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The Impact of Cannabis on Sleep

4 Mins read

Sleep is an integral aspect of our well-being, and the search for effective remedies to enhance its quality has been a topic of great interest for generations. Cannabis, often associated with recreational use and sometimes a source of controversy, has emerged as a potential aid for improving sleep.

Let’s delve into the impact of cannabis on sleep, exploring its potential benefits and shedding light on relevant scientific studies. Beyond the global potential that cannabis holds as a sleep aid, we will unveil the intriguing historical ties between cannabis and traditional Thai medicine, where its usage for sleep and relaxation has been documented for centuries.

The Potential Benefits of Cannabis for Sleep

It is no secret that sleep disorders, such as insomnia, plague a significant portion of the population. Some studies suggest upwards of 60% of the global population suffers from insomnia, which is a staggering statistic. Cannabis, a plant renowned for its psychoactive properties, has emerged as a potential aid for sleep. While the association between cannabis and sleep may seem counterintuitive, scientific research suggests that it may offer tangible benefits.

Cannabis comprises different strains, each possessing unique effects on the human body. Of particular interest are the sedative qualities commonly associated with indica strains. Indica strains are renowned for their calming and relaxing effects, making them an enticing option for those in pursuit of a peaceful night’s sleep. These strains have the potential to alleviate insomnia and enhance sleep quality, enabling individuals to experience more rejuvenating rest.

Relevant Studies and Research on Cannabis for Sleep

The effects of cannabis on sleep have garnered significant attention from researchers, leading to several noteworthy studies in the field. One such study, conducted by Ryan Vandrey et al. in 2019, titled “Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature,” provides a comprehensive analysis of existing research in this domain. This study explores the potential benefits of cannabinoids, the active compounds found in cannabis, in managing sleep-related issues. By examining the available literature, the researchers shed light on the promising potential of cannabis as a therapeutic option for individuals struggling with sleep disorders.

In a similar vein, Zainab Samaan et al. conducted a notable cross-sectional study in 2020 titled “Medical Cannabis and Insomnia in Older Adults with Chronic Pain.” This study focuses on the benefits of cannabis in older adults who face the dual burden of chronic pain and insomnia. By highlighting the multifaceted nature of cannabis as a remedy, the researchers underscore its potential to address interconnected issues that often hinder quality sleep.

The body of research examining the impact of cannabis on sleep continues to grow, consistently substantiating its potential benefits. For instance, a 2019 study by Shannon et al. titled “Cannabis and Sleep: A Review of the Literature” provides a comprehensive analysis of the existing body of research on this topic. The study suggests that cannabis has the capacity to improve sleep outcomes, particularly in individuals with insomnia. Notably, the study emphasizes the sedative effects observed in specific cannabis strains, further bolstering the notion that cannabis may indeed be a viable option for those seeking effective sleep remedies.

A study conducted by Babson et al. in 2017, titled “Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature,” delves into the intricate relationship between cannabis use and sleep. The research findings suggest that cannabis has the potential to alleviate sleep disturbances and enhance sleep continuity. However, the study also highlights the need for further research to comprehensively comprehend the long-term effects and potential risks associated with the use of cannabis as a sleep aid.

The wealth of scientific studies examining the effects of cannabis on sleep provides valuable insights into its potential benefits. Nevertheless, it is crucial to approach the subject with caution and seek guidance from healthcare professionals. Factors such as individual differences in tolerance, optimal dosage, and appropriate timing are essential considerations when incorporating cannabis into one’s sleep routine. Moreover, potential interactions with other medications and the risk of dependency or misuse should be carefully evaluated.

Cannabis and Thai Traditional Medicine

Looking beyond the realm of scientific research, cannabis holds a profound historical connection with traditional Thai medicine. Thai traditional medicine, deeply rooted in ancient practices, has long embraced the utilization of cannabis to promote relaxation and improve sleep. This historical significance is evident in the documented use of cannabis in ancient texts, providing a fascinating glimpse into its role in traditional Thai remedies.

Within the framework of Thai traditional medicine, cannabis is recognized for its potential to induce a state of tranquility, aiding individuals in achieving restful sleep. Ancient Thai healers and practitioners have long employed herbal preparations containing cannabis to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. These remedies aim to restore a state of harmony and balance, fostering an optimal environment for quality sleep.

Traditional Thai herbal medicine encompasses a range of formulations that feature cannabis as a key ingredient. These herbal preparations, known as “ya pa” in Thai, are customarily created by blending various herbs and spices with cannabis to produce potent remedies. These formulations have been traditionally used to alleviate stress, anxiety, and insomnia, allowing individuals to attain a state of deep relaxation and enhance their sleep quality.

The historical ties between cannabis and Thai traditional medicine exemplify the deep-rooted understanding of the plant’s potential for promoting relaxation and improving sleep. These ancient practices, passed down through generations, highlight the cultural significance attributed to cannabis as a tool for achieving restful sleep and overall well-being.


While its association with recreational use often overshadows its potential benefits, scientific studies have shed light on the potential therapeutic properties of cannabis in managing sleep-related issues. The sedative effects of indica strains and the multi-faceted nature of cannabis as a remedy make it an intriguing avenue for exploration.

The historical connection between cannabis and traditional Thai medicine adds an extra layer of fascination here in Thailand. The long-standing utilization of cannabis in Thai traditional remedies for sleep and relaxation underscores its cultural significance and highlights its potential as a sleep aid. This adds so much value to the cannabis industry here, as we are now illuminating decades of traditional medicinal practices related to Cannabis in the region.

As our understanding of cannabis and its impact on sleep continues to evolve, it is crucial to approach the subject with an open mind. Further research and exploration are necessary to fully comprehend the intricate relationship between cannabis and sleep. Ultimately, only with a comprehensive understanding can we harness the potential benefits of this plant to improve our sleep and overall quality of life. 

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About author
A creative strategist and content marketing whiz, Andrew has been living in Thailand and exploring the powerful properties and opportunities surrounding the cannabis plant.
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