Why Does Smoking Cannabis Make You Feel Tired?
Several studies could point towards a more complex link between cannabis and the feeling of tiredness experienced after smoking.
Every regular cannabis smoker has experienced drowsiness, lethargy, or a general lack of motivation after or while smoking weed. Many will shrug this off as the nature of a specific strain, while some may find these attributes desirable—especially if insomnia is an issue. Newly published research may point to excessive cannabis consumption as a cause of long-term feelings of drowsiness or laziness. For those choosing to use recreational cannabis to avoid the hangover or comedown of other drugs, this strategy may prove somewhat ineffective.
DOES SMOKING WEED MAKE YOU LAZY?
A strong indica strain will undoubtedly knock you down onto the sofa, where, let’s be honest, not a lot gets done. For a vast majority, this is a desirable trait, and the reason users choose indica strains to begin with. If you enjoy smoking cannabis and live an otherwise active lifestyle, then smoking will not suddenly make you lazy or lethargic for the long-haul. The answer to why marijuana makes us feel drowsy and in turn, less motivated, could actually come down to the way THC is absorbed and subsequently interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine.
IS THC TO BLAME?
Published by The National Institute For Biotechnology Information, the following research points to an apparent reduction in dopamine levels as a result of excessive cannabis use. In summary, the study found that heavy smokers of cannabis, those who were borderline dependent, produced significantly less dopamine than that of non-smokers or light users.
Using a sample group of 19 frequent cannabis smokers and 19 non-smokers, this study stands out because, although similar tests have been undertaken before, none have included active smokers. Importantly, the frequent cannabis smokers had all admitted to suffering from psychotic-like symptoms when smoking, a sign of excessive use.
Michael Bloomfield, PhD stated that “After a period of time, your brain cells aren’t able to make as much tyrosine hydroxylase, an important enzyme that’s a key component in making dopamine”.
This stunting of chemical processes is a result of the way the cannabinoid THC interacts with our body’s natural endocannabinoid system.
WHY IS DOPAMINE IMPORTANT?
With heavy THC consumption seemingly impacting dopamine levels, what does the release of dopamine mean to our bodies? Dopamine acts as a regulator for effort threshold—how much effort is required to complete a task and what the rewards are. Those with higher levels of dopamine are more likely to undertake functions that require energy. Dopamine also plays a role in giving us that “rewarding” feeling when taking part in pleasurable activities like sex, eating, and exercise. If the level of dopamine released during these activities is reduced, then it stands to reason that motivation to perform would also decrease.
ARE TERPENES AS IMPORTANT AS CANNABINOIDS?
Cannabis is a complex organism. Alongside key cannabinoids THC, CBD, and CBN, cannabis contains terpenes. These molecules provide the vast array of aromas we have come to love. More than that though, theorists suggest that terpenes work in unison with cannabinoids to boost or enhance the relative effect.
A 2011 study examined the impact of the terpene myrcene. Myrcene is known for giving cannabis a musky, mango-like aroma. Furthermore, myrcene was found to induce a hypnotic effect, as well as display muscle-relaxant properties. Combined with THC, these two compounds work in conjunction to make individuals feel tired. Previous studies have found similar attributes with the terpene linalool, although this time, linalool partnered with CBD to produce a drowsy effect.
DOES CANNABIS IMPACT HOW WELL WE SLEEP?
Playing a potential role in reducing dopamine levels, what else can smokers expect THC to impact? Well, the answer may reside in the land of Nod. Anecdotal evidence from users would suggest we sleep better after smoking cannabis. Many have reported that we sleep so much better that the feeling of drowsiness can be hard to shake the morning after. With so many swearing by cannabis as a sleep aid, what scientific research is there to support this thesis?
Two studies, the first conducted in 1975 and more recently in 2004, delivered relatively inconclusive results. Both noted a decrease in REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep phase), but our deep sleep phase remained roughly the same. It could be surmised that a reduction in REM sleep could result in the feeling of increased tiredness experienced the morning after smoking cannabis.
Both investigations have something in common—the vast number of variables yet to be explored. The results are still too inconclusive to draw a satisfactory conclusion. Instead, further studies will be needed, in which sample size, age of participants, strains smoked, and any previous medical issues, etc are taken into account. One thing is for sure; there does seem to be some correlation between smoking cannabis and the feeling of tiredness. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still unknown.
HOW TO COUNTERACT TIREDNESS AFTER SMOKING
What does that mean for us? Well, for now, the usual rules apply. Enjoy cannabis as you usually would, while being aware that every user will experience symptoms differently. If you do find yourself having periods of drowsiness or lethargy the morning after smoking cannabis, then a few simple steps can be taken to counteract this.
These include selecting a strain with less THC, smoking less, and hydrating. And of course, exercise, a healthy diet, and good ole coffee can help shake the fatigue as well; be it a result of smoking weed or not.
Numerous users will have experienced drowsiness when smoking cannabis. Is this a natural reaction, or is there a long-term impact on our bodies?
Why Does Weed Make You Sleepy?
August 3, 2020 by Pure Oasis
Have you ever wondered why does weed make you sleepy? At Pure Oasis we have you covered with the information you are searching for.
THC’s Chemical Compounds
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the main chemical compounds present in cannabis and is the cause of the “high” that is commonly associated with cannabis. THC is also a powerful sleep aid; this is because THC activates by binding to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in your brain. These receptors are to some extent involved in modulating sleep-wake cycles, although further study is still needed. Other studies have shown that THC also effectively mimics the effects of melatonin (and may even increase melatonin production) in your body, which is the neurotransmitter that governs your body’s sleep. Essentially, this means when THC activates the cannabinoid receptor, the receptor sends signals to your body that both induce sleep and promote deeper sleep. Marijuana strains that have high THC percentages are therefore typically effective as a sleep aid.
Causes of Insomnia Targeted by THC
It’s clear that sleep disorders are a common problem. According to the latest information available from the American Sleep Association, between 50-70% of American adults have some type of sleep disorder. 37% of 20-39 year-olds and 40% of 40-59 year-olds report short sleep duration, and 35.3% of adults report getting less than the minimum 7 hours of recommended sleep in a 24-hour period. Cannabis is an effective sleep aid because it helps to restore your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles, which many people struggle to maintain as they push themselves to keep pace with modern work and societal pressures.
What Makes Indica Different?
If you are unfamiliar, cannabis is typically categorized into two different categories: Indica vs. Sativa. Indica-dominant strains are known for producing more of a “body high” than a “head high,” and are more commonly effective than Sativa strains at promoting feelings of relaxation, increased appetite, sleepiness, and pain relief. For these reasons, Indica strains are generally favored over Sativa strains when looking for a sleep aid.
Best Strains for Sleep
Some of the best sleep aid strains available include:
- AFGHANI – Afghani is an Indica dominant strain, with high THC levels at 17.8%. Afghani features a sweet and earthy aroma, and is popular for its deep, sedating, relaxing, and euphoric properties. As you might guess, it is named for its geographic region, where some of the earliest strains of cannabis were grown.
- CHEESE – Hailing from the UK, Cheese is another Indica dominant strain featuring 18% THC. It is named for its sharply sour aroma and resemblance to cheddar cheese. Cheese is well known for its relaxing effects and uplift in mood.
- DOMINION SKUNK – Dominion Skunk is an Indica-dominant hybrid blend featuring 15.7% THC. Dominion Skunk is associated with an initially powerful relaxation that is accompanied by an aroma of powerful earthiness mixed with a hint of musky jasmine.
- G-13 GENIUS – G-13 Genius is an Indica dominant strain featuring 16.7% THC. It is a blend between the G-13 and Genius strains.
- GG4 – GG4 is an Indica dominant hybrid blend featuring a whopping 24.6% THC. It is popular for its feeling of heavy euphoria and relaxation. It has a pungent earthy and sour aroma inherited from its parent strains.
If you are visiting a dispensary, always feel free to talk to the staff to get a better understanding of what you are looking for in a specific strain and which strains would work best for you. Staff is always friendly and knowledgeable, so don’t be shy if you are a first time visitor.
Get Strains that Help You Sleep at Pure Oasis
Whether you are a first-time cannabis user looking to explore the benefits of marijuana use or a long-time connoisseur, Pure Oasis is focused on your needs and making your shopping process smooth, efficient, and enjoyable. Our coffee-shop style dispensary is designed to make shopping a breeze and our knowledgeable staff is here ready to guide you through our many choices.
We pride ourselves in giving adult consumers the information to help them make the best choices for their individual needs. Our easy-to-use menu includes THC percentages and gradings that guide you toward your desired effect. Whether you are looking for energy, a sleep aid, or pain relief, we have something just for you. Many cannabis users report positive benefits such as increased appetite, reduced anxiety, better sleep, improved mood, and less pain and inflammation.
Featuring numerous varieties of Indica, Sativa, and hybrid marijuana flower, our cannabis product menu also includes pre-rolled joints, concentrates, cannabis-infused edibles, along with vape pens, and accessories. We also carry the largest selection of cannabis flowers, hash concentrates and oil, infused topical salves, creams, and lotions, or infused edibles and beverages. Choose what works best for your lifestyle. Contact us today.
Read this article for an in-depth description of why weed makes you sleepy, including a look at the best strains for sleeplessness.