Top Tips to Enjoy Cannabis for Relaxation and Sleep
One of the primary reasons to use products derived from cannabis is for the relaxing qualities they provide. Many people have trouble winding down at the end of the day, making it a logical choice to consider a cannabis nightly routine to relax after dealing with daytime stress.
As with any other substance, it's important that you're aware of how your body responds to cannabis so you can make an informed decision about how best to use it for your own needs. That said, nighttime consumption tends to be my preferred method because it gives me an easy way to relax before bed (I'm usually exhausted after work!).
Choose the Right Cannabis Strain for Your Nighttime Needs
Whether you’re already a connoisseur when it comes to cannabis or you are exploring it for the first time to help relax at night, finding the right strain for you is key for relaxation.
To form a routine, you want to have a go-to you know will get the job done during the evening hours. Being unsatisfied when you’re trying to wind down for bed will have the opposite of a relaxing effect. If you’re a new adopter of a cannabis routine, make sure you learn more about the various cannabis strains available today.
Choose a Strain that is Indica-dominant
While it might seem like a no-brainer, the choice of strain is an important consideration. If you want to smoke weed before bed, you’ll probably want to opt for an indica-dominant strain. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing and sedating than sativa or hybrid strains, which can make them ideal for nighttime use.
Sativas are the opposite: they provide more energy and focus than indicas, making them better suited for daytime use (and activities that require such). However—and this is a big “however”—when we say “better suited for daytime use” we mean by people who have jobs or responsibilities during regular business hours; if you don't have any sort of schedule and/or commitments beyond getting high all day long every day then sure go ahead and smoke some sativa after lunch!
Hybrid strains is another option that’s available. When these indicators are on products like tinctures and edibles they are more likely to be more energizing like sativa or sedating like indica. But hybrids can be very middle of the road, more relaxing or chill.
Whereas if we are talking about flower strains it’s best to check terpene profiles for a sometimes more accurate idea of how the strain will interact with your endocannabinoid system. This is a huge factor that is to be considered when effects are concerned.
Check the terpene profile
- Terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its smell. They're responsible for the pungent aroma of marijuana, and they contain their own unique properties that can help you find the right strain for your needs.
- Some terpenes have sedative effects, while others provide a more stimulating experience. For example, limonene is citrus-scented and is often found in sativa strains (high in THC), which are known for their uplifting effects.
- If you're looking to relax or fall asleep with cannabis, try choosing a strain with higher levels of myrcene or linalool: these two terpenes have relaxing properties and may work well together to help you unwind after a long day.
Select a Strain with a Higher CBD Content
If you're looking for a strain that will help you sleep but won't make you feel stoned, consider one with more CBD than THC. (THC is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.)
CBD can have beneficial effects on a number of health conditions, including anxiety and inflammation. It’s also been shown to help people get to sleep at night by regulating their circadian rhythm and reducing stress levels—but it’s non-intoxicating so there won’t be any “high” feeling after consuming it.
Create a Nighttime Routine
Creating a routine that includes cannabis use is an important step in the process of establishing a healthy relationship with cannabis. The routine you choose should include some form of exercise, such as a long walk or jog, because it will help you relax and sleep better once you get into bed. You should also eat something healthy for dinner; this can be anything from oats to salad to seafood stew. If no particular meal jumps out at you, try preparing one from our cannabis recipe collection! Lastly, make sure that your nighttime routine includes some form of meditation or mindfulness practice (even if it’s just 5 minutes).
Pairing Cannabis with Exercise
If you are sneaking in a trip to the gym in the evening, or preferably, the late afternoon before heading home, there can be benefits to bringing some cannabis with you.
Cannabis, especially CBD, taken prior to a strenuous workout can increase relaxation and some find it breeds better focus. Some athletes find it useful for getting in the zone for peak athletic performance or rigorous training sessions. We discourage THC use prior to full-contact competition or exercising that has risk factors like using the heavy weights involved in powerlifting, as any kind of psychoactive substance can increase those risk factors.
The relaxing qualities can also aid in recovery. The relaxation makes the muscles feel better while the body resolves lactic acid buildup and other byproducts of weight training and exerting exercises.
Though we don’t recommend vigorous exercise immediately before bedtime, activities like yoga and pilates are certainly beneficial to overall health and can fit right into the nighttime cannabis routine.
Take Time To Stretch
Stretching at night significantly reduces instances of nocturnal muscle cramping, leading to better sleep and an easier time getting out of bed in the morning.
Stretching can also be done at a leisurely pace, perfect for relaxing with cannabis.
Taking the stretching a step further to do yoga or similar exercises may be beneficial as well, especially ones that include breathing exercises to promote relaxation.
Environment and clothing play an important role in getting in the mood to consume cannabis in the evening. Take both into consideration when creating your nighttime routine. Tight or restrictive clothing may be essential in the workplace, but the sooner you change into something more comfortable, the better. Changing out of professional attire from the office or ditching sweaty yard work attire can be a positive step toward separating from the stress of the day.
Environment is another variable with a wide range of preferences depending on the consumer. Consider temperature, airflow, and noise level when choosing how and where to relax. Even the size of the room can matter. One person may choose to relax in the seclusion of the confines of a small guest bathroom while another may choose an outdoor setting like a yard or porch.
Choosing your environment should hinge on minimizing the likelihood of encountering sources of stress. If you’re likely to be interrupted or distracted unnecessarily, it probably isn’t the ideal location for your relaxation environment.
Clear Your Mind
Even if cannabis is already a part of your ideal routine, there are several important healthy steps you can add to help wind down and prepare for a night of restful and recharging sleep.
Take time to clear your mind of the concerns that may have come up during the day, especially any that have to be done at another time. For example, a missing delivery at work or the importance of an upcoming parent-teacher conference at your child’s school aren’t issues you can likely do anything about in the evening.
Set those worries aside and encourage your family to do the same. This can be accomplished by doing things like reading, meditating, listening to relaxing music and/or writing in a journal.
Avoid Electronic Stimulation
Some may prefer to listen to music while unwinding, while others prefer it quiet. Candles or soft lighting may also be preferable as a means of setting a transitional period between the intense light of a busy day and pitch darkness in the bedroom. Finding comfortable preferences for lighting and sound are important, and one good way to do it is to avoid involving illuminated screens like televisions, tablets, or computers.
Staying away from bright and loud televisions or computer screens is proven to help in the unwinding process, while being glued to a screen actively hinders relaxation for most. Illuminated screens are stimulants, and no matter how much you may think the tv can be an effective source of relaxing background noise, you may be drawn to glances without even noticing you’re doing it.
If watching tv or consuming content on the internet is part of your routine that can’t be changed, consider dimming the screen and keeping the volume to the minimum necessary. Dedicate your attention to what you have chosen to watch or read, and when you’re finished, turn off the device so you aren’t hooked into another show, video, or article.
Leave Your Phone in Another Room
One of the greatest impediments to relaxation in the evening is the propensity to become enslaved to our cell phones. The vibration of an email’s arrival or the ding of a text message or push notification opens the rabbit hole, leading to several minutes or longer of staring at a small, illuminated screen. Just like the advice in the tip above, the screen time with your mobile device is a stimulant and not conducive to relaxation.
When you choose your physical environment to relax in, consider picking a room where your phone won’t come with you. The more walls and doors you put between yourself and the temptation to “respond to just one email” or scroll social networks for just a few minutes, the better relaxation you can get.
Outside interruptions aren’t the only concern. Many people habitually use phones as a substitute for computers or television and feel the need to have a phone handy for information and entertainment. The desire for either can become the impetus for unlocking a phone and going down the aforementioned rabbit hole.
There are other options for avoiding phone-based distractions, such as turning it off or turning on airplane mode when you don’t want to be bothered. Physical walls can be better for your mindset, especially if you’re someone who is easily tempted to pull out the phone anytime it’s within arm’s reach.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Customize your nighttime ritual with some of these additional relaxation techniques:
- Hot or cold compresses on the face or large muscle groups
- Deep breathing exercises
- Self-massaging tools like a scalp massage brush
Limiting caffeine and alcohol use is also important. While both substances provide comfort through their psychoactive effects, both have proven detrimental effects on sleep. Finding an effective cannabis strain is a relaxation technique unto itself that doesn’t come with a track record of creating restless nights or interrupted sleep.
Enjoy a Cup of Cannabis-Infused Tea
Instead of coffee or alcohol, try cannabis-infused tea!
The simplest way to infuse your tea is to add a cannabis tincture to a simple syrup. You don't want to directly add tincture to your tea, as cannabis tinctures are not water-soluble.
Some of the best teas for sleep include:
- Chamomile tea
- Lavender tea
- Low-caffeine green tea
- Magnolia tea
- Passionflower tea
- Valerian tea
Finding a sleep inducing tea and a tincture that helps induce the effects of sleep could be the perfect way to ensure you get a good night's rest.
Make it a Spa Night
To ensure your nightly routine doesn’t turn monotonous is important, too. Periodically having a spa night or another special variation is important for triggering a reward response in your brain.
Spa nights, or other special occasion self-care nights, can be the perfect time to try a new product or strain. For example, the Avexia Lavender Bath Soak. Indulge in yourself and relieve discomfort with this lavender epsom salt, an invigorating soak that contains cannabis oil infused with all-natural ingredients. Just draw yourself a hot bath and add these cannabis-infused bath salts.
Afterwards, give your skin some love with a topical CBD based lotion, such as the Avexia Pain Relief Lotion or the Avexia Pain Relief Balm.
Cannabis for Sleep and Relaxation
Creating a nighttime cannabis routine can be the ideal way to unwind, relax and get a better night’s sleep- all for a better, happier and healthier you! With these tips in mind we hope you can find some new ways to incorporate cannabis into your nightly routine.
- Campbell, L. M., Tang, B., Watson, C. W., Higgins, M., Cherner, M., Henry, B. L., & Moore, R. C. (2020). Cannabis use is associated with greater total sleep time in middle-aged and older adults with and without HIV: A preliminary report utilizing digital health technologies. Cannabis (Research Society on Marijuana), 3(2), 180–189. https://doi.org/10.26828/cannabis.2020.02.005
- Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/
- Joannes M. Hallegraeff, Cees P. van der Schans, Renee de Ruiter, Mathieu H.G. de Greef, Stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults: a randomized trial, Journal of Physiotherapy, Volume 58, Issue 1, 2012, Pages 17-22, ISSN 1836-9553. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70068-1
Content Writer for MÜV and Zen Leaf. Britt began exploring cannabis as a recreational user attempting to treat her migraines and depression. Finding success, she began to realize the many benefits of cannabis for a multitude of ailments. Her new-found knowledge prompted a move to Colorado, where she was able to medically treat her son with ADHD and aid her family in becoming healthier and happier. Realizing her passion for cannabis, she turned it into a career. Joining the industry as Medtender and moving into management gave Britt the knowledge needed to become a writer for a local cannabis culture magazine in Oklahoma and a leading voice in cannabis compliance.
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