The last two years have tested the mental strength of millions. Sleep in particular has been a struggle for many as anxiety skyrocketed and routines broke and shattered during the pandemic. The term “coronasomia” was even coined by doctors, while pharmaceutical sleep prescriptions increased 20%.
While some people opted for pharmaceutical relief, many suffered through their restless legs and anxiety. Still others opted for another kind of sleep remedy — cannabis.
“As people grapple with anxiety and insomnia, they are turning to cannabis because of its effectiveness and ease of treating such a variety of stress-related conditions,” Ganja Goddess CEO, Zachary Pitts, wrote in an email to Forbes.
Marijuana has been used as a sleep aid discretely for generations. Over time, word has spread of its calming and relaxing effect on those who use it.
“Research on the possible sleep effects of cannabis date back to the 1970s, but high-quality studies are scarce because of the drug’s legal status,” wrote Medical News Today. The research may not be nearly as extensive as with other sleep aids, but it has not deterred many from turning to it, especially in recent times.
Some say marijuana has the ability to return those with anxiety or altered sleep habits back to a normal rhythm. “Marijuana is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules in today’s modern lifestyle,” Dr. Matt Roman, a medical marijuana physician told Healthline.
With the limited amount of testing performed using cannabis on sleep patients, the most noticeable patterns have been found in those with existing sleep issues. Many with nightmares, anxiety and even PTSD have shown improvement when occasionally using cannabis as sleep therapy.
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According to Psychology Today, “Among people with active difficulty falling asleep, cannabis use resulted in an average of 30 minutes less time in falling asleep.” The study also continued, mentioning that those who normally did not have trouble sleeping fell asleep even faster than normal.
If you opt to try cannabis to help you sleep, you may find yourself overwhelmed with your choices when it comes to strains and potencies. It is important to remember that sleep issues are often individual problems that have unique solutions.
“Due to its relaxing effects, indica may be considered the best marijuana strain for sleep. However, individuals who use cannabis to avoid nightmares may prefer sativa,” according to Sleep Foundation.
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Different strains may be more effective than others based on the root cause of your sleeplessness. If you try using cannabis as a sleep aid, it’s wise to keep track of the type you use and the quality of your sleep. As you find what works best for you, continue to use it and play with the dosage in order to fine-tune where needed.
If you decide to use cannabis to help you sleep, remember to use it as a therapy rather than a nightly routine. If you use cannabis constantly for sleep, it may lose its effectiveness, requiring you to use more and more to achieve the same results.