In a world where the search for a good night’s rest feels like a never-ending quest, many are turning to an age-old remedy with a new-age twist: cannabis. But what does the science say about it? Here at Zenbarn Farms, premier Vermont dispensary, we believe in the power of canna-knowledge. In this blog, we’ll dive into research involving the connection between cannabis and sleep.

Understanding How Cannabis Interacts With the Body

Before we talk about how cannabis affects sleep, let’s talk about how cannabis interacts with the body in the first place by introducing the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a complex network of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids (the body’s own cannabis-like compounds). It’s involved in regulating physiological processes like mood, appetite, pain sensation, and, you guessed it, sleep. The primary receptors in the ECS are CB1 and CB2, found throughout the body but predominantly in the brain and immune system, respectively.

Cannabis & the ECS

When you consume cannabis, its cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, engage with the ECS by binding to or influencing the CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC gravitates towards CB1 receptors in the brain, resulting in the “high” feeling users experience.

CBD doesn’t directly bind to receptors, but it’s able to influence the ECS indirectly, which may explain why it’s able to act as a mood booster and reduce anxiety without the “high” feeling.

Crash Course on Sleep Science

Sleep is not just a single state but a process that involves various stages and cycles. Generally, we categorize sleep into two main types: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep. Both types are crucial to our health. Sleep starts with non-REM sleep in three stages, transitioning from light to deep, restorative sleep. 

Then, the REM phase happens, showcasing rapid eye movement, increased brain activity, and often hosting vivid dreams. We cycle through these stages several times a night, each cycle lasting about 90 minutes.

The Importance of Quality Sleep for Overall Health

Quality sleep is a cornerstone of good health. During sleep, our body repairs itself, consolidates memories, and rejuvenates. 

Lack of sleep can potentially lead to a weakened immune system, weight gain, mood changes, and increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Understanding how we sleep isn’t just for academic purposes. It’s vital to maintaining our health and well-being.

Cannabis and Sleep: What Does the Science Say?

Now that we have an understanding of both cannabis and sleep, let’s get into the relationship between the two. The investigation into cannabis and sleep continues to grow. Several studies have examined how cannabinoids affect sleep patterns. 

top view of bearded man sleeping on bed in bedroom

The Potential Effects of Cannabinoids on Sleep Patterns

Each cannabinoid interacts with the body differently. However, we’re shining a spotlight on the four most studied cannabinoids in relation to sleep: THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG:


  • THC, known for its psychoactive effects, has been linked to reduced time to fall asleep in some individuals. However, high doses of THC may actually disrupt sleep, likely due to its increased psychoactive properties.


  • CBD, on the other hand, is often regarded for its potential to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation, which could indirectly aid sleep and help treat insomnia.


  • Emerging research on minor cannabinoids CBN and CBG suggests they could act as sleep aids as well.


  • CBG has shown a potential to improve inflammation and discomfort, which would make sleeping more difficult.


  • Meanwhile, research has unveiled an intriguing connection between CBN and sleep. This cannabinoid, aptly nicknamed “the sleepy cannabinoid,” appears to directly influence sleep.


Zenbarn Farms — Your Favorite Waterbury Dispensary: Creating & Curating Holistic Cannabis Experiences  

At Zenbarn, we’re about creating a holistic experience that enriches your life. We believe in the power of nature to heal and enhance. That’s why we carry a carefully curated selection of cannabis products, including cannabis strains known for their potential sleep-enhancing properties. 

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of cannabis on sleep, but these promising results indicate that cannabis can’t be counted out when helping you count sheep.


*The contents of this blog are intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.*