Start Sleeping Well with the Best Cannabis and Hemp Sleep ProductsHow to maximize cannabis and hemp’s sleep benefits, avoid common pitfalls, and find the right cannabinoid sleep aid for you.
If you often find it hard to fall (and stay) asleep at night, you’re not alone. Insomnia and other sleep disorders have become increasingly common, and effective treatments can be hard to find. Cannabis and hemp have the potential to deliver powerful sleep relief, but figuring out exactly which cannabinoid concoction will do the trick can get confusing.
In this article, we’ll explore why cannabis helps with sleep, how to maximize its benefits, and mitigate potential drawbacks. Our list of today’s best cannabis products for sleep will help you find the ideal cannabinoid sleep solution to whisk you off to dreamland.
Using Cannabis For a Good Night’s Sleep
Cannabis (and its non-psychoactive counterpart, industrial hemp, from which most CBD-specific products are derived) can deliver powerful sedative effects as well as relieve pain, anxiety, stress, and a host of other conditions known to negatively impact sleep. These impressive effects have prompted several countries and US states to approve prescribed medical marijuana as an insomnia treatment and inspired still more individuals to experiment with using cannabis, CBD, or other cannabinoids before bed.
A Safer Sleep Alternative
Cannabis is generally considered a much safer alternative to pharmaceutical sleeping pills since there is no risk of fatal overdose or of developing a dangerous addiction to it. However, with cannabis’s wide range of potential effects – on sleep and otherwise – it’s highly advisable to consult your physician before implementing a cannabis treatment plan for disordered sleep. Never administer cannabis or CBD products to children without the express recommendation of a physician.
Cannabis sleep aids work most effectively when paired with good sleep hygiene. Maintaining a regular bedtime routine, dimming the lights and avoiding screen time before bed, cutting out stimulating substances (like caffeine or chocolate) in the hours leading up to bedtime, and aiming to be in bed at the same time each night can make a significant impact on how well cannabis impacts your sleep.
How Does Cannabis Help With Sleep?
While popular opinion has long been held that the best cannabis strains for sleep are indica, while sativa strains energize, treating insomnia with cannabis isn’t quite that simple. The cannabinoid and terpene makeup of any cannabis or hemp product is actually a much better indicator of its likelihood to help you rest. Here’s a look at how and why each of these individual cannabis compounds may affect your sleep.
- THC – Low doses of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), best-known as marijuana’s psychoactive component, can have a sedating effect as well as soothing pain, nausea, and other conditions that inhibit sleep and relaxation. Some studies suggest THC may even alleviate sleep apnea and related conditions by improving breathing quality. THC also reduces the amount of time the body spends in REM sleep cycles while increasing time spent in the restorative “deep sleep” stage. This can be especially helpful for people who suffer from PTSD-related nightmares, or who struggle with getting enough deep sleep. But it is important to be aware that THC (especially in higher doses) can sometimes hinder sleep more than it helps, invoking stimulating feelings such as euphoria, anxiety, paranoia, increased focus, or food cravings.
- CBD – CBD (cannabidiol) is often thought of as cannabis’s non-psychoactive sleep and relaxation powerhouse. The best cannabis strains for sleep are typically high in CBD, though CBD may not actually cause sleepiness as much as it lessens anxiety, pain, muscle tightness, and other conditions that make relaxing into sleep more difficult. Higher doses of CBD for sleep tend to be most effective, as low doses can actually have a mildly stimulating effect.
- CBN – CBN (cannabinol) is a lesser-known cannabinoid that’s recently begun drawing more attention. CBN is created when THC breaks down, losing its psychoactive qualities while becoming a powerful sedative, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (pain reliever) agent. Using CBN for sleep may also help users stay asleep longer once they drift off.
- CBG – CBG (cannabigerol) is another lesser-known cannabinoid people have begun turning to for sleep. While large doses of CBG can impart a sedative effect, much like CBD, this cannabinoid’s positive effects on sleep can be mostly chalked up to its anxiety-reducing and muscle-relaxing characteristics.
- Terpenes – Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give plants their distinct aromas and flavors. When it comes to cannabis, terpenes are significant players in the “entourage effect” – the theory that cannabis’s full effects are enhanced and balanced out by synergistic interactions between all of its chemical compounds. Some cannabis and hemp strains contain terpenes known to increase levels of relaxation and sleepiness, such as linalool (also found in lavender) and myrcene (also found in hops).
- Additional Ingredients – A growing selection of cannabis sleep products are made with additional non-cannabis sleep-enhancing ingredients, such as melatonin (a hormone associated with the sleep-wake cycle), valerian root, or other sedative botanicals.
The Cons of Using Cannabis for Sleep
Despite cannabis’s amazing sedative and sleep-enhancing properties, there are potential drawbacks to be aware of and take into consideration before treating sleep issues with cannabis.
Regular cannabis use often leads to increased tolerance, which means that you’ll eventually need to use a higher dosage in order to continue achieving the desired effects. Because of this, it’s better to use cannabis sleep aids as short-term solutions rather than something to lean on at bedtime every night.
Reduced REM Sleep
Studies have shown that THC use can shorten the amount of time your body spends in the REM stage of sleep. While this can be a blessing for those who suffer from nightmares and PTSD, REM sleep serves important purposes in the brain, including processing and retention of memories and other important information, and there may be long-term adverse health effects connected with consistent REM suppression. REM sleep cycles will return when you stop (or significantly reduce) bedtime cannabis use – often with a vengeance. This “REM Rebound” typically causes a significant increase in dreams and more time than usual spent in REM sleep.
Even after a good night’s sleep, some people who use cannabis or CBD for sleep will remain groggy well into the next day. These lingering effects can impact focus and energy levels, and potentially make the operation of motor vehicles or other machinery dangerous.
While cannabis is not necessarily a physically addictive substance, it is possible to become emotionally attached to or psychologically dependent on it. This can be especially true for pain, insomnia, or nightmare sufferers for whom cannabis has delivered desperately-needed relief. Discontinuing cannabis use after a period of regular use can lead to uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal, as well as a resurgence of the sleep problems it was keeping at bay.
Other Side Effects
Any cannabis use can cause side effects, many of which can actually make falling asleep harder. Some effects commonly associated with cannabis include anxiety, paranoia, dry mouth, euphoria, and increased appetite. However, everyone’s body responds to cannabis differently, and multiple factors can affect your experience with it on any given day.
Different Ways to Use Cannabis Sleep Products
Now it’s easier than ever to incorporate cannabis into your bedtime routine. Different delivery methods may have slightly different effects, so it’s great to have a variety of options to choose from.
- Flower and Pre-Rolls – Inhaling cannabis provides the quickest cannabinoid delivery, so hitting a joint right before you slip under the covers can help you nod off quickly. Of course, you can always roll your own joints, but pre-rolls are a great option if you want to skip the rolling and packing steps before bed.
- Edibles – Edibles can be an enjoyable part of your bedtime routine, but keep in mind that they can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours to take effect, so you’ll need to eat them a while before hopping into bed. However, edibles do stay in your system longer, so they may help you enjoy a longer stretch of sleep. Make sure to enjoy edibles before brushing your teeth for the night!
- Tinctures, Oils, and Sprays – Tinctures, oral sprays, and pure cannabinoid oils are also taken orally (or sublingually), but they kick in a bit faster than edibles – typically within 15-45 minutes.
- Topicals – While not as potent as other delivery methods, topicals are a gentle way to ease cannabinoids into your bedtime routine. Cannabinoid-infused lotions and creams relieve sore or tense muscles and impart a relaxing effect. If you love a nice warm bath before bed, cannabis or CBD bath bombs or bath oils are a luxurious way to make it even more soothing. Alongside their cannabinoid content, infused topicals typically include other soothing ingredients, such as lavender.
How to Select the Best Cannabis Sleep Aid for You
With a massive selection of cannabis and CBD sleep aids on the market, finding the best one for you can be overwhelming. Here are the most important things to consider before starting to use cannabis or CBD for sleep.
- Cannabinoid Content – Cannabinoid content is one of the most important considerations when choosing a cannabis-derived sleep product. CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids can have dramatically different effects at various ratios, and different products will contain these compounds in differing amounts. It’s also worth considering whether to use cannabinoid isolate products or those made with full-spectrum hemp or cannabis. Isolates are often preferred by CBD or CBN users trying to avoid any trace THC exposure. However, full-spectrum products include all of the other terpenes, cannabinoids, and other plant compounds that work synergistically to deliver the fullest effects – many with barely detectable levels of THC, if at all.
- Delivery Method – Do you prefer smoking cannabis, indulging in a tasty edible, or soaking in a CBD-spiked bath before bed? Some delivery methods kick in faster and may have stronger or different effects than others, but you should also consider choosing a consumption method you enjoy and can easily work into your bedtime routine.
- Ingredient Quality – Ingredient quality can make a huge difference in everything from the taste to the efficacy of cannabis products. Of course, it’s wise to avoid products filled with toxins or harsh chemicals and opt for organically grown, responsibly sourced cannabis and organic, non-GMO ingredients wherever possible. Fortunately, numerous cannabis companies are embracing these better quality practices, making it easier to find “clean” cannabis products.
- Complementary Ingredients – Many cannabis and CBD sleep aids are infused with additional botanicals or other ingredients known to enhance and encourage sleep, such as melatonin, valerian root, or lavender. Always consult a physician before attempting to treat insomnia with melatonin.
- Positive Reviews – Look for cannabis sleep aids from trusted companies with great reputations and ample positive reviews from satisfied users. If you’re ready to start using cannabis for sleep, our list of trusted, high-quality cannabis sleep aid brands is a great place to begin your search.
Our Favorite Cannabis Sleep Aids
Best Cannabis Sleep Aids
Midnight is the best-selling sleep-enhancing line from 1906, a high-grade, socially-conscious edible cannabis company known for its swallowable drops and decadent chocolates. Midnight is a low-dose plant medicine formulation, containing 5 mg each of THC and CBD alongside corydalis, which is known for its powerful sedative and pain-relieving effects. Midnight is remarkably fast-acting, taking effect within 20 minutes and helping users stay asleep longer. Midnight is available as both sugar-free, discreetly packaged swallowable drops and dark chocolate gems. 1906 products are vegan, free of gluten and other common allergens, and are currently available in dispensaries in Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Oklahoma.
Best CBD Sleep Aids
TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture, an offering from California wellness pioneers TheraBody, provides incredibly effective sleep relief in a soothing, organic formulation. Made with CBD from USDA-certified organic, full-spectrum hemp grown on sustainable Colorado farms, TheraOne Sleep Tincture also contains a pleasantly aromatic blend of organic botanicals, including chamomile oil, valerian root, lemon balm, and lavender oil. This high-potency tincture is formulated to prevent next-day grogginess, is cruelty-free, and is third-party lab tested for potency and purity.
Good Night is a powerfully effective, fast-acting multi-cannabinoid formula crafted to promote sleep and ease anxiety – as well as boost your immune system and replenish your adrenals and hormonal system while you sleep! Good Night combines CBD, CBN, and soothing terpenes (derived from organic, full-spectrum hemp) with a proprietary blend of organic, sustainably-grown adaptogens, functional mushrooms, and calming herbs for a pleasantly aromatic, vegan, non-GMO, lab-verified sleep tincture that won’t leave you groggy the next day. Prismatic Plants is based in San Francisco, offering fast shipping within the US and Canada and backing all products with a 30-Day Happiness Guarantee.
Saving Grace CBD’s THC-Free CBD + CBN Sleep Formula is a broad-spectrum CBD tincture that maximizes the full sedative terpene and cannabinoid effects of hemp – with all traces of THC removed. Saving Grace’s tinctures are vegan, made with only two ingredients: Colorado-grown hemp extract and MCT oil, and are completely free of melatonin, hormones, pesticides, and common allergens. Every dose of Saving Grace’s Sleep Formula delivers a perfectly balanced 10 mgs each of CBD and CBN to help users drift off to sleep quickly. Available in sample-size, regular, and wholesale quantities, the Sleep Formula can be ordered directly from Saving Grace CBD’s website and shipped anywhere in the US.
SLEEP is a premium hemp oil-based tincture from Smilyn, an innovative California company dedicated to building happy, healthy lifestyles with the help of cannabinoids. SLEEP helps users fall asleep easily – without the bitter flavor often associated with tinctures. Fragrant spice and citrus notes accompany this powerful combination of CBD, CBN, ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, spiced cinnamon, vanilla, and an impressively soothing terpene profile. Each 30 ml bottle of SLEEP is lab-tested for purity and potency and contains a powerful combination of 900 mg CBD and 100 mg CBN. SLEEP can be purchased at specialty shops and markets throughout the US, as well as directly from Smylin’s website.
Green Unicorn Farms is known for its award-winning and expertly-bred selection of premium high-CBD flower and additional full-spectrum CBD products. Green Unicorn’s organically-grown, lab-tested, farm bill-compliant (under .03% THC) CBD flower and pre-roll offerings include sedating, aromatic strains that make relaxing off to sleep a breeze, such as Strawberry Cake, Special Sauce, Bubba Kush, and many others. For those who prefer not to smoke, Green Unicorn Farms’ mint-flavored CBD Sleep Drops, high-potency full-spectrum CBD oil, and vegan, organic (not to mention delicious!) CBD & Melatonin Sleep Gummies are highly effective alternatives. Green Unicorn Farms is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and offers quick USPS shipping throughout the US.
The melatonin-free, vegan-friendly Sleep Gummies from New England Hemp Farms are a delicious and powerful bedtime edible with a potent blend of 25 mg CBD and 10 mg CBN, alongside lemon balm, passion flower, and chamomile. Family-owned and based in Groton, Connecticut, NEHF has emerged as one of the highest-rated CBD companies in the US, crafting premium CBD gummies, tinctures, capsules, bath bombs, and more – all third-party lab tested for purity and potency. NEHF Sleep Gummies have a sweetly soothing, naturally-derived tropical punch flavor, and can be found at shops throughout Connecticut as well as ordered directly from its website. 10Buds readers can save 40% on their first NEHF order with code Bud40 at checkout.
Sunset Lake Craft CBD offers two soothing products to make drifting off to sleep quick, easy, and pleasant – a naturally-flavored mint CBD oil tincture and Sleep Gummies in a tasty elderberry flavor. Both the CBD oil and Sleep Gummies are vegan, gluten-free, US Farm Bill compliant, and are made with full-spectrum CBD oil extracted from pesticide-free, sustainably-grown hemp from family-owned Sunset Lake Farm in northern Vermont. Each serving of Sunset Lake’s sleep oil contains 40 mg CBD and 3 mg melatonin, suspended in organic (coconut-derived) MCT oil for the most effective absorption. While the Sleep Gummies contain a potent combination of 25 mg CBD, 10 mg CBN, and 2 mg melatonin per square. Sunset Lake products are available directly from its website and ships to all 50 US states.
Best CBN Sleep Aids
Slumber Sleep Aid specializes in premium hemp-derived CBN products that encourage quality sleep without unpleasant side effects – and they do so remarkably well! Slumber’s unique offerings include its best-selling Extra-Strength CBN Gummies, in a sweetly soothing vanilla blueberry flavor (with a melatonin-infused version available), an ultra-relaxing Dreamsicle-flavored CBN Sleep Tincture that manages to be delightfully tasty (unlike most tinctures) without being overpowering, flavorless CBN Softgel Capsules, and an array of extra-strong topicals and ingestibles that also incorporate CBD and/or delta-8. Dedicated to safety as well as quality, all Slumber Sleep Aid products are thoroughly researched, lab-tested, and crafted in Colorado from sustainably-grown Colorado and Oregon hemp and vegan, non-GMO, natural ingredients. Slumber Sleep Aid is backed by a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee and offers fast product shipping throughout the US, with a discount for veterans and service members.
Head & Heal’s highly-rated Sleep Oil pairs full-spectrum CBD and CBN for a perfectly potent and fast-acting bedtime tincture. Available in two strengths – Sleep (10 mg CBN and 10 mg CBD per dropper) and Extra Strength Sleep (20 mg CBN and 20 mg CBD per dropper) – each bottle of Sleep CBN Oil includes a dropper marked with multiple dosing options and enough doses for at least 30 days of sleep relief. Head & Heal’s high-grade cannabinoid oils are lab-tested for purity and extracted from USDA organic hemp expertly cultivated on its own farm in Cortland, New York. Head & Heal products are available online and at specialty shops throughout the US.
Hero is a cannabinoid company founded and created by veterans and medical professionals with a “plants over pills” mindset. Hero’s Rest and Relax lines include quite a few outstanding options to help you drift off to dreamland. Hero’s Honey Chamomile CBN Gummies meld CBN and CBD with chamomile and raw honey for an organic, vegan, kosher bedtime edible that’s as delicious as it is relaxing. Hero’s other cannabinoid offerings include capsules, tinctures, boba pearls, and a powerful pain-relieving roll-on made with DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), full-spectrum CBD, arnica, and other soothing botanicals. Hero also crafts tasty fruit-flavored delta-8 gummies for a euphoric and relaxing way to wind down. Hero ships throughout the US (with some exceptions for delta-8 products).