Sleep problems and cannabis
I’ve been using cannabis for over a year now and it’s been wonderful for my insomnia. I usually take a truffle before bed a few times a week, but only when I suspect I’m going to have a hard time falling asleep.
It turns out that I am awful at predicting when I’ll need help falling asleep, so I ate an edible every night for a month. Here’s what I learned from 30 days of edibles.
Cannabis Doesn’t Care Why I’m Awake
Sometimes I can’t sleep because my mind is racing and I just can’t turn it off. Sometimes I can’t sleep because it is hot and why isn’t it winter yet? And sometimes I can’t sleep because it’s the third Tuesday of the month, the moon is waning, the wind is in the east, and I heard a blue jay earlier in the day.
Cannabis doesn’t care. Ten milligrams of THC puts me to sleep regardless of why I’m awake.
Dosage is essential to a good experience with cannabis. At this point, there is no single dose that works well for everyone. Instead, the dose that works for you is influenced by a myriad of factors including genetics, metabolism, what you’ve eaten recently, and tolerance. It takes some trial and error, but finding the dose that works for you is the key to using cannabis medicinally.
It turns out that there is too much of a good thing. For me, 10 mg helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. A smaller dose will help me stay asleep, but it’s still hard to get to sleep. A 15 mg dose leaves me a little groggy in the morning, but a 20 mg dose will keep me up until I’ve watched at least one full season of Rick and Morty. Too much cannabis will actually keep me awake instead of helping me go to sleep.
What About Tolerance?
One of my biggest concerns about using cannabis on a daily basis was that I’d build up a tolerance and require more and more cannabis to deal with some insomnia. While I did notice that I felt less high toward the end of the month, I was still able to fall asleep and stay asleep.
After my 30 days of edibles experiment ended, I skipped the truffles for a few days. That seemed to reset my tolerance back to normal.
Avoiding The Munchies
Gold Country Afgoo is one of my favorite strains because it relaxes both my mind and my body until I can fall asleep. Unfortunately, it also helps me enjoy food, something I’m already pretty enthusiastic about. Overindulging occasionally is one thing, but having popcorn for dinner every night is not sustainable.
Planning ahead is essential. The truffle that I take to help me sleep does not do much for my motivation, so I tend to eat whatever’s convenient rather than actually cooking something. I try to harness the laziness by portioning out dinner ahead of time. That means I have something ready to eat when the munchies hit, but once I finish dinner, I’m out of convenient foods and it’s a little easier to avoid getting carried away.
Who Knew Cannabis Kills Pain?
Naturally, I’ve read about the painkilling properties of cannabis, but I’d never actually needed to use cannabis for pain. However, halfway through my experiment, I woke up with a sore back. Back pain is pretty rare for me, so I don’t have a very good method of dealing with it. I woke up in pain, took some ibuprofen, and suffered through my day. (Stairs were particularly exciting.)
The pain did not go away…until I ate my bedtime truffle. An hour later I realized that my back didn’t hurt anymore! (A smarter person maybe would have remembered that she works for a cannabis company and tried the cannabis first thing in the morning instead of waiting fifteen hours.)
Reading about how cannabis kills pain is one thing, but experiencing it magically eliminate my pain for hours on end was glorious.
My 30 days of edibles experiment was very helpful. It gave me a better idea of what I can do to make sure I have a good experience every time and it helped me get over the idea that using cannabis every day would lead to dependency.
Being able to sleep consistently is just amazing. I love that I have a reliable method that allows me to go to sleep and stay asleep for eight solid hours. Everyone else in my life seems to enjoy it too — I spend far less time staring vacantly at people if they attempt to speak to me before 11 AM.