Insomnia is associated with stress, chronic pain, heart disease, menopause, and can also be caused by excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.Cannabis can be used to help treat insomnia. But it’s important to choose the right strain and to consume the right amount at the right time.
The science behind the use of cannabis for deep sleep
There are four main stages of sleep, which include:
- The half-awake stage: first 10 minutes of sleep
- The light sleep stage: heart rate slows down, body temperature drops
- The deep sleep stage: 35-45 minutes after falling asleep. This is the most important stage in the sleep cycle, where real rest and healing of the body takes place
- The REM (rapid eye movement) stage: usually happens after 90 minutes of deep sleep. This is also the stage where dreams occur.
When we are under the influence of cannabis, THC to be precise, research indicates we fall asleep more quickly, which lets us spend more time in the third phase of sleep. This increases regeneration and heightens energy levels during the following day.
Extra time spent in the third sleep phase also diminishes the duration of the REM stage and because of this many are under the impression that we don’t dream when we’re high.
For insomnia, indica flowers may be the way to go, as they have the strongest sedative qualities. Smoking indica-dominant hybrids is also an option, but pure indicas are definitely the best possible solution for insomnia, because the balance between the THC and CBD cannabinoids offer the greatest relaxation and serenity.
Aside from choosing the correct strain, it’s also important to perfect the timing of cannabis ingestion to get the best results. Quantity is the third crucial factor.
It is suggested to smoke a medium-sized joint anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes before the time you want to fall asleep, although vaping is also a good choice. Be careful with edibles as the duration and intensity of the high caused by edibles can be overwhelming.
The reason why you should wait an hour or more between the smoking/vaping session and going to sleep is that you need to give your mind some time to overcome the psychoactive sensations of THC. For instance, if you go right to bed after smoking, your brain will be very active, even though your body may be relaxed.
Some great strains to try, if you’re looking to treat insomnia, may be MK Ultra, or Critical Kush. Both strains are heavy indica and induce a therapeutic tranquility that makes it hard to move from your bed once you’ve smoked.