It’s not easy getting to sleep—and even as it feels like you’re getting more and more tired, it can get even harder to actually get a night of rest. But you can’t keep that up forever!
We suck at sleeping
A study out of the UK found that between 2018 and 2020 the more and more people reported insomnia, rising to 1 in 4. There’s even a name for insomnia related to stress from the pandemic, according to the Sleep Foundation: coronasomnia.
We all know how we feel when we don’t get any sleep: fatigued, groggy, bags under the eyes. But consistently getting poor sleep over time can increase your risk for weight gain, cardiovascular issues, and depression, according to The Sleep Foundation, and even reduce the natural defenses of certain vaccines and your body’s immune system.
I guess what we’re saying here is, we could all use a little more sleep.
Alcohol and pills aren’t the answer
Apparently, a lot of us have been struggling during the pandemic because even younger women are dying of liver disease at increasingly high rates. Where in the past you might have used a sleep aid like melatonin or, ahem, wine, occasionally, you may be looking for a better solution. Could that be cannabis edibles for sleep?
These days, soccer moms, grandma, everyone else is starting to see edibles as a viable option.
What are edibles for sleep?
Really, that’s the beauty of making your own. It’s whatever works for you. But basically, it’s some form of cannabis that’s ingested. You might make anything from infused gummies to basic cannabutter to use in any number of things.
What will you infuse it with? You could just use classic flower, or focus on aged flowers for higher CBN (cannabinol) content. Or many users love to add a high-CBD tincture to their edibles for sleep, because it helps relax them or soothe chronic pain.
Basically, choose your infusion based on the cannabinoids, effects, and flavors you’re after (or avoiding):
- CBD (cannabidiol) is known for treating inflammation and anxiety—without that high feeling.
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is well-known and loved as the psychoactive, intoxicating compound that gets you high.
- CBN (cannabinol) is less well-studied, but appears to be among the more sedating and less euphoric compounds.
There are varying strains of each marijuana plant, too: indica and sativa. Historically, indica has been known as the more sedating variety, while sativa has a reputation for being more energizing. That said, when it comes to edibles, the two strains don’t really factor much into effectiveness. What’s more predictive of your experience is which cannabinoid (THC, CBD, or CBN) is in what you’re consuming.
How to use edibles for better sleep
So, as long as you don’t have a liver condition, because cannabis is processed in the liver, should you think about a sleep-inducing edible?
For most people, it’s super handy to make and keep a few around—for occasional use when you really need a great night’s sleep, on weekends, whatever. Just start low and go slow, as always! And if you’re DIYing it, do your math.
It wouldn’t help to avoid trying it the first time the night before the big presentation, or whatever. Set an alarm.
For those who want to DIY their cannabis edibles for sleep, start here:
The right stuff
We love our gummies, but for nighttime use we love oil-based products more. The body digests them more slowly, and they last longer. Create fat- or oil-based edibles with cannabutter or infused cooking oil, not just concentrate in sugar like you might for a gummy.
(Although we can’t lie—infused honey is wonderful in a cup of tea at night, too. So drink it with cream or milk!)
And our personal favorite cannabinoid blend for nighttime? THC with a CBN boost. We like to age a batch of flower to get more CBN and use that for some sleepy edibles, but you can also be scientific about it and add CBN tincture to your fat.
Remember, especially with those fat-based edibles we’re recommending, you’re in for a little bit of a wait. Cannabis edibles can take 60 minutes or longer to produce effects, unlike smoked or vaped cannabis. Set a timer, too, so you don’t overload on more edibles thinking your first round didn’t work, when really it’s just that wait.
And the longer the wait, the better, especially at night. Hopefully you ate some healthy fat with your meal, too, because the effects may take longer to hit you, but they’ll last longer too. Leave a solid 60 minutes either way.
And remember, get hydrated before bed. Cannabis can, in general, be dehydrating, and if you’re sleeping all night, be well-hydrated first.
Finally, make sure you’ve allowed 6 to 10 hours for the cannabis to leave your system, total.
Watch your dose
A low dose edible tends to go a very long way, especially if it’s well-made. Be patient, and don’t take more than you need. This can give you the opposite result, including that awful paranoid feeling.
If it’s a THC edible, start with no more than 5 mg of THC, and ideally less. Keeping it on the lower end delivers a mildly euphoric experience but isn’t too exciting so you can sleep.
Choose a strain
Not all cannabis edibles for sleep are made with indica strains, but these are often sleepy cultivars that are good places to start. Certainly you’d want to avoid anything that wakes you up—Green Crack is probably not your go-to for sleep edibles.
Pick a recipe
This one’s easy. Sure, avoid Bulletproof Coffee and maybe anything with excessive chocolate in it—or not, we don’t judge—but anything that you’ll love eating or drinking just before bed is fair game. We love infusing gingersnaps or lemon bars. They hide any flavor and they’re a nice nighttime thing, for some reason.
Or if you can’t let a nighttime cuppa go, we recommend infusing a bulletproof chai instead, but with decaf. Use the cannabutter or infused coconut oil, whatever you like, and your favorite spices. You can even make it chamomile.
Final thoughts on edibles for sleep
Nighttime is one of the best times for homemade cannabis edibles. You can get that Goldilocks treat that sends you off but doesn’t leave you groggy, and you can add other herbs and supplements you like, too. Recommended!