Sleep problems afflict about a third of the American population. Whether individuals stay up too late pursuing other activities or they wrestle with insomnia late into the night, their sleeplessness can take a significant toll on their daily lives.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that as many as 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. While only about 15 percent experience chronic insomnia, it can affect many people short term, and about a third of Americans will experience insomnia at some time in their lives.
Fatigue can affect every aspect of their lives, from their physical health to their cognitive functioning. Simple things like driving to and from work become a dangerous activity, and relationships often suffer from the shortness of temper that comes with sleep problems.
How do those affected by sleep problems deal with the sleepiness? There are prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids that make a person groggy and come with difficult side effects, but many have found relief in the use of cannabis, specifically CBD oils or THC.
The Differences in CBD Oil and THC
CBD and THC are both extracts of the hemp plant that contain cannabinoids that might activate your endocannabinoid system and help to regulate systems throughout your body. They have similar medical similarities, like the ability to treat aches and pains and help one sleep. But there are notable differences.
Most importantly, THC is a psychoactive drug that will make you high. It is not considered safe for pets or children, and it must be prescribed by a medical professional in most cases, and the prescription must be filled at a dispensary where marijuana is legal. In some cases, THC can also be addictive, especially to those who have a genetic predisposition to addiction. It will show up on a drug test, and the recreational use of it is punishable by law.
CBD oil contains no mind-altering elements because the THC is removed from the extract. Full-spectrum CBD strains can contain up to 0.3 percent THC, but it’s not enough to alter your mental state or show up on a drug test. Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate do not contain any detectable traces of THC.
CBD is also legally sold online throughout the U.S. Possession laws typically don’t apply to CBD as long as it falls under the legal purview, namely it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. It does not show up on a drug test, and there’s really no reason to use it recreationally because it doesn’t have any mind-altering effects. It’s purely designed as a medical supplement.
The Effect of Cannabis on Sleep
One cannabis-friendly doctor explained that cannabis “is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules in today’s modern lifestyle.” It’s believed that the analgesic properties of the plant extract can also target symptoms that might affect sleep like pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
Both CBD oil and THC can help a person sleep, but in different doses, they can be more energizing than calming. Many people complain that THC especially causes jittery feelings, and it’s difficult for them to sleep after a dose.
Cannabis’ effect on sleep is believed to involve an activated endocannabinoid system. When you increase the number of cannabinoids in your body through CBD or THC, you activate a system that helps to regulate hormones and immune responses. Many sleep problems are directly tied to the endocannabinoid system and cannabis can help to calm it down.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Sleep
There are many benefits to using CBD for sleep. There are preliminary studies indicating that CBD oil could help people sleep as well as countless anecdotes of individuals falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer with the use of CBD.
CBD also has a number of mental and physical health benefits including the relief of anxiety, pain, inflammation, and other factors that can be harmful to sleep. Those who are struggling to sleep due to symptoms in those categories can enjoy a more peaceful night.
CBD is non-addictive and legal when purchased correctly. It has helped thousands of people regain a healthy sleep cycle, and with the right dose of quality CBD oil, it will probably help you too!
Benefits of THC for Sleep
Most cannabis experts agree that THC is a great sleep inducer. Several studies show that the right doses of THC make you feel sleepy and can induce a deep state of sleep.
Strains of marijuana that contain high levels of THC or straight THC compounds are connected in many studies with inducing a very deep sleep that skips REM cycles. If you don’t have REM cycles, it means you don’t dream. For those experiencing nightmares or other distressing dreams, such as those experiencing PTSD, THC might be the perfect solution to overcoming sleep problems.
However, REM sleep is an important function for your immune system and cognitive function. Without REM, long term sleep quality could be strongly affected, leading to chronic insomnia or constantly feeling fatigued because you’re not getting proper rest.
Sometimes, high levels of THC can make you feel jittery, as well, making it difficult to fall asleep at all. This is especially true if you’re regularly using marijuana and drinking caffeine. The combination has a difficult effect on CBD.
There’s ample research to indicate that long term use of marijuana containing high levels of THC can change your sleep cycles. Long term, this could be devastating on your sleep hygiene.
The Verdict: CBD Oil Is Safer Long Term
THC is a very effective sleep aid, and many claim that it works faster and has a stronger effect than CBD. However, in most cases, CBD oil is the much safer option if you’re taking a cannabis sleep aid long term.
The risks are much lower with CBD, and so far, there have not been any known problems with taking CBD on a regular basis. In fact, the research we have shown that it’s actually better to take CBD daily to help regulate your sleep cycles and more.
CBD also has far fewer restrictions around it and is much more easily accessible. The side effects of CBD are much more mild, especially if you get the right dose, and you don’t have to risk failing a drug test or misunderstanding possession laws that could get you in trouble.
The best CBD oil also contains a host of physical and mental wellness benefits that you’ll be glad to have! So, feel free to legally use THC in the short term, but if you want better long term sleep hygiene, CBD is the way to go.