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Is CBD or THC Better for Sleep?

Is CBD or THC Better for Sleep?

DISCLAIMER:  Marijuana is not legal in all areas. encourages you to check your local, regional and national laws before purchasing marijuana in person or online. holds no liability of any kind, including financial, for any person(s) using marijuana resulting from information or web links contained on this website.

The use of cannabis for wellness has been around for centuries. But since the discovery of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), there has been an increased use of cannabis extracts. CBD and THC are the top two most prevalent compounds found in cannabis. Even though they come from the same source, they produce different effects on the human body. Both of them can be used to manage a wide range of conditions, including sleep issues. But when comparing THC vs CBD for sleep, which one is the better alternative? Besides that, what’s their legal status?

THC and Sleep

A 2008 study indicates that consuming marijuana with high THC levels can reduce the symptoms of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) disorder. Some reports also indicate that short-term use of THC can increase the amount of deep sleep you get. This way, you can wake up always feeling relaxed and refreshed. THC’s effectiveness in reducing REM during sleep means your brain will spend more time processing emotions, dreaming, and cementing new memories. Its sedating properties may simply be the nightcap that you need to get a good night’s rest.

How Does CBD Work for Sleep?

The body has the endocannabinoid system that regulates certain body functions. This includes sleep, circadian rhythms, mood, appetite, and others. CBD usually interacts with the endocannabinoids in this system. As a result, it helps to enhance their effectiveness, especially when it comes to regulating hormones that maintain sleep patterns.

Taking CBD can suppress your dysregulated stress hormone cycle. It minimizes the cycle’s overactivation and balances the sleep-wake rhythm. Besides that, CBD can also help manage other underlying triggers that contribute to sleep issues. This includes pain and anxiety which can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. By significantly reducing their symptoms, chances are that the quality of your sleep may improve.

CBD vs THC: Legal Concern

While they both come from the cannabis plant, they produce different effects. This has consequentially led to different legal concerns. That’s why when choosing THC and CBD for sleep, it's important to consider their legality.

It should be noted marijuana and THC are still included under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that they are not legal under federal law. CBD on the hand is legal federally after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that you don’t need a prescription to purchase or use it.

However, it’s important to understand that different states have different laws. This means that there are states where getting CBD for sleep can only be under prescription. Regardless of its federal status, there are states where you can still purchase THC for sleep.  For instance, it’s illegal to possess or consume in Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota. In states such as Alaska, Washington, California, and Colorado marijuana is legal (including THC).

Which is Better for Sleep: CBD or THC?

Between THC vs CBD for sleep, which one is better? For starters, it’s important to note that THC is psychoactive while CBD is non-psychoactive. This means that they have different levels of efficacy when it comes to regulating sleep.

So, what does THC do for sleep? Well, psychoactive can make you fall asleep faster. If you are struggling to fall asleep, this might be what you need to use before going to bed. Some people describe it as an “alcohol” since it effectively blocks REM during sleep. Besides that, research indicates that THC has a great potential in treating obstructive sleep apnea and easing PTSD-related nightmares. Besides that, it can help improve sleep in those suffering from chronic pain.

However, consistently using it can lead to sleep latency – the time it takes for an individual to fall asleep after getting into bed. Those who quit using it after a long period of dependency reportedly end up experiencing “rebound insomnia”.

CBD is a sleep aid that works to treat the symptoms of the triggers. Early research data indicates that it can help users fall faster. It’s effective for managing the severity of sleep apnea and PTSD-related sleep issues. It should be noted that CBD doesn’t result in dependency issues. So, its long-term use won't lead to rebound insomnia. It’s evident that both THC and CBD have their pros and cons. The better alternative depends on your personal preferences.

Types of CBD Products for Sleep

You can find CBD products in three types, isolate, broad-spectrum, and full spectrum. Each of these products has different compounds. As a result, they normally produce different effects on the body. Understanding these three types of CBD will help you choose the best that suits your specific preferences.

  • Full-spectrum CBD: it’s made from hemp extract that features CBD as well as other compounds found naturally in the hemp plant. They include terpenes, flavonoids, and trace THC content.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: it has all the compounds found in full-spectrum CBD. However, it doesn’t have THC content.
  • Isolate: it doesn’t have any other plant compound except CBD.

You can find CBD oil for sleep along with different versions of oil infused products such as, gummies, pills, capsules, soft gels, and vape oils.  All of them have different onset periods and their longevity in the circulatory system varies. Note that quality CBD for sleep is usually sold by a reputable manufacturer.

The Bottom Line

So, when comparing CBD vs THC, which one is best for sleep? Well, it all depends on personal preferences. Both CBD and THC for sleep provide users with benefits. THC is ideal for making you sleep faster. However, it reduces sleep latency. On the other hand, CBD is an effective sleep aid that helps to manage the triggers of sleeplessness and insomnia. You can use it to manage the severity of sleep apnea and PTSD-related sleep issues. THC has psychoactive properties hence it’s not ideal for people who regularly undergo drug tests. Even so, it has a great level of efficiency in restoring the natural sleep cycle. CBD is non-psychoactive and it’s ideal for improving overall wellness.