Best Cannabinoids for Sleep

Sleep – the most blissful escape from reality! And yet, for many of us, a good night’s rest is just a dream. Insomnia and other sleep disorders like sleep apnea affect over 50 million Americans each year. [1] 

Tossing, turning, and staring at the ceiling night after night can leave you exhausted. Sleep is essential to maintain a good quality of life, but quality sleep remains elusive. [2]

The good news is cannabis may help overcome some chronic sleep disorders. Compounds in cannabis called cannabinoids can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.[3]

In this article, we’ll explore how cannabis affects sleep and which cannabinoids show the most promise for improving sleep quality.

Can Cannabis Help With Sleep?

The short answer: yes. But don’t just take our word for it – science has got our back! Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that;

“THC acts on the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and can yield a biphasic effect on sleep such that THC, at lower doses, can reduce sleep onset latency and has been associated with greater ease of falling asleep, increased slow-wave sleep and increased total sleep time.” [4]

In English, please? THC, one of the main cannabinoids in cannabis flowers, can make it easier to fall asleep, increase deep sleep, and help you catch more zzz’s overall. First off, it can help calm those anxious thoughts that keep your mind racing when your head hits the pillow. No more counting sheep – just count on cannabis!

Plus, once you do drift off, cannabis may improve the quality of your sleep by increasing the amount of time you spend in deep, restorative slumber.

Other cannabinoids like CBD and CBN also hold promise for improving sleep by tackling factors that can disrupt it. To understand how they work, let’s first examine what cannabinoids actually are. [5]

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis plants that interact with receptors in the human endocannabinoid system. They mimic compounds our own bodies produce to regulate essential functions like mood, appetite, pain, and sleep.

The two main types are phytocannabinoids found in plants and endocannabinoids produced in our bodies. Cannabis contains over 100 different phytocannabinoids capable of benefiting sleep, pain, mood, appetite, and more by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. [6]

Best Cannabinoids for Sleep

Keep in mind that most cannabis products contain a mix of these compounds, so you’ll likely experience a combination of effects. But that’s not a bad thing – in fact, it’s called the “entourage effect,” where cannabinoids work together synergistically.[7]

If you want to isolate which one is more beneficial for you, try different strains with higher concentrations of one or the other or try taking CBD or CBN products. Here’s a rundown of the best cannabinoids for sleep and how they may help:


THC is the most famous cannabinoid, known for its psychoactive effects (a.k.a. getting you “high”). It’s also the most researched, and the findings are very encouraging when it comes to sleep. Research indicates THC helps sleep by directly relaxing the body to relieve tension and calming the mind to quiet racing thoughts. It allows users to fall asleep faster and experience longer, higher-quality sleep. [8]


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second-most popular compound. And it’s non-intoxicating. Although CBD does not induce drowsiness directly, studies show it can help sleep by easing anxiety. Its most recognized use is to relieve chronic pain and inflammation. When you think about it, these are issues that can keep people awake. It’s hard to sleep when your back or leg hurts. [9]

Perhaps some CBD could reduce that pain enough for the sufferer to rest comfortably. But CBD does more than that. For example, it also interacts with the serotonin system, which could improve mood and reduce anxiety – two major contributors to insomnia.


Cannabinol, or CBN, is a mildly intoxicating cannabinoid that emerges when THC ages and oxidizes. This lesser-known but no-less-exciting member of the cannabinoid has been studied less than the other two, but for a longer time. According to the Sleep Foundation, CBN might have the potential to make you feel sleepy, particularly when combined with THC (remember that entourage effect we talked about?) [10]

Cannabis for Sleep: Best Practices

To use cannabis most effectively as a sleep aid:

Start Low, Go Slow with Dosage

When it comes to cannabis, more isn’t always better. Taking too much can actually have the opposite effect and make you feel anxious or wired. Start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find your sweet spot.

Time it Right

Give yourself some time to unwind before hitting the hay. Those initial psychoactive effects might have you giggling more than yawning, so plan accordingly!

Consider the Method

Different methods of consuming cannabis can impact how quickly you feel the effects and how long they last. Vaping tends to have a faster onset but shorter duration, while edibles may take longer to kick in but stick around for the long haul. Find what works best for your sleep schedule.

Monitor Side Effects

While cannabis can be a helpful sleep aid, it’s not without some potential drawbacks. Some users report changes in their dreams (or lack thereof). Others may experience dry mouth, red eyes, or increased heart rate. And if you overdo it, you might wake up feeling groggy – aka the “cannabis hangover.” Listen to your body and adjust as needed.

Ask Stash Dispensaries About Cannabis Sleep Aids

If you struggle with sleep issues, come talk with our friendly staff at Stash Dispensaries. We can recommend effective cannabis products, dosages, and consumption methods to help you achieve deep, restful sleep. We’ve got a variety of products tailored to different sleep needs, from soothing CBD tinctures to dreamy THC-infused flower.

Feel free to look at our current promotions and see if something catches your eye!












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