A good night’s sleep can have the most astounding effects on our minds and bodies. You may think you’ve got it all figured out with lavender essential oil and chamomile tea to help you wind down for the night. Although these are well known sleep-supporting herbs, there’s another plant that has recently swept into the market to knock out those sheep you’ve been counting. You guessed it, that plant is cannabis! And its effects on your sleep quality could be extraordinary. Today, sleep disturbance is a common problem. According to the Canadian Sleep Society (CSS), approximately 10% of Canada’s adult population experience persistent insomnia with an additional 20% to 25% reporting occasional insomnia symptoms. While insomnia can be a problem in children, adolescents and adults, it is most common among women, older adults, and people with medical or psychological problems. The increased stimuli attributed to today’s modern habits can also affect our sleep quality and duration.

Why is sleep important?

A regular sleeping pattern is incredibly important for our emotional, mental and physical state. So critical is sleep, that even one day’s deprivation of sleep will cause side effects such as reduced cognitive function (slower reaction times, lower productivity and creativity), less energy, over-eating, and increased irritability. We’ve all been there right? But what many of you may not be aware of are the more dangerous effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness, which can lead to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases. Sleep is critical for our memory, immune systems, metabolism, appetite control, learning ability and anything else that keeps you well, alive.

How can CBD help?

Cannabis has actually been used for centuries – yes centuries – to promote sleep. Cannabinoids, the compounds extracted from the cannabis plant – most notably CBD and THC – are an attractive holistic alternative for sufferers of sleep disturbance or insomnia. The World Health Organization reports that CBD can result in less REM-sleep (that deep, restorative sleep) disruption than THC. In short, CBD may help a person fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer by calming the nervous system.

With patience and careful tweaking, you can find a THC-CBD ratio that works best for you as a safe and natural alternative to over-the-counter sleep aids without the sluggish side-effects. The therapeutic use of CBD as a sleeping aid requires patience as there is no strain, product, dosage or frequency that fits everyone. Knowing the facts can help you safely incorporate

cannabis products into your bedtime routine or for those occasional stressful nights when you might need a little extra help easing into a slumber.

If you’re curious to try CBD for insomnia, it is important to start low and go slow. Start with a low dose to see how you feel, and then increase as needed. Starting off with a product of high CBD/low THC is recommended, as the intoxicating effects of THC may be unpleasant, especially for beginners. CBD on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, having little affect on brain function (no ‘high’) but resulting in a sedating feeling in the body. Incorporating CBD into your lifestyle will not only help you sleep better but can alleviate inflammation, pain, anxiety, spasms and many other symptoms that could be responsible for your poor sleep.

Just remember, moderation is key. Consume safely, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!