Sleep deprivation strains your health, potentially lowering your immune system and negatively impacting your mental and emotional abilities. Can microdosing THC help you get better sleep?
According to the Sleep Foundation, half of adult Americans experience daytime sleepiness, ranging from half the week to every day. They also state that nearly half of all older adults struggle with insomnia. Women are about 40% more likely to struggle with insomnia than men.
Many cannabis users turn to microdosing THC to make it easier to catch some Zzzs. When taken appropriately,THC can be a natural sleep aid alternative to many over-the-counter and prescription medications. Minimizing pain, supporting relaxation, and alleviating symptoms of pain and anxiety are all fundamental elements that the cannabis plant can assist with. They’re also things we all need to manage in order to get a good night’s sleep.
What is THC Microdosing?
THC microdosing is when you take small doses of THC, usually Delta 9 THC. Doses are typically taken throughout the day. These small doses are large enough to provide the medicinal benefits of cannabis, without the consequences of becoming stoned, anxious, or sluggish. Microdosing can ease depressive emotions, increase work focus, and make you feel more present in your body when exercising.
It can also help insomniacs and those with insomnia symptoms decrease their sleep latency (the time it takes for them to fall asleep). Depending on the strain used, microdosing may even potentially reduce nightmares, increase the amount of time in which you stay asleep, and improve the overall quality of sleep you get.
Taking too much cannabis in one sitting can have adverse effects like rapid heart rate and increased anxiety, so using it as a sleep aid is not to be taken lightly. A little THC goes a long way. However, there are many approaches to take when it comes to consuming the correct quantity for a THC microdose. What might get you buzzed could get someone else high as a kite. Therefore, finding your sweet spot will take some experimentation.
Regular cannabis users should abstain from using cannabis for a few days before trying to find a microdosage that works for them. Start with 1mg of THC at a time, increasing the dosage in 1mg increments every few days. You’ll know you’re at a good microdosage when you can feel a slight buzz, if any, but not a high.
Are THC Edibles & Tinctures Better?
Eating edibles such as sleep gummies and melatonin gummies with cannabis are becoming more popular than ever as users are trying to find healthier ways to consume. Recently, THC drinks are also stirring quite the buzz because of their convenience and rising accessibility. These methods are known to have a more long lasting potent effect than vaping or smoking cannabis flower, on top of eliminating the carcinogens that come along with inhalation.
The THC in these types of products is more concentrated and bioavailable. It’s easier for the THC (which is also a compound known as a cannabinoid) to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain (these receptors are part of both the endocrine and nervous systems). After binding, adenosine levels rise to make you sleepy, and your central nervous system calms down.
Another advantage of delta 9 THC gummies and tinctures is that it’s a much more accurate way of knowing the exact THC dosage you’re getting out of what you’re consuming. Even the purest indica flower varieties will have varying levels of THC due to agricultural factors outside of a cannabis grower’s control, which can make microdosing from flowers difficult. But with an edible or tincture, what’s listed on the package is what you’ll get.
Some users report that effects are enhanced when a product uses a combination of CBD and THC. This is known as the entourage effect. Finding a ratio that’s ideal for you will require some trial runs and proper tracking of your usage. Many folks report that our CBD plus THC gummies contain the perfect combination.
The main categories of strains are classified as sativas, indicas, and hybrids.
Sativa plants are lanky, with thin leaves and tall stalks that can reach 20 feet. They generally have lower levels of CBD and higher levels of THC. Due to their stimulating effects they are best for daytime use. Indica plants are conversely more stocky with thicker leaves, and have a more equal ratio of CBD to THC. Indica has a high reputation for relaxing users and helping people sleep at night.
Hybrid strains are exactly what they sound like. Cannabis growers will purposely cross-breed strains of indica and sativa to create unique cannabis plants. These hybrids can be balanced, but they can also be more indica-dominant or sativa-dominant depending on the strain. The CBD and THC levels and ratios are more variant with hybrid strains. The effects of the strain vary with the intention the cannabis grower has in its creation.
Which Strains Promote Better Sleep?
When in doubt, indica or indica-dominant cannabis plants are your best bet when it comes to strains that will help you fall asleep. Here are some popular indica strains to look out for:
Hindu Kush is named after its place of origin, the mountainous Hindu Kush region that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s one of the oldest and purest strains of cannabis, with a sweet, musky, woody scent. It causes muscle relaxation, and it’s easy for a user to lull off to sleep shortly after taking it.
This variety of cannabis is popular among growers because it’s very hardy. It originates from the Amu Darya River Valley, which is where Afghanistan borders Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. It has a THC level that’s nearly the same as Hindu Kush, but can often feel more potent. The flavor is mildly fruity, and it can treat migraines and sleep issues that stem from stress.
This variety is an Indica-dominant hybrid that is the result of crossing Purple Urkle (an Indica strain) and Big Bud (an Indica-dominant hybrid strain) together. It’s also very photogenic. Whereas many cannabis plants look like a leafy green, Grandaddy Purples are vibrantly violet or pinkish magenta and relatively petite in stature. Like its color suggests, its flavor is sweet and grapey. It has a high level of THC and is often used to treat both physical pain and insomnia.
The skunk-like smell and taste that can even linger in the sweetest of gummies can ward off people from using cannabis. But Mendo Breath is an Indica strain with a unique sweetness that could be mistaken for a delicious vape. Inhaling this dessert-y strain will give you flavors of caramel and vanilla, and waves of a sweeter slumber will follow.
A cross between the Thai and Afghani Indica varieties, Northern Lights is a popular Indica strain that’s often found in the West Coast. It has the highest concentration of THC of all the varieties on this list. It has a woody flavor with a spicy-citrusy aftertaste. It contains myrcene, a chemical compound with sedative qualities. Users report that it elevates mood while also relaxing the body, giving it a heavy, weighted feel.
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You might’ve learned that cannabis is a stimulant, and the idea of taking it as a sleep aid sounds counter-productive to getting some quality shut-eye. However, taking some THC before bed isn’t the same thing as chugging shot after shot of espresso. Since there are over 700 strains of cannabis, there’s a wide spectrum of ways it can work in your body. The reality is, the strain of cannabis you choose will usually be the determinant in how it affects your energy levels after taking it.
It’s okay to take THC to help you fall asleep. As long as you’re using it responsibly, microdosing will help you find healthier, more holistic ways to promote the sleep you need to be more productive, motivated, and mentally clear when you’re awake.
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