It’s Sleep Awareness Month, and if you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, you’re not alone. While the world enters its third year of a global pandemic (as well as other news), sleep has become a major health issue on a global scale. In the United States, insomnia is skyrocketing by 58% and an increase of impaired sleep and circadian rhythms has spread throughout China. Sleep is a part of our overall wellness as sleep deficiency has been linked to numerous health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

With sleep disorders on the rise, people looking for a permanent solution for sleep have also increased. In today’s modern world, using pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medication for issues like sleep are normalized. Drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are common in treating sleep disorders but come with major side effects like depression, memory loss, and even insomnia. As consumers become more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, the holistic approach in treating everyday issues including sleep has become widely popular. This opens the door for CBD and THC as one of the top holistic medications, but is CBD or THC the best sleep remedy for those looking to get a good night’s rest?

How can CBD and THC help with sleep?

For years we’ve known the most common effects of cannabis: hunger, calmness, and sleepiness. Research shows CBD can help control the symptoms and escalation of common sleep disorders. When consuming cannabis, CBD/THC connects with the cannabinoid receptors located in the brain helping increase the level of adenosine, which promotes sleep. Using CBD can help reduce the number of nighttime wake-ups and increase overall sleep times. Stronger cannabis medications which include THC can reduce REM behavior disorders. CBD/THC is also known to help patients who suffer from sleep with other issues like anxiety, depression, and stress.

In what ways is using CBD an alternative option to pharmaceuticals?

While the FDA does not consider cannabis as a replacement for pharmaceuticals, CBD is known to be a safer alternative due to less risk of overdose and death. “There are not nearly as many side effects with CBD as with pharmaceuticals,” says Vanessa Osorio, a sleep expert at Sleepopolis. Osorio has found many people from all walks of life have positive impacts when it comes to using cannabis for sleep. “Many have found CBD to even be more effective than prescriptions, considering one study had 60% respond this way.” However, studies also indicate that using THC to develop a tolerance to its effects, and may need to take more to obtain the same results.

Why would CBD or THC be a better option in treating insomnia or sleep disorders?

“CBD has very few side effects, making it an ideal option for improving sleep quality,” states Karen Herrera. Herrera is the founder of Palm Organix, a CBD brand with stores located nationwide, and has had a first-hand look at how beneficial cannabis can be for aiding in sleep and suggests trying it before stopping prescriptions. “CBD/THC can be used as an alternative or in conjunction with pharmaceuticals and other natural supplements such as melatonin and chamomile.”

While research and data are still ongoing, CBD is not for everyone. It’s important to do your due diligence and speak to your doctor or health care provider before you use CBD/THC. Although it may seem like a waste of time, important information like medical history, dosage, and longevity are important topics that need to be discussed with a medical doctor. Regardless of which route you take, finding ways to sleep is essential when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. And if cannabis can be of some help without the risk of deathly side effects, then adding CBD/THC in your sleep regimen can have an amazing impact and give you the sleep you long for.

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