Medical C: how it effects our sleep and dreams

Medical C: how it effects our sleep and dreams

By: Dan Taylor, Trilogy Marketing Coordinator 

ELLICOTT CITY, Md- March is National Sleep Awareness Month and health experts want to make sure you are getting a good night’s rest with or without the use of cannabis. 

Health experts say quality sleep is crucial for overall well-being. Adequate sleep improves cognitive function, mood, and immune system function while reducing the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, it supports memory consolidation and enhances learning. Poor sleep quality, on the other hand, can lead to fatigue, irritability, and impaired decision-making. 

Many folks who have issues sleeping, are relying on cannabis to help. Certain cannabinoids in cannabis, such as CBD, are believed to have relaxing properties that may promote better sleep. However, the report in Leafly points that it’s essential to approach cannabis use for sleep with caution, as research on its long-term effects and efficacy is ongoing. Balancing the potential benefits with any associated risks is crucial when considering cannabis as a sleep aid. 

When it comes to cannabis and the sleep department—it is like a wild ride influenced by a bunch of factors. People swear by cannabis, especially the high-THC, for helping them catch some Zs or making them feel all sleepy. But here is the twist: if you are on a THC break after some chronic use, be ready for some wonky sleep, complete with wild dreams. According to a report in Leafly, dosing, how often you indulge, your tolerance, age, and even your gender—all these play a part in how cannabis hits your sleep button. 

Now, to really get what is going on, we need to dive into sleep architecture. Sleep is not just one thing: it is a whole journey with different stops, like Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep (SWS). THC, the main player in cannabis, jumps into action and allows you to fall asleep fast, more of that deep SWS, and a bit less of the dreamy REM sleep. But if you are a long-time cannabis connoisseur, your sleep pattern might do a little dance during a THC hiatus—less deep sleep at first, then a rebound of vivid dreams. 

Enter the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the behind-the-scenes hero. The CB1 receptors in the ECS, responsible for THC’s trippy effects, hang out in the brain circuits that manage sleep. And here’s where it gets interesting: the report in Leafly says these receptors show off differently in men and women, and they also change the game as we age. 

THC might give you a smooth entry into dreamland at first, but it is like a personalized experience. Your journey could be affected by the type of cannabis, how much you have used before, and yes, even your gender. Keep the party going too long, and you might need to up your THC game for the same effects. Take a break, and you might hit a bump with temporary sleep weirdness and intense dreams. It is all part of the intricate dance between cannabis and sleep. 

Tips for Better Sleep

Tips for Better Sleep

We all know that getting adequate sleep is good for us; it’s a time for rest and repair. When we are sleep deprived, we can experience symptoms like foggy thinking, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, weight control issues, and the list goes on.  

Some of us experience straight up insomnia (the inability to fall asleep), while others may fall asleep just fine but find themselves waking up throughout the night. Both of these issues should be addressed as they can limit you from getting into deep and restorative sleep. 

Some factors that contribute to disturbed sleep include stress and anxiety, intake of stimulants (caffeine, sugar, processed foods), adrenal issues, pain, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and lack of exercise. So, to get to the root cause of your sleeplessness, it may be beneficially to explore what your cause/s may be and address them head on. 

Here are some tips to help you restore your sleep: 


Limit your intake of refined and processed foods. These foods can cause blood sugar issues which can impact your sleep. You want to opt for fiber-rich and slow burning carbohydrates foods like vegetables, grains, legumes and healthy fats to help sustain your blood sugar throughout the day and through bedtime. You also want to limit stimulating foods like caffeine and chocolate and avoid alcohol and heavy meals especially close to bedtime. 


About an hour before bedtime, you want to aim for little to no bright light or blue wave lighting (cell phones and computers). The decrease in light helps our brains to produce melatonin which is the sleep time hormone. You also want to make sure you are getting in regular exercise, as it can help you burn off excess energy which can help fatigue your body and help you get more restful sleep. Another lifestyle tip you may want to start including in your daily life is prioritizing stress-management. Many of us have a hard to falling and staying asleep simply due to the fact that we have too much on our minds.  

Alternative Medicine: 

Aromatherapy – Essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood and bergamot all tend to produce sedating effects. You can diffuse these into the air to create a relaxing environment. **Please note that some essential oils can be toxic to pets so please do your research beforehand.  

Acupuncture – Incorporating acupuncture into your wellness routine may be beneficial for your sleep. Acupuncture is said to help increase our natural melatonin production, ease anxiety and stress and can also provide pain relief.  

Cannabis – There are a variety of products and strains on the market that can help improve your sleep. Indica strains tend to produce a relaxing and sedating effect that could be great for evening relaxation. Look for strains that are high in myrcene, caryophyllene and terpinolene as these terpenes also tend to produce sedating effects. For long lasting relief, using tinctures and/or edibles could be a nice option as their effects can last up to 8+ hours. For those who do not want any psychoactive effects, CBD and CBN products could help do the trick as they both can produce relaxing and sedating effects with little to no impairment.