How Cannabis Helps with Sleep Disorders

Woman Sleeping

We have all had those nights where we simply didn’t get enough sleep, and the next day we’re stuck in a mental fog dragging our feet. Imagine how much worse it is for those with chronic sleep deprivation or for those who experience insomnia on a regular basis. It is natural that those with such conditions would be seeking out various sleep solutions, sometimes including medical cannabis.

A number of studies provide evidence to support that cannabis can offer some relief for people suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders, however, the research is still in its infancy.

But how does cannabis affect sleep?

According to a study done in 2008, cannabis ingested with higher levels of THC reduced the amount of REM sleep of individuals while increasing the amount of deep sleep that they got. Reducing the amount of dreams is beneficial in some cases, such as with PTSD patients, and can help achieve a more restful sleep.

The downside of this is that REM sleep is an important part of cognitive and immune functioning so working with a trained medical professional is necessary to figure out the proper chemical composition and dosage. Fortunately, strains of cannabis lower in THC and higher in non-psychoactive CBD have also shown to be effective in helping people get a better night’s sleep.

A review conducted in 2015 found that the best results for improved sleep were achieved from strains of cannabis that had equal parts THC and CBD. The reason for this was that these strains were able to give patients a restful sleep without causing any memory impairment.

It is important to note that cannabis does not work the same way that sleeping pills or hypnotic drugs do. Rather than actually inducing sleep, cannabis works by lessening other symptoms that can interfere with sleep. These symptoms including things like anxiety, pain or frequent urination. And a major advantage that cannabis has over other types of medication is that there is no lethal dose.

You will also want to work with a cannabis counsellor to determine which delivery method is going to best suit your needs. Despite popular belief, you do not need to smoke cannabis. In fact, smoking cannabis is not a recommended delivery method by experts like the physicians at CannaWay Clinic. Dried cannabis can be taken using a vaporizer and cannabis oils can be taken orally on its own or mixed with food or beverages.

If you would like to learn whether cannabis might be a solution to help you get a better night’s sleep, feel free to book a consultation at one of our clinics.


Comprehensive Medical Cannabis Plan

There are no referrals necessary to book an appointment with one of our physicians.


  1. Schierenbeck, T et al. (2008) Effect of illicit recreational drugs upon sleep: cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18313952

  2. Zinko C. (2018) The new chill pill — why cannabis is coming for sleeping pill poppers. Retrieved from: https://www.greenstate.com/health/does-marijuana-treat-insomnia-using-cannabis-for-sleep-science-research-facts/

  3. Ferguson G and Ware MA (2015) Review Article: Sleep, Pain and Cannabis. Retrieved from: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/review-article-sleep-pain-and-cannabis-2167-0277.1000191.php?aid=40536