Best Marijuana for Sleep: Top Products of 2023
Looking for the best cannabis products to sleep? In this article, we highlight the top 3 formulas designed to help you get 8 hours of quality shut-eye and sleep better than 50% of people on this planet.
People have been using cannabis products for sleep for centuries, if not millennia. The oldest evidence of the medical use of cannabis dates back to 12,000 years ago in China.
Today, after almost 100 years of ungrounded prohibition, cannabis enters a renaissance as scientists begin to understand the mechanisms behind its health benefits.
The abundance of cannabis products for sleep can be overwhelming if that’s your first contact with the plant.
So, how do you choose the product that best suits your inner daily clock?
Here we highlight the top brands that offer remarkable formulas for zzzs.
Best Cannabis Product for Sleep
Not all cannabinoids will make you feel sleepy. The best cannabis products for sleep include high doses of CBD supported by CBN and trace amounts of THC.
Manufacturers also add sedating terpenes to the mix. Terpenes are aromatic molecules that not only give plants their distinct fragrances and flavors but also modulate the effects of cannabis.
Finally, a well-designed cannabis formula for sleep should include other supplements like melatonin, 5-HTP, chamomile, or GABA to complement and enhance the effects of cannabinoids.
Here’s a quick summary of the best cannabis products for sleep:
- Area52 (Best Full-Spectrum Cannabis Product for Sleep Overall): Area 52 is the best choice if you’re looking for true full-spectrum cannabis gummies. They leverage the synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes, with an extra dose of melatonin to help you regulate your inner clock.
- Royal CBD (Best Cannabis Formula with Adaptogens): Royal CBD combines CBD with CBN in a 1:1 ratio in delicious gummies that offer an assortment of fruity flavors. The formula is supported by adaptogenic herbs that promote calmness, easing physical and mental stress.
- Gold Bee (Best Tasting): If you’re looking for the best all-organic cannabis product for sleep, the Gold Bee sleep gummies are your best bet. These gummies come with an exceptional terpene content, potentiating the effects of other cannabinoids. They’re also the best vegan gummies we’ve tried to date. If the ingredient lists didn’t say they use fruit pectin, we’d bet they’re made with gelatin.
1. Area 52 (Best Full-spectrum Cannabis Gummies Overall)
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Area 52 offers an exceptionally potent cannabis formula for sleep in the form of delicious, chewy cubes. These gummies pack a punch, with 25 mg of CBD, 25 mg CBN, and melatonin.
The gummies also contain complementary ingredients, such as 5-HTP, chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm.
We’ve found a little goes a long way with this product. One gummy before bed was enough to induce a mellow sensation and a calming wave of relaxation over the body and mind.
However, if you take 2 gummies or more, you may feel a bit tired after waking up the next day, so it’s best to start low and gradually increase the dosage until you find what works best for you.
2. Royal CBD Sleep Gummies (Best Adaptogenic Formula)
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Royal CBD specializes in full-spectrum CBD products for different health needs, including pain, anxiety, and sleep. The Royal CBD Sleep gummies contain a 2:1 ratio between CBD and CBN, offering 25 mg of CBD and 5 mg of CBN per serving.
They’re less sedating than Area 52 Neptun Sleep Gummies, and since they contain less melatonin, it’s not that easy to go overboard. You can take 2-3 gummies for sleep and still wake up refreshed in the morning.
The presence of calming herbs, such as chamomile and l-theanine helps calm the mind before bed and release tension from the body. The only thing we didn’t like is the hempy aftertaste they leave, but some users may find it appealing.
Royal CBD products are tested in an independent laboratory for potency and purity; the results include a full cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and mold.
3. Gold Bee Sleep Gummies (Best Tasting)
Gold Bee makes the best-tasting vegan cannabis products for sleep, offering a 1:1 ratio between CBD and CBN, a decent dose of melatonin, and exceptionally high levels of relaxing terpenes.
If you’re looking for an all-organic product that leverages the entourage effect in hemp by embracing the concept of whole-plant extracts, Gold Bee is your best bet.
CBN is rumored to have sleep-inducing properties, but the latest studies indicate it may serve as a booster for other cannabinoids and sleep-inducing terpenes.
On top of delicious flavors, these gummies are super efficient thanks to their unique formula. Aside from a full-spectrum extract, they provide adaptogenic compounds that improve your stress response and help regulate circadian rhythm so that you can enjoy deeper and longer-lasting rest.
How We Chose the Best Cannabis Products for Sleep
The cannabis industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, which sheds the responsibility for research on consumers.
With no manufacturing and lab testing standards in place, it’s challenging to weed out substandard products and pick the best option for sleep.
Don’t worry, we’ve already done the hard work for you.
Here are the primary criteria you should consider if you want to make a well-informed decision on your next purchase:
- Hemp Source: hemp plants are dynamic bioaccumulators. In simple words, they absorb and accumulate every substance from their environment, including nutrients and toxins. The best cannabis products for sleep come from organic hemp because such plants are grown in clean, fertile soil and without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
- Extraction Method: most reputable companies use CO2 for extraction because it doesn’t involve hazardous solvents or high temperatures. The end product is clean and consistently potent throughout the batches. CO2 extraction is also the most expensive method and the indicator that your manufacturer prioritizes quality and safety.
- Lab Reports: the best way to check the credibility of any company selling cannabis products for sleep is to look for third-party lab reports. Independent laboratories provide an unbiased insight into the chemical makeup of the tested sample; they also analyze its purity, so if a product doesn’t meet the quality and purity criteria, the lab test will spit it out. Always look for batch-specific certificates of analysis (CoA), and if your vendor doesn’t provide them, look for a more transparent company.
- Customer Service: you can have the best cannabis products for sleep on Earth, but if your customer service is clumsy and unresponsive, you can disappear from the market as quickly as you’ve entered it. The companies mentioned on our list go above and beyond to solve any problems for their customers, with knowledgeable staff that can guide both novice and seasoned users in their choice.
- Brand Reputation: customers know best. If a company notoriously fails to deliver the desired quality of products and services, this will be reflected in customer reviews. On the other hand, reputable brands have hundreds of positive opinions from satisfied customers on both their websites and third-party services.
What to Look for When Choosing Cannabis Products for Sleep
Now that you know the main quality indicators, let’s focus on the formulas. Not all cannabis products for sleep are created equal.
A well-thought-out formula should contain full-spectrum extracts with different ratios between CBD, THC, and minor cannabinoids. If the product comes with a high terpene content, it’s all the better because it will enhance the synergy between cannabinoids on top of providing their own therapeutic benefits.
Creating a cannabis product for sleep requires thinking outside of the box. The world of plants is so abundant in therapeutic compounds that you have plenty of options to choose from, including calming herbs, adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals.
Here’s what you need to take into account:
CBD and THC are the yin and yang of cannabis. Together, they amplify each other’s therapeutic effects while mitigating potential adverse reactions (1).
For example, THC alone can cause anxiety and paranoia in large doses — something you wouldn’t like to experience before sleep (2).
CBD counteracts these effects by blocking some of the binding sites of cannabinoid receptors in the brain (3).
Meanwhile, a small amount of THC in the extract can increase the biological activity of the whole product. THC has been shown to improve anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and pain-killing properties (4).
Always choose products that have trace amounts of THC; they won’t make you feel high, but they’re more efficient for sleep than isolate-based counterparts.
Minor Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Supportive cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBC, and CBN, as well as terpenes, can also contribute to the aforementioned synergy.
CBN is a cannabinoid known for its sedating properties. The same can be said for CBN-infused edibles, vapes, and other forms, although researchers aren’t sure whether these effects are directly caused by CBN or rather by its interactions with oxidized terpenes (5).
Speaking of terpenes, the best cannabis products for sleep contain molecules such as linalool, myrcene, and humulene. All three compounds are known for their ability to calm the body and mind, reduce pain, and inflammation, and improve sleep.
Some of these terpenes also make cannabinoid receptors more receptive to CBD, increasing the efficacy of this cannabinoid.
As mentioned earlier, creating the best cannabis products for sleep requires thinking outside the box. There are dozens of therapeutic plant compounds outside of cannabis that you can use to boost your sleep quality and duration.
The most popular sleep-inducing botanicals include:
- Lemon balm
Not to mention melatonin, which is the most popular ingredient in cannabis sleep formulas.
Melatonin is your natural sleep hormone that plays an essential role in regulating your sleep cycles (6). It can be infused in edibles to create good sleep gummies.
Some companies also use GABA to enhance the calming effects of the whole formula. GABA works as a handbrake for the nervous system, preventing overexcitation and increasing your resistance to stressors (7).
Does Cannabis Help with Sleep?
Yes, but the effects of cannabis on sleep are complex and diverse.
The first documentation regarding this use comes from Herodotus, a Greek historian and geographer who described the sleep rituals of Thracians. The warrior tribe would throw cannabis flowers into a bonfire and dance around it, inhaling the smoke. Then, they would fall asleep within minutes of going back to their tents (8).
Cannabis has also been used in the 19th century in India as a sedative. British doctors applied high doses of cannabis tinctures to patients before surgeries, becoming one of the most effective analgesics (9).
However, until recently, we could only rely on old manuscripts and other historical documents. Today, modern science sheds new light on the mechanisms behind the sleep-inducing properties of cannabis products.
How Does Cannabis Support Sleep?
Cannabis supports sleep by reducing pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms, but it can also alter your sleep architecture and manipulate the time you spend in different sleep stages.
The health benefits of cannabis are mediated through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the master regulatory network in all mammals (10).
The ECS is made of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids that work to establish and maintain homeostasis throughout the body.
Cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain, central nervous system, immune system, and peripheral organs.
Whenever homeostasis is disrupted, the ECS produces endocannabinoids to bring it back. However, the ECS doesn’t store them for later, not to mention that endocannabinoids are quickly broken down and flushed from the body once used.
That’s where plant-derived cannabinoids come into play.
CBD for Sleep
CBD increases the levels of anandamide (one of the two major cannabinoids in the body). Higher levels of anandamide are associated with increased activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that can make you feel sleepy (11).
Another way CBD oil can influence your sleep quality is by helping you fall asleep easier. In large doses, it can reduce blood pressure, resulting in slower breathing — and calming the body (12).
CBD has a biphasic nature, meaning low doses can increase alertness (13).
Last but not least, CBD can reduce inflammation (14), alter pain transmission (15), and curb anxiety (16), all of which are known contributors to poor sleep quality.
THC for Sleep
THC reduces sleep latency, so you need less time to fall asleep once you go to bed (17).
Another benefit of using THC in the evening is its ability to make you feel sleepy. Once the effects of THC wear off, your body starts to produce more melatonin. Similar to CBD, it can also increase your levels of adenosine (18).
Studies have shown that THC increases the time people spend in the deep sleep stage — the phase where restorative processes occur (19).
At the same time, THC reduces the duration of the REM stage. REM sleep is when you dream, so THC can prove beneficial for individuals struggling with recurring nightmares (20).
Terpenes for Sleep
Terpenes enhance the sedating effects of cannabis, but they also offer their own therapeutic properties.
For example, linalool, the main terpene in lavender, has been clinically proven to help with insomnia (21).
Myrcene, another abundant terpene from cannabis, mangoes, cloves, and lemongrass, is known for its relaxing effects. Not only can it make you feel sleepy, but it also increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, potentiating the effects of THC and CBD (22).
If you’re looking for the best cannabis products for sleep, make sure they contain significant levels of humulene. This terpene is abundant in hops and cannabis; it’s responsible for the giggly side of using cannabis products — and for its relaxing potential (23).
Is Cannabis a Good Long-term Solution for Sleep?
The best long-term solution for sleep is getting your nutrition, physical activity, and stress hygiene right.
Cannabis can help you improve sleep short-term. It’s also a great tool for optimizing your endocannabinoid system so that you can effectively introduce the necessary lifestyle changes.
However, when you don’t eat nutrient-dense food, live a sedentary lifestyle, and struggle with poor stress management, using cannabis for sleep is like putting a band-aid on a serious wound.
Talking to a holistic doctor and clinical dietician should be your first step on the way to improving the quality of sleep.
Get your daily dose of sunlight at 6 am and 7 pm.
Spend more time in nature.
Eat real foods.
Limit exposure to blue light before bed.
And cut out toxic people from your life.
You’ll see how your life improves with these simple modifications. Then you can add cannabis to make the process more efficient.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis for Sleep
On a short-term basis, cannabis may help you fall asleep faster and spend more time in the deep sleep stage.
However, health experts generally don’t recommend using high-THC cannabis on a long-term basis due to potential negative effects on long-term sleep quality.
The main concern relates to a tolerance that builds up in daily users. Heavy chronic use can result in (24):
- Vivid dreams
- Less sleep overall
- Longer time to fall asleep
- Awakenings during the night
Fortunately, these side effects are nonexistent if you use high-CBD cannabis products for sleep that contain only a trace amount of THC.
Although none of the above will fix your sleep problems for good, CBD-dominant products are safer in the long run.
How Is Cannabis Different from Other Sleep Aids?
Because cannabis is scheduled as a controlled substance, research on its safety and efficacy compared to other sleep aids is limited.
The biggest limitations include difficulties in obtaining high-quality cannabis by researchers, the lack of control for confounding factors, and highly selected samples.
Only a few synthetic medications are made to mimic THC, as well as one naturally-derived CBD product that has been approved by the FDA. However, they’re not prescribed for sleep.
People usually turn to cannabis for sleep to avoid more potent drugs, such as benzodiazepines and opioids.
Many prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications can lead to abuse, high tolerance, dependence, and the risk of fatal overdose.
Some natural sleep aids included in our list of the best cannabis products for sleep, like oral melatonin and chamomile, appear to reduce insomnia without dangerous side effects.
Homeopathic options, like valerian, show up in anecdotal evidence, but they still need more research until professionals can recommend them for sleep.
Which Type of Cannabis is Best for Sleep?
Full-spectrum cannabis products are better for sleep than isolate-based extracts because they evoke the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a biological phenomenon in which cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis work better together than each of them in isolation (even at high doses).
The best cannabis products for sleep include higher levels of sedating cannabinoids, such as CBN, and a range of relaxing terpenes, like myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, and humulene.
Such terpenes are more prevalent in indica strains. Sativa subvarieties contain higher levels of energizing terpenes, such as limonene and pinene; such terpenes are better for daytime use.
If you live in a state that has legal medical or recreational marijuana, you can try out THC-rich formulas, but then again, the safety and efficacy of long-term THC use for sleep is yet to be investigated in clinical trials.
Tips on Using Cannabis for Sleep
If you plan to include cannabis in your sleep-aid routine, your doctor should be able to provide the best guidance based on your health, medical history, and individual needs.
However, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the benefits and risks of different forms of cannabis.
Vaporization is the fastest and most bioavailable way to deliver cannabis compounds to your body. Bioavailability determines how much THC and CBD your body absorbs after consumption.
Edibles take more time to kick in because they pass through the digestive system and liver. They also lose some bioavailability on the way. But on the other hand, the contents are gradually released into the bloodstream, ensuring longer-lasting effects.
Cannabis tinctures are the middle ground. They offer relatively decent bioavailability and provide long-lasting effects because they get absorbed through the sublingual membrane in the mouth — avoiding the liver.
When choosing the best cannabis product for sleep, it’s also worth considering the time of the day. Cannabis products with energizing ingredients are better suited for daytime use, while formulas including natural sedatives should be used in the evening or before bed.
Final Verdict: What’s the Best Cannabis Product for Sleep?
The best cannabis products for sleep are those that combine the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes with other sleep enhancers.
Common ingredients in nighttime cannabis formulas include melatonin, chamomile, 5-HTP, l-theanine, lemon balm, and passionfruit.
We’ve found products with different ratios between CBD and CBN to be the most effective for sleep. The higher the CBN content, the more pronounced the effects. However, this may not be caused by CBN per se, but rather through its interaction with other relaxing cannabinoids and terpenes.
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, try out the products from Area 52, Royal CBD, and Gold Bee. All three companies make high-quality extracts with well-designed formulas that help optimize your inner clock through the endocannabinoid system.
How do you use cannabis for sleep? What are the best products you’ve tried so far? Share your stories in the comments!
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