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What Happens When You Sleep High?

What Happens When You Sleep High? Unraveling the Mystery with TeleLeaf

The effects of cannabis on sleep are often misunderstood. But, for people who have trouble sleeping, medical marijuana can be a real game-changer.[1]

What’s the science behind THC and sleep? And what happens when you sleep high?

In this guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about medical cannabis and sleep—information that can help you on your healing journey, regardless of whether or not you’re using THC specifically as a sleep aid.

The Science: THC, CBD, and Sleep

When it comes to medical cannabis and sleep, two key compounds are the subject of much discussion and research:[2]

  1. THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is one of a few major cannabinoids found in marijuana. THC has an intoxicating effect, meaning it can impact your brain activity and your body’s physical functions.
  2. CBD – Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another major cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC, it doesn’t have an intoxicating or psychoactive effect. However, it can produce physical effects—like drowsiness.

It’s important to note here that everyone has a different response to both CBD and THC. So, how these compounds impact your sleep can vary. While some people may feel relaxed and sleepy after consuming either compound, others may feel more alert.

Things to Consider When Using CBD and THC for Sleep

As you fine-tune your product selection and dosing, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • CBD and THC content – Some medical cannabis products only feature CBD, some only contain THC, and some include both. If you’re still fine-tuning your dosage to improve your sleep, consider starting with a product that only includes one of these compounds before combining them so that you can easily assess your unique response to each.
  • Concentrations – Each medical cannabis product has a unique concentration of THC, CBD, or both. When you purchase products at a dispensary, these concentrations will be listed on the label. Higher concentrations are more potent—so, you might need a smaller volume of them to achieve your desired results. If you’re just starting your medical marijuana journey, we recommend starting with low concentrations and small doses and “titering” (increasing or decreasing) your dose as needed.
  • Context – Neither THC nor CBD is a cure-all. They’re both tools you can use to unlock better sleep, improved focus, decreased anxiety, and other effects on your healing journey. So, you should also take a closer look at your sleep context if you’re trying to improve your sleep. Are you staring at your smartphone for an hour before bed? Watching gripping TV in the evenings? Sleeping next to noisy neighbors? You might have to tackle elements of your lifestyle and environment in addition to supplementing with medical cannabis to achieve optimal rest.

Potential Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Sleep: A Closer Look

So, why might you use medical cannabis for sleep?

Cannabis, specifically THC, can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.[3] Additionally, some studies suggest that it may influence the length and quality of REM sleep (the stage when you dream). This could be especially beneficial for those suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder.

Plus, the side effects of cannabis are limited—unlike pharmaceutical sleep aids, which can cause negative side effects like mood disturbances, sleepwalking, and nausea (to name just a few).[4]

The Flip Side: Potential Drawbacks of Cannabis for Sleep

Some of the most common side effects and drawbacks of medical cannabis for sleep improvement are:

  • Increased tolerance – In the long term, you might need to increase your dose gradually to keep achieving your desired effects. Many patients mitigate this with infrequent “tolerance breaks,” or short periods of lower dosing.
  • Daytime drowsiness – If you’re drowsy after a night of sleeping with medical marijuana, your dose might be too high. Consider reducing your dose to achieve optimal sleep without next-day dragging.
  • Intoxication – Since THC has an intoxicating effect, you might feel different when you start using THC for sleep. If these effects are uncomfortable, consider lowering your dose, combining THC with CBD, or opting for CBD-only products for sleep.

TeleLeaf’s Take: Seek Advice from Medical Marijuana Experts

At TeleLeaf, we’ve seen firsthand how medical marijuana treatment can unlock healing, improve sleep, and transform lives—especially compared to traditional medicine. That said, we believe in learning from the experts in our midst:

  • Medical marijuana doctors – In states where medical cannabis is available, most patients must consult with a medical professional to receive a recommendation for marijuana use. Use your doctor as a resource anytime you have a question about your treatment.
  • Dispensary/pharmacy experts – Like medical marijuana doctors, dispensary workers and pharmacists are experts at what they do. They can also be key resources on your healing journey, especially when it’s time to select products.

At the end of the day, informed use is crucial for getting the most out of medical marijuana—whether you’re on a trauma recovery journey or simply looking to get better sleep.

Navigating Cannabis Use with TeleLeaf

As we continue to explore the intersections of cannabis and health, it’s crucial to remember that every individual’s response to cannabis is different. While cannabis might aid sleep for some, only you know how CBD and THC will impact your sleep habits and overall wellness.

Fortunately, TeleLeaf is here to help you navigate these complexities. Our mission is to simplify and humanize the world of plant medicines, ensuring you have the right information to make informed decisions about your health. We’re disrupting the narrative that Western medicine is a cure-all by improving access to plant-based treatments and healthy healing.

Learn more about our mission and take your first steps with TeleLeaf today.



[1] Sleep Foundation. Using Cannabis As a Sleep Aid.

[2] Healthline. CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?.

[3] Sleep Foundation. Using Cannabis As a Sleep Aid.

[4] GoodRx. 8 Ambien (Zolpidem) Side Effects You Should Know About.

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