Cannabis has become a go-to for its myriad healing benefits. Sleep is a particular area of interest since it is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of Canadians suffer from one or more insomnia symptoms.
Until recently, much of what we knew about the effects of cannabis on sleeplessness came from people sharing their experiences. In other words, this information was shared through word of mouth.
As medical and scientific communities probe more deeply into how cannabis might promote better sleep; what we do know is that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle.
When it comes to sleeplessness, some choose to use and buy edibles online in Canada as a natural alternative to the potent sleep medications on the market.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is believed to be the foundation of wellness. If you don’t sleep well, the body isn’t rested, and this makes it hard to concentrate, digest properly, make clear decisions, and the list goes on. Sleeplessness can also be linked to other conditions, like sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, and depression. Further to this, insomnia is linked to mental wellness and psychiatric disorders.
Can marijuana edibles really help with insomnia?
If the ingestion of marijuana edibles is supportive of a good night’s rest, how does dosing work and what are the best cannabinoids for sleep?
There is currently an array of edibles available, from gummies – including vegan gummies to baked goods such as chocolates, cookies, brownies, an assortment of beverages, and more. Though eating is not the ideal activity just before bed, if you have insomnia, it might be worth noshing on a marijuana edible to experience the benefit of a good night’s rest.
Ingestion of Cannabis: What to Know
One key difference between inhalation (smoking, vaping) and ingestion (eating) of cannabis edibles is the onset of the effects.
Benefits from eating cannabis products can take much longer as it has what is called a delayed onset. When a person is unaware of this, they may ingest more than needed, resulting in too much of a dosage.
It’s best to start with a small amount and to make sure to buy edibles online in Canada that display dosage amounts on the label.
No two people taking the same dose will enjoy precisely the same experience.
Studies like this one show that the effects of an edible last longer than smoking cannabis as “the resulting “high” is longer-lasting, with a peak at two to four hours after ingestion.” The same study suggests that other differences in experience could be the result of:
- Eating habits
Symptoms and root causes of the condition being treated are another critical consideration, as sleeplessness can be a symptom of another condition.
What Is Titration and How Does This Process Determine the Recommended Dosage?
The recommended dosage will differ from person to person; no one size fits all with edibles. Instead, take the time to monitor what will work best for you.
Start low, go slow is the general rule when choosing to use edibles.
Titration is a term used to describe a slow or gradual increase of dosage over time to determine the minimum amount needed to feel the effects of cannabis.
This study on dosage recommendations, published by the European Federation of Internal Medicine, suggests that “Dose initiation should commence at modest levels, and titration of any cannabis preparation should be undertaken slowly over a period of as much as two weeks.”
Because we all respond differently to cannabis, it’s essential to pay attention to what works for you. It can be helpful to journal the results.
Some people like to start with a tiny dose, referred to as a microdose. A microdose of cannabis edibles typically contains one percent to two percent THC. If you are new to this, no more than 5mg of THC is recommended when choosing to buy edibles online in Canada.
How To Prevent Overeating Cannabis Edibles
With edibles, many people make the mistake of waiting an hour, not feeling the effects, and eating more.
While some feel effects 15 minutes after ingestion, some people need to wait up to two hours before increasing their dosage.
Taking too much of an edible can be a scary experience that prevents sleep, induces anxiety, impairs cognition and motor skills and increases heart rate.
To avoid this, if you are not feeling the effects after an hour, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Be patient and set a timer, so you know precisely when you ate your edible
- Have something to eat – a small snack to stimulate the digestive system
- ALWAYS start low and go slow and use self-titration to learn the minimum amount of edibles needed for your body to feel the effects
Helpful sites like Leafly have dosage charts to help you get started. If you are buying your edibles online in Canada, look at the labels before ordering and ask for help from budtenders through the site or check in with your medical professional.
Which Cannabinoids Work Best For Sleep?
The cannabinoids most helpful for you can depend on the root cause of your sleeplessness. Insomnia has many causes, so it is necessary to look at the root of the issue to determine what will work best for you.
“Preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.” The same study suggests that THC may help people fall asleep faster though it could have side effects long term.
Too much THC, which is psychoactive, can leave one feeling groggy and foggy the next morning. CBD may counteract this grogginess and increase rapid eye movement (REM sleep), which is an integral part of the sleep cycle, and it is when we dream.
For those prone to anxiety from THC, a higher amount of CBD would be a better option since it has no psychoactive effects.
When looking to buy online in Canada for edibles, you may find products that contain a combination of CBD and THC.
Different cannabinoids offer different benefits, and CBD can even minimize the psychoactive effects of THC in edibles.
Indica-dominant THC tends to have a higher concentration of CBD than Sativa-dominant strains, so many will choose an Indica as their edible of choice for sleep.
How Do I Know That Edibles Are Right For Me?
Edibles work well for some people and not for others. If you are getting a good rest and feeling more energized, that’s great! Increase your dose gradually, monitor your experience and make changes when necessary, asking for medical support whenever you have questions.
Those needing to fall asleep quickly or those who cannot absorb THC through the stomach would not be good candidates for edibles.
Every one of us is unique. If you aren’t feeling the benefits of edibles after carefully monitoring your dosage and using the framework of “start low, go slow,” another form of cannabis may be a better option.
Do Marijuana Edibles Support A Deep Sleep?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. Since there is such variance from body type to metabolism to different reasons for choosing to use edibles for a good night’s rest, the jury is still out on a definitive answer. The good news is that more studies are coming.
Remember, they are not one size fits all. The best way to find out if edibles are your answer for a deeper sleep is to practice titration, learn what works for you, be safe, start low and go slow!