For thousands of years, humans around the world have been using cannabis to help them with a wide variety of ailments including using it for sleep. Common depictions of the classic cannabis smokers show a person with red eyes, a relaxed attitude, and a slow disposition.
This is because cannabis greatly affects our dopamine levels. Certain strains such as Indicas typically have a great impact on our energy levels. Let’s take a closer look into the science behind cannabis, specifically CBD Oil, and discover how it changes the way our body functions and impacts our sleep.
How Cannabis Affects Dopamine
As shown in studies by NCBI, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol which is commonly known as THC, has an impact on the tyrosine hydroxylate gene and activity. Tyrosine hydroxylate is very important in the bodies regulation of dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical found in the brain of the human body. It is a neurotransmitter that is in part responsible for the way our body reacts to sleep and tiredness.
Why do so many people get addicted to food and various drugs? It could be in part because they have low levels of dopamine and then introduce substances that increase the levels of dopamine.
When our dopamine levels are low, we commonly feel less excited and motivated to do daily tasks. This is because our bodies are telling us something in our lives is out of balance and we need to change something immediately.
Studying for a big test for example may drain lots of dopamine from our system. When we wake up the next day and feel nervous about the test and unmotivated to go, this could in fact be our dopamine levels making us feel not so great about what’s coming up.
On the other hand, when our dopamine levels are higher, we often feel really good about the day and excited about the projects we have to complete.
Finding the Right THC Products for Sleep
Currently, any product that has over .3% THC is considered illegal by the federal government of the United States. All over the counter products sold in the US should abide by these rules. Testing centers around the country test batches of hemp produced for legal sale to insure the THC is below government thresholds.
Right now, the only way to legally obtain THC is through your state’s medical marijuana programs. Buying THC products from a licensed medical facility in conjunction with your state permitted medical card, allows for protection within that state.
This protection does not protect you against federal law. The government currently sees no medicinal value in THC and therefore has it labeled as a schedule one drug. This means it is considered a controlled substance, not a medicine. You may be liable if a government official finds THC products on your person.
If you have any questions about laws in your state, check out our in depth page outlining every law regarding cannabis. We try and update this page as often as possible to insure the most up-to-date information regarding medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.
In summary, you are only able to get high THC products if you have a medical marijuana card and purchase them from a state marijuana store. Several of our staff at Uphempo have worked exclusively in state run marijuana facilities.
From our experience, we have found many patients that love the effects of THC in their daily lives, especially when it comes to sleep. A lot of people have tried melatonin and various other over the counter medications, but liked the feeling of THC much more.
How Cannabis Helps with Sleep
According to the science article, Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature “research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.”
When looking through studies on cannabis, one will notice several cannabinoids being mentioned that alter sleep in different scenarios. CBD for instance is shown to influence the REM portions of rest. CBD may be able to help induce more REM sleep.
How CBD Can Help Keep You in REM Sleep
REM stands for rapid eye movement. When you first fall asleep you body needs about an hour and a half of uninterrupted rest before it slips into the REM cycle. REM sleep has multiple stages. The beginning stages of REM typically last about 10-15 minutes.
During sleep our bodies fall in and out of the REM cycle. This back and forth between REM and regular sleep is very normal. For our bodies to get a successful night’s rest we must go through the four stages of REM.
Some people with sleeping disorders have trouble falling into REM sleep. Alcohol for instance can keep us from going into REM. Many people consume alcohol to fall asleep. Research studies show that alcohol will actually help people fall asleep quicker. The problem with alcohol though is that is keeps us out of REM sleep. This can have long lasting effects on our brain chemistry.
Because of CBD’s low side effects, CBD may help keep us peacefully in REM sleep. Not only can CBD help with a calming sensation before bed, CBD can also help relax the muscles and brain functions. CBD is a phytocannabinoid.
These cannabinoids are introduced to our system externally. When they are introduced, the phytocannabinoids influence the endocannabinoid system. This system is found inside of humans, mammals, and many other animals around the world. We all have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies that help to keep us in homeostasis.
When we are in homeostasis, our bodies have the best chance of dealing with sleep problems and health issues. Our endocannabinoid system becomes deficient in certain cannabinoids resulting in an imbalance.
CBD integrates with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies that communicate with the endocannabinoid system. The secretion of hormones for example is something that this cannabis system can greatly change.
Just introducing CBD into the body could help with REM sleep. CBD is found all over the country and has a low psychoactive effect. Worried about getting too high?
You shouldn’t worry about CBD. CBD typically produces very little psychoactive properties and is easy on the overall system. CBD is found all over the country and is relatively affordable.
Studies have shown that certain cannabinoids such as nabilone and dronabinol could help to aid sleep. CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids such as CBN could combine in just the right amounts to really help someone with all stages of rest.
In clinical studies, CBD was shown to have improved the sleep score for over 66% of patients. High levels of CBD show mental sedation and anxiety relief as well. If you are constantly feeling anxious before bedtime, try CBD. It could not only help relax your anxious nerves, but it could also help sedate you like a sleeping pill.
CBD Dosage for Sleep
We’ve written a comprehensive guide to help you with CBD. This guide can help answer most of your questions in regarding CBD. Different ways of taking CBD and comparison of commonly found products can also be found in this guide.
For most people, CBD is best taken sublingually in tincture form. Finding your right amount is paramount in seeing if CBD works for you. Most people start taking CBD in doses of 5-10 milligrams at a time.
You may find you do not notice the effect of CBD at this level. This could mean you have a much higher tolerance than most people. You can ramp up your CBD from 5-10 milligrams to 10-20 milligrams and see if you notice any difference.
Many CBD dosing charts can be found online and Uphempo breaks many of these down in our Ultimate Guide to CBD.
How Does CBN Help With Sleep?
When exposed to air, light, and heat THC can be converted sometimes into the chemical compound called CBN. Both THC and CBN are considered cannabinoids. Since most cannabis has been farmed over the centuries to have higher and higher levels of THC, CBN in part is then found all over the world.
A cannabis plant grown outdoors for instance, has long periods of flowering. The plants themselves are much bigger than those grown indoors. Some plants can be as tall as fifteen to twenty feet high and as wide as a small bedroom! This accounts for a ton of THC. The high levels of THC are found all over the plant, but especially in the buds.
Since many outdoor cannabis operations are exposed to more sunlight and heat than those indoors, they often contain higher levels of CBN.
Ever have a bud that is left out for a long period of time? Did you notice that the side effects are far more sleepy than when you first purchased your cannabis? This could be because the THC that was once in your product is now converted mostly into the compound CBN.
The end of the 19th century yielded the first extracted and isolated cannabinoids which included both THC and CBN. Depending on what study you read, CBN is shown to both have a non-psychoactive property and a small psychoactive property.
For most people that have walked through our dispensaries, CBN does not seem to have a great psychological effect. Many elderly patients who do not like the feeling of being high take CBN instead for rest.
In the mid 20th century, studies showed that “CBN has much lower potency than THC as a psychotropic agent.” Basically, this means that CBN has a far less likelihood of getting you high when compared to its THC counterpart.
CBN can be found over the counter in some places, but it is much more rare than the other cannabinoids. Farmers have found ways to extract concentrated CBN from hemp plants that are now federally legal to grow.
Hemp produces very little CBN naturally. Because of the low THC levels in hemp plants, CBN is not converted in large amounts. When scientists go to extract the CBN from the hemp plant, they need enormous amounts of material to get just a tiny amount of isolated CBN.
The problem with CBN is that it is still very hard to find around the US. Studies involving CBN are not common. Very few research has been done on CBN when compared to CBD and THC. Since this compound has not been studied enough and is not as popular as THC and CBD, CBN quantities are very low. Most places that sell hemp products still do not carry CBN.
Serving thousands of medical patients, Uphempo staff were able to get a lot of feedback on CBN. Medical dispensaries currently have the largest selection of CBN products and our company has had a first hand look at what products work the best and why.
Some companies, such as Cresco Labs for instance, have developed CBN specific lines of products directed toward sleep. They actually call these the ‘sleep’ line of products and can be depicted by their purple boxes. Several companies now use green for hybrid strains, red for sativa strains, and purple for CBN high strains.
Since Cresco has had years to research high THC strains in their labs and dispensaries, they are one of the only companies that has CBN products in Pennsylvania. Most companies do not even carry a line of CBN products since they are so new and rare.
According to Cresco’s website, CBN has also been shown to aid with inflammation problems and regulation of the body’s immune system. Crohn’s disease and Rheumatoid arthritis are two common conditions where CBN can be prescribed. CBN may greatly alleviate the severe negative side effects resulting from these health issues.
Since CBN is so rare there are almost no dosing chart available online. I personally have prescribed thousands of patients CBD and THC, but very seldom have I ever seen CBN products. Manufacturers have just begun to produce CBN containing vapes and tinctures.
Some companies such as 3chi have gotten feedback from their customers regarding their CBN line of products. They say the doses vary significantly from person to person. Some people feel the effects of CBN at as little as 1MG while other heavy users do not find good effects until they consume about 70MG.
In my personal research from customers that use CBN, the milligram count is very similar to the milligram count on CBD when it comes to oral ingestion, Tinctures are always the first form of cannabis I recommend.
Tinctures are very simple to take and easy on your internal organs. CBN taken sublingually for instance will help the cannabinoids enter your system quicker than if you were to take a CBN pill for example. Your stomach takes a longer time to get the medicine to areas you need, but the mucus membrane in your mouth helps to push the CBN into the bloodstream much faster.
Holding CBN under your tongue for 30 seconds or longer will help give you a quicker onset and feeling. You can also vape CBN for more immediate results.
The only problem with vaping is that the consumer has to vape a ton to match the amount of CBN you would absorb through tincture. Also vapes can be hard on many people’s lungs.
CBN vapor can be very hot when consumed through small portable pens that most people use. The vapor can burn the back of the throat and cause a variety of health issues. Most people do not want to take the risk of vaping. Also some people do not want to be seen smoking anything since it is harder to keep vaping private.
Hundreds of studies around the globe have shown that THC, CBD, CBN and many other cannabinoids help with sleep. Some cannabinoids such as CBD have been tested during the REM cycle, and this has helped many involved in the trial studies.
The endocannabinoid system in our bodies help to regulate homeostasis, and when we bring CBD (a phytocannabinoid) and other compounds into our system it can help us relax before bedtime.
High THC products are still considered illegal by the federal government. Any product that contains oer .3% THC is considered a controlled substance. Medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to sell THC products usually have the most CBN products currently because of the difficulty in extracting them from hemp.
CBNs are being implemented by large corporations in their ‘sleep’ line of products. Scientists have shown that THC converts into CBN from elements like heat and oxygen, and both cannabinoids are used in conjunction for serious ailments.
You can find good CBD products for sleep at most stores around the US. This CBD is derived from hemp and some contain little to no THC. CBN products are still rare and expensive, but they also can be purchased over the counter legally.
CBN products may be difficult to locate in your area so try checking the internet for up to date feedback from consumers about quality CBN companies.
For more potent products, ask you doctor about obtaining a medical marijuna card in your state. This will allow you to have the most experimentation with CBN, THC, and CBD, not to mention the plethora of other cannabinoids not mentioned here. Every day, research studies are showing cannabis use around the world may greatly benefit our well being.