Cannabis and Sleep

Do you use Cannabis to help you sleep?  Do you sleep better because of it?

There is not much actual scientific evidence because of its illegal status.  Most of the studies were conducted in the 1970s.

Cannabis is a very complex drug with varying effects depending on the variety of the plant, the way it is ingested, the setting in which it is used, and the psychological set of the user.

In general, Cannabis has three different strains that have different psychoactive characteristics depending on the specific chemical make up of the plants. Cannabis sativa is the most commonly used strain and generally is the most psychoactive. Recent strains have been produced which are extremely psychedelic while others are more sedative.

The drug effects are caused by cannabinoids that attach to our cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system.  Primarily THC (tetrahydocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidol) are responsible for the psychologic effects, although their effects may be modified by other cannabinoids.  THC in small doses is sedative, in moderate doses is a stimulant, in large doses is a psychedelic, and in very large doses can cause psychotic-like symptoms.  

Various factors come into play.  Cannabis can be eaten, smoked, or vaporized.  It's effects can differ based on the environment.  A quiet, calm environment is less likely to result in anxiety.  Also, some people are more sensitive to it's effects. 

In the 1970 studies, it was found that cannabis actually decreased REM sleep initially but this disappeared with continued use.  It did decrease the amount of time it took to fall asleep.

It's too bad that further research cannot be conducted because of it's illegality.  More studies need to be conducted.  What are your experiences?  I know it definitely helps me to sleep.  I'm more relaxed, I fall asleep faster, and seem to sleep sound the whole night.