Quality sleep is a must for good health, but more than a third of American adults struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep for the recommended seven or so hours. Poor sleep has a multitude of causes ranging from simple lifestyle issues to anxiety, chronic pain, and discomforts caused by many health conditions, and getting too little sleep can compromise daily life in many ways.
Because insomnia can have so many causes, people struggling with sleeplessness turn to a variety of remedies that include holistic remedies, changes to sleep routines, and a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids. These medications can have side effects that include a “hungover” feeling, problems with concentration, and a condition called parasomnia, in which people under the influence of a sleep medication engage in wake-time actions such as walking, driving, or shopping.
But research reveals that compounds in the cannabis plant can support healthy sleep without the potentially toxic side effects of common sleep aids. Cannabis works naturally with the body’s endocannabinoid system to calm anxiety, promote relaxation and ease the chronic pain that can interfere with sleep. And now, Pennsylvania residents can choose from a variety of premium cannabis products for sleep from the state’s many legal cannabis dispensaries. Here’s a look at how cannabis can help you sleep, along with five of the best cannabis products for sleep available in Pennsylvania today.
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia simply means “an inability to sleep,” and the term is an umbrella for many different short and long-term sleep problems. Short-term causes for insomnia, such as an upcoming stressful event, usually resolve quickly on their own. But poor sleep can become chronic, which contributes to health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and, according to some research, dementia.
Common contributors to chronic insomnia include anxiety, stress, and pain and discomfort from many conditions such as arthritis and cancer. Certain medications can also contribute to insomnia, and so can changes to sleep routines due to shift work or caregiving. Insomnia is on the rise in the era of COVID-19, too, caused by the stresses of the pandemic.
For some causes of insomnia, small changes can create conditions for restful sleep. Herbal teas, gentle exercise, or changes to the sleep environment can help many people get to sleep. Iff those don’t help, sleep aids like Ambien or Restoril can force the brain into downtime. But the side effects of these medications can cause daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, and other problems, including the rare but dangerous parasomnia, a condition in which people under the influence of a sleep aid behave as if they’re awake.
Cannabis Supports Sleep Naturally
The cannabis Sativa plant is rich in compounds that work with the body’s own system of cannabinoid receptors to promote sleep naturally without the side effects of medications. The endocannabinoid system responds both to cannabis-like chemicals produced naturally by the body and to cannabis compounds such as THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol),
This large network of cell receptors is responsible for maintaining balance, or homeostasis, among the body’s many subsystems, including those that regulate mood, cognition, and pain. Consuming cannabis in any of its many forms triggers responses in endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, which reduces pain, relieves anxiety, and promotes feelings of relaxation and calm for a better night’s sleep.
What to Know About Cannabis in Pennsylvania
Cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Pennsylvania since 201, but outside of legitimate medical needs, it still remains illegal, with penalties for possession and sale. Under the current law, Pennsylvania residents with a serious condition diagnosed by an approved healthcare provider can get a medical marijuana card that allows them to buy a variety of cannabis products from any of the state’s registered dispensaries.
The Best Cannabis Products in Pennsylvania for Sleep
If you’re a qualified medical cannabis cardholder in Pennsylvania, you can purchase cannabis products for smoking, vaping and consuming from any Pennsylvania cannabis dispensary, including innovative new products designed to support quality sleep. Here are five of the best we’ve found.
Cornbread is a hybrid whole flower from Seven Hills with a high THCA content and low amounts of CBD and THC. With considerable amounts of CBGA and the soothing terpene Beta-caryophyllene, Cornbread offers nighttime relaxation for a good night’s sleep.
iRest by Terrapin delivers relaxation and pain relief in a 20-capsule pack for easy dosing. The iRest hybrid contains both CBD and THC, along with CBG, CBN, and the calming terpene Bisabolol.
The Dream 8:1 tincture by Ilera contains 140ml of THC and 10ml of CBD per 30 ml bottle, along with the minor cannabinoids CBC, CBN, and CBG. Dream 8:1 offers nighttime relaxation without psychoactive effects for relief of aches and pains that interfere with sleep.
Dr. Solomon’s Doze Drops by Dr. Solomon’s contains equal amounts of CBN and THC along with the minor cannabinoids CBC, CBG, THC8, and THCA, plus the calming, citrus-scented terpene limonene. With 100 mg total cannabinoids per bottle, this fast-acting tincture relieves anxiety and promotes bedtime relaxation.
The CBD Blue Dream live vape cartridge delivers sleep-boosting CBD along with a considerable dose of THC. CBD Blue Dream is also rich in calming terpenes, including Beta-Caryophyllene, Myrcene, Linalool, and Bisabolol.
It’s easy to get your medical document with the online telehealth service HelloMD. Register, pay, and receive an online medical consultation with a licensed practitioner and start purchasing medical cannabis today.