in the journal American Academy of Sleep Medicine found THC and the endocannabinoid oleamide suppressed sleep apnea in rats. A 2008 study revealed THC increases deep sleep, stating, "Acute administration of cannabis appears to facilitate falling asleep and increase Stage 4 [REM] sleep." 

Patients should keep the type of sleep disorder they are treating in mind when choosing the cannabinoid and terpene makeup of their sleep aid. This information has been brought to you by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.