Approximately 70 million people in the United States suffer from insufficient sleep, insomnia, or some other type of sleep disorder. Put plain and simple: Too many Americans are not catching enough zzz’s. Thankfully, there are some natural remedies available on the market that can help. Cannabis — and specifically cannabidiol (CBD) — provides a variety of relaxing benefits that can help soothe cranky muscles, calm your worries, and give you a full night of restorative sleep. A nightly routine that incorporates some type of cannabis could be your ticket to dreamland.
First, it’s helpful to understand how cannabis helps when it comes to restfulness. Research has long suggested that the plant has a profound and direct impact on sleep. When it comes to CBD, this cannabinoid is known for reducing anxiety, stress and pain, all of which are road bumps to a healthy night’s sleep. Additionally, the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has the capability to essentially knock someone out, allowing them several hours of often dreamless, peaceful slumber.
However, as with any other medicine, there can be paradoxical effects. For some folks (and in smaller doses), CBD can cause alertness, and not every strain of cannabis works the same way for every single person. While this nighttime routine may be beneficial for most, take some time to discover the products and strains that work with your body and metabolism.
Start By Slowing Down Before Bedtime
You’ll want to begin your nightly routine a couple of hours before hitting the sack. This will allow whatever cannabis or CBD treatment you have chosen enough time to start working, getting you relaxed enough to try to fall asleep.
For many folks who are on their feet all day or have active, demanding jobs, they’re unable to fully settle down and relax because of various bodily aches or pains. Perhaps some back strain is preventing a comfortable night’s rest, or restless leg syndrome wakes you up multiple times a night. Before we can even address sleeping, we need to focus on relieving our bodies of pain and discomfort.
You can tackle your sore muscles one of two ways: topically or internally. Try out both on different nights before deciding which works best for your personal routine. For topical treatments, use a salve or ointment that will rub into your skin smoothly, like Exhemplary Life Hemp Majestic Freshness Muscle & Joint Balm ($50). The full-spectrum CBD in the balm includes cannabinoids, antioxidants and essential oils that stimulate your body’s natural ability to melt away tension and pain. Slather it on an hour or two before bedtime to allow it to start working, relaxing your body and preparing it for sleep.
You can also make some cannabis- or CBD-infused tea to help heal from the outside in. Some types of herbal tea (chamomile, lavender, etc.) are beneficial to healthy sleep, so adding CBD or cannabis will give your brew that extra punch. Some studies have shown that patients who take CBD as part of an oromucosal cannabis-based medicine (i.e., taken under the tongue or mixed in with tea) a couple of hours before bedtime experience a balancing effect that allows them to have restful shuteye.
If you’d like to experience the relaxing benefits of CBD but don’t want to drink tea, try Lazarus Naturals Relaxation Formula CBD capsules. For an option that includes some form of THC, Ritual Drops may be more up your alley, with its Nighttime blend boasting a 1:4 CBD-to-THC ratio for deep relaxation.
Interested in trying your hand at making your own tincture or infused tea? The MagicalButter machine ($175) lets you take your favorite strains and turn them into infused butters, oils and tinctures so that you can create all sorts of edible and drinkable delights. Indica-leaning cannabis is your best bet for a sound sleep, as it calms your mind and increases sleepiness, fatigue and body relaxation (a.k.a., “couch lock,” which can be incredibly useful to those whose bodies won’t allow them to relax enough to settle down). Favorite sleepy strains include Tahoe OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Afghan Kush, Master Kush and Northern Lights. Of course, you can always puff on a joint before heading off to slumberland, but sometimes, you get more of the physical relaxation benefits from ingesting your cannabis rather than smoking it.
Wash Your Worries Away
Taking a bath or warm shower will not only help your body physically relax, but it can mentally put you into the right mood to slow down. Combine your bathroom time with CBD-infused products, and you’re one step closer to sweet dreams. Life Flower offers up the Flowerchild Bath Bomb, a gorgeous and colorful charged quartz crystal and CBD-infused bath bomb ($15) in one. If you prefer less fizz and more salt in your soak, Mary Jane’s Medicinals Heavenly Hash Bath mixes up cannabis leaves with lavender, chamomile, peppermint, grapeseed oil, Dead Sea salt and Epsom salts. The different herbs have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic properties, making this the perfect soak before bed if you’ve recently worked out or are menstruating.
If lazy bathing isn’t for you, you can still find ways to bring cannabis into the shower to help soothe your soul. The CBD Skincare Company offers up everything you need: soap bars, shampoo, conditioner and more! The various soaps can help calm frayed nerves, allowing your body to relax even more as it prepares for bedtime.
After your soak or shower, try a soothing nighttime cream. We love Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics Natural CBD Sleep Creams ($65), a full-spectrum CBD extract that provides all the relaxing benefits of cannabis. Slather it on your arms and legs, or rub some into your temples to help decrease any tension in your head that may be holding you back from fully settling down.
Fall Asleep To Sweet Scents… Of Cannabis
Aromatherapy is a useful technique to help you achieve a full state of restfulness. Infusing your space with oils like lavender or bergamot helps wind you down to a state where you’re able to sleep peacefully. But did you know you can do aromatherapy with cannabis as well? It’s true and it’s all thanks to terpenes. When inhaled, the terpenes attach to certain cannabinoid receptors in your brain. In doing so, the terpenes can positively affect mood and behavior. While terpenes don’t have the full power or benefits of ingesting cannabis, aromatherapy can give you one extra boost of help when it comes to sleep.
There are several ways you can incorporate cannabis into aromatherapy. Add a few drops of cannabis oil to your cold-water humidifier and allow it to run all night while you sleep. You can even create your own special nighttime oil blend comprised of ylang-ylang, bergamot, sandalwood — and cannabis! You can also turn your oil into a spray and spritz your pillow or pajamas with it. And, if you already have an essential oil diffuser, you can drop a little bit of cannabis oil on it and allow the scent to permeate your room.
Remember: Start a couple of hours before bedtime, try and tackle your sleeplessness from both inside and out, and do your best to maximize the restful and relaxing benefits of cannabis. Sweet dreams!