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CBD vs THC for Sleep

CBD and THC are the two big shots in the growing CBD and THC industries. Based on their effects, these major cannabinoids can help people sleep better. But which of these two can bring you to dreamland a lot faster? This post will help you understand how CBD and THC affect our sleep.

CBD vs THC Gummies for Sleep: Which is Better?

When considering whether THC or CBD improves sleep quality, it’s vital to recognize that no one-size-fits-all solution exists. Your decision should be tailored to your unique circumstances and preferences. Although both CBD and THC gummies are effective in improving sleep, they still differ in how they address common sleep problems.

Hemp-derived CBD products are a reliable and more effective sleep aid since they lack psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) produces sleep-inducing products that address poor sleep without affecting one’s state of mind.

On the other hand, if you require a natural sleep aid that directly induces sleepiness while experiencing some head-high effects, then THC products for sleep are ideal for you. Medical cannabis from a cannabis plant has been the subject of numerous research studies pertaining to specific sleep disorders. It is even suggested that this cannabinoid has the potential to address sleeplessness, a common sleep disorder among Americans due to stress, according to Gallup News.

THC is typically sourced from cannabis plants since they contain a high quantity of the psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD, on the other hand, is generally obtained from hemp plants (a specific variety of the cannabis sativa plant). These two major plant compounds have been shown to provide chronic pain relief that can lead to better sleep quality.

Ultimately, the decision between THC and nonprescription CBD products should be made in consultation with your doctor. Such a healthcare professional can provide personalized advice based on your medical history, current medications, and specific sleep-related issues.

CBD and THC are two major cannabinoids that can help induce sleep.

CBD and THC Methods of Administration

When it comes to utilizing CBD and THC for sleep, various methods of administration arise. Each one can lead to the potential health benefits of the cannabinoids under consideration.

Inhalation

There are two known ways to introduce CBD and THC into the body via inhalation: smoking and vaping.

  • Smoking is one of the most common methods of administering THC and CBD. This method offers a rapid onset of effects, typically within minutes. Recreational cannabis products and hemp flowers are typically enjoyed through smoking. Those who are seeking immediate relief from sleep disturbances may find smoking cannabis an ideal method.
  • Vaping involves heating vape cartridges filled with either THC or CBD extracts. In this method, the vapor produced enters the lungs, where the cannabinoids come into the bloodstream and travel to reach the human endocannabinoid system. Eventually, vapes may help you fall asleep.Between smoking and vaping, the latter is often regarded as a safer alternative because it does not burn the extracts.

Oral Consumption

Aside from smoking, you may also ingest THC and CBD-infused items. Although they offer a slower onset of effects, orally consuming products from hemp and cannabis plants can lead to longer-lasting effects.

  • Edibles refer to sleep gummies, chocolates, or infused beverages. They are one of the bestsellers since they allow for a discreet and convenient way to leverage the sleeping effects of THC and CBD. The effects may require more time, usually within 30 minutes to two hours, because the edibles must go through the digestive system.However, the effects of edibles tend to last longer, making them suitable for sustained relief for one’s good night’s rest.
  • Capsules and pills can also provide precise and consistent dosages that can help address sleep problems. These products would also suit individuals who prefer a standard medical procedure as they intake their medical cannabis.

Sublingual

This form of administration for THC and CBD typically involves placing drops of THC or CBD beneath the tongue. One good effect of sublingual administration is that the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream directly. Within 15 to 30 minutes, you can experience a strong feeling of sleepiness.

The sublingual team consists of different THC and CBD oils based on their THC content:

  • Full-spectrum oil can be applied to both CBD and THC tinctures. These plant extracts contain all the naturally occurring compounds in both hemp and cannabis plants. This means other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBC, and CBN, are present. When you consume full-spectrum oils, the so-called entourage effect can help you sleep better at night.
  • Broad-spectrum oil also contains many cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds. The only difference is that they are THC-free.

Topical

Lotions, balms, and creams are examples of topical CBD and THC applied directly to the skin. Although they are not commonly employed to address sleep-related concerns, these products might help ease localized pain, inflammation, or discomfort that could disrupt sleep quality.

Considerations:

No matter which approach is selected, it’s crucial to commence with lower doses and incrementally increase it to pinpoint the ideal amount for sleep benefits. This also allows the consumer to side-step any negative reactions.

The efficacy of each technique can fluctuate based on personal factors like metabolic rate, body mass, and tolerance thresholds. You also need to factor in THC’s psychoactive properties.

Before trying any new method of administration, especially if using cannabis-derived compounds for medicinal purposes, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure safety and efficacy.

THC and Sleep: Quality of Rest

Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, is a notable component of the cannabis plant (although it is also present in hemp). Cannabinoid research states that THC plays an essential part in facilitating sleep.

In contrast to CBD, which promotes relaxation without inducing sleepiness, THC functions more as a sleep promoter. It engages with distinct receptors in the brain, indicating the onset of sleepiness.

If you take THC in oils or capsules with a high THC level, chances are you’ll start feeling pretty sleepy. It’s like a gentle push towards dreamland. Importantly, THC’s impact on sleep isn’t solely based on anecdotal evidence. There’s scientific research supporting its effects.

Research detailed in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology explored how THC extracts affect sleep patterns. The findings indicated that individuals consuming 15mg of THC experienced faster initiation of sleep and heightened drowsiness.

However, there were some downsides, especially if someone consumed higher doses of THC: memory function was slightly impaired, and mood changes were reported by some participants. We still need more research to understand further how THC can produce quality sleep and help with certain medical conditions.

THC and Sleep: Other Known Benefits

CBD and THC are like siblings – they share many potential medical benefits. They can help with similar health issues and relieve the same conditions. However, how you respond to them might vary depending on things like how much you take, how often, and the quality of the product.

Besides helping with snoozing, THC is often used to tackle issues like queasiness, appetite problems, pain, and insomnia. There are certain clinical trials that support these possible health advantages.

THC is also being studied for its impact on appetite. Early research found that THC can influence the central nervous system, leading to increased hunger and more frequent eating.

Researchers are also digging into how THC could be a game-changer for people experiencing widespread chronic pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. So, while THC may have you catching those Z’s, it’s also got your back for other health conditions.

THC and Sleep: Legality

People who are keen to incorporate THC into their sleep routine must consider the legality of products infused with this psychoactive plant compound. The legal status of THC hinges on one’s location and source plant.

According to the National Conference of State Legislature, wherein it reports state medical cannabis laws, as of April 2023, 38 US states allow the use of medical cannabis (THC). On the other hand, 24 states released measures to regulate the use of recreational cannabis (THC). This was on November 8, 2023.

The 2018 Farm Bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, is an important piece of legislation that redefined THC’s legality.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp, which is defined as cannabis sativa plants containing 0.3% THC or less by dry weight. This means that THC derived from industrial hemp is legal at the federal level as long as it meets this criterion.

However, the cannabis plant, which contains more THC and less CBD, remains to be included in the Controlled Substances Act under federal law. This means that medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, although some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

THC and Sleep: Possible Side Effects

THC’s psychoactive effects can result in both immediate and lasting side effects.

No need to panic – neither THC nor CBD is linked to fatal outcomes, which is a relief.

However, prolonged and heavy THC use may bring about undesirable effects, particularly concerning mental health challenges.

Consistent THC use over time may trigger what’s known as a motivational syndrome characterized by feelings of melancholy and reduced drive to accomplish tasks.

While there’s concern about cannabis use potentially leading to severe mental health, concrete evidence supporting this link remains elusive. Still, it’s wise to be aware of how THC could influence your mental wellness, particularly with regular use.

CBD and Sleep: Quality of Rest

If sourced from a cannabis plant, you’ll only get a small amount of CBD, but from a hemp plant, there is an abundant quantity of it.

Cannabidiol (CBD) tweaks stage three sleep and help shake off grogginess the next day. When you mix CBD or THC in smaller doses, your reaction time gets a boost. Now, THC might pack a bigger punch in making you sleepy, but that doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t have a role in the sleep game.

CBD is like a superhero for tackling all sorts of symptoms that might mess with your sleep. It’s a pro at fighting pain, easing inflammation, and calming racing thoughts (yet we still need more research in these areas). Plus, it does not lead to the high we typically associate with cannabis use.

According to research published in FEBS Letters, CBD kicks things up a notch by activating certain brain areas like the hypothalamus and DRD. These areas help keep you alert, which might seem odd for a sleep aid.

Another study discovered that CBD helped people suffering from extreme mental health conditions by reducing specific REM sleep disorders.

Now, here’s the kicker: CBD becomes a handy tool for people aiming to catch sleep or those trying to get into a healthier sleep groove by preventing you from feeling too sleepy during the day. Also, this cannabinoid does not lead to a positive drug test result.

CBD and Sleep: Other Known Benefits

Let’s explore how CBD isn’t just about improving sleep; it offers a range of additional benefits.

You’ve likely encountered CBD oil and similar products available for purchase, and they extend beyond simply helping with sleep disorders. CBD can help relieve symptoms linked to different health issues.

For example, CBD oil displays promise in tackling extreme sadness, racing thoughts, difficulty sleeping, and even paranoia. It’s worth mentioning, though, that CBD lacks FDA approval despite its potential for these health conditions.

Further research is required to fully grasp how effective CBD is in addressing these health concerns and others. Nevertheless, observing the diverse ways CBD could potentially enhance our general health and well-being is fascinating.

CBD and Sleep: Legality

In 2018, the US Congress enacted a pivotal move by legalizing hemp as long as it contains no more than 0.3% by dry weight. This milestone, enshrined in the Farm Bill, made CBD legal on the federal level. It also paved the way for releasing a wave of CBD products onto the market.

However, the legal terrain surrounding CBD isn’t uniform in the United States. State regulations differ, with some jurisdictions embracing CBD’s full spectrum of benefits while others impose some constraints.

Yet, despite these divergences, experts affirm that prosecution remains improbable for CBD enthusiasts who diligently adhere to federal guidelines. Avoiding CBD products with THC levels surpassing the federal threshold of 0.3% by dry weight serves as a prudent safeguard against legal entanglements.

CBD and Sleep: Possible Side Effects

Though generally well-tolerated, CBD may lead to specific adverse reactions such as upset stomach, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. It is also posited that CBD can interact with someone’s other medication, such as blood thinners.

What to Look for Before Buying CBD and THC Gummies for Sleep

Look for a Certificate of Analysis per product offering.

A certificate of analysis (CoA) is a document issued by a third-party laboratory that provides detailed information about the product’s content. A CoA may include the cannabinoid profile. There is a possibility that you might be receiving more or less CBD than you intend. By checking the brand’s CoAs, you are ensured that you get what you pay for.

One of the strengths of Stirling is that all of our products have undergone third-party lab tests because we value our customer’s resources and well-being.

Consider customer reviews.

Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the product’s effectiveness, tolerability, and overall experience. Look for reviews specifically related to sleep outcomes, as they can offer firsthand accounts of how the product influenced users’ sleep patterns, quality of sleep, and any associated side effects.

Stirling is blessed with glowing customer reviews. Many of our clients express deep satisfaction because they have been trying other brands but do not get the desired results. However, when they tried our products, they experienced relief.

Vegan CBD and THC Sleep Products

For individuals adhering to a vegan lifestyle or preferring plant-based options, seeking out vegan CBD and THC sleep products is essential. These products are formulated without animal-derived ingredients or byproducts, aligning with ethical and dietary preferences.

Stirling utilizes ingredients that avoid animal cruelty. For example, we use pectin instead of gelatin in our sleep gummies. The latter comes from fruit peels, while the former is produced using animal parts.

References:

Sarah Fioroni and Dan Foy; Americans Sleeping Less, More Stressed (https://news.gallup.com/poll/642704/americans-sleeping-less-stressed.aspx)

Sharon R. Sznitman, David Meiri, Ben H. Amit, Dennis Rosenberg, Talya Greene; Posttraumatic stress disorder, sleep and medical cannabis treatment: A daily diary study (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887618522001050)

Alfonso Abizaid, PhD, Zul Merali, PhD, and Hymie Anisman, PhD; Cannabis: A potential efficacious intervention for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or simply snake oil? (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6397040/)

Frequently Asked Questions

Which can help you fall asleep faster? CBD or THC?

Both CBD and THC can promote restful sleep when accompanied by good sleep hygiene. However, THC is more commonly associated with its psychoactive properties, which may cause individuals to fall asleep faster.

Do CBD and THC gummies address sleep disorders?

CBD and THC gummies may offer relief for sleep issues by promoting relaxation and reducing chronic pain, but they are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure sleep disorders.

Can CBD and THC interact with other medications?

Yes, CBD and THC can lead to drug interactions, potentially affecting their efficacy or side effects.

Is there an FDA-approved hemp-derived sleep aid?

As of now, there is no FDA-approved hemp-derived sleep aid. While cannabidiol (CBD) products derived from hemp are widely available, the FDA has not approved any specific CBD product for the treatment of sleep disorders.

Can THC and CBD for sleep lead to health problems?

While THC and CBD may offer potential benefits for sleep, such as relaxation and stress reduction, excessive or prolonged use can lead to health problems, including dependency (especially for long-term cannabis consumption), cognitive impairment, and respiratory issues.

Picture of Joe Kryszak
Joe Kryszak
A leader in the Hemp Industry since 2014, Joe has been at the forefront of the Hemp Industry's innovation and growth. He is passionate about creating an atmosphere of collaboration and education in the Hemp Industry through the growth of Stirling Oils. Prior to this, Joe led strategic growth teams and initiatives at HP, Lenovo, and Amazon. With a degree from SDSU and an MBA from Pepperdine, Joe guided numerous businesses beyond the $1b threshold.

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