Welcome to our Endoctrenation Series—a series of reports on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) created by our in-house product education team to investigate the most common personal care concerns, how the ECS is involved, and what technologies can be used to address them. The Cannabis and Sleep report investigates the consequences of sleep disruption and the ECS’s role in regulating sleep, ending with practical tips for toning the ECS with cannabis technologies to help you get deep, restful, and restorative sleep. We also include practical tips on an AM regimen that targets multiple areas of concern that lead to better, more restful sleep at night.


  • Short-term consequences of sleep disruption include an oversensitive stress response and decreased resilience to stress, mood disorders (anxiety, depression), and cognitive and performance deficits.
  • Long-term consequences of sleep disruption include cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, and cancer.
  • Responsible for homeostasis, the ECS regulates multiple functions involved in circadian processes and the sleep-wake cycle, including immune response, pain perception, and the disease pathology of a range of conditions.
  • While research on CBD is still in its infancy, early studies indicate that high dosages of CBD may support sleep by targeting multiple causes of sleep disruption and insomnia at once.
  • THC supports better sleep by relieving pain for those with chronic conditions, by reducing PTSD nightmares by reducing time spent in REM, by reducing sleep latency, i.e. making it easier to fall asleep.


Sleep plays a vital role in brain function and systemic physiology across many body systems. Proper sleep assists the body with tissue repair, immune maintenance, memory storage, appetite, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, learning, and much more. As a result, sleep disruptions have substantial adverse short- and long-term health consequences.

Yet nearly half of the Canadian population suffers from sleep problems.

Numerous factors contribute to sleep disruption, ranging from lifestyle and environmental factors to sleep disorders and other medical conditions. Sleep disruption is associated with:

  • increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis;
  • metabolic effects;
  • changes in circadian rhythms; and
  • proinflammatory responses.

Using only natural ingredients—powerful nootropics, adaptogens, nervines, and superfoods—you can effectively craft a regimen that supports the underlying processes that regulate sleep, so you can optimize your body's healing power at night.

In the first section of this report, we emphasize the importance of sleep by discussing the consequences of sleep disruption, short and long-term. Then we investigate the role of the Endocannabinoid System in a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Finally, we share practical tips on the products and regimens that help you fall asleep faster, sleep better, and feel energized in the morning.


Although we sell and love medicinal herbs and mushrooms, we believe in bringing science-backed, repeatable, experimental evidence to the forefront, replacing the unknown with reliable information, so that the fear of the unknown cannot be used as a form of marketing against us. While we understand that there is much to be uncovered, we conscientiously avoid cherry-picking information to further an agenda, choosing instead to trust the many scientists making a monumental effort to evaluate a complete body of evidence pertaining to the safety and efficacy of the products that you know and love.

Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption.

In otherwise healthy adults, short-term consequences of sleep disruption include increased stress responsivity, somatic pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits.

Long-term consequences of sleep disruption in otherwise healthy individuals include hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and colorectal cancer. After only a few days of sleep restriction, participants in controlled studies showed significant losses in neurocognitive functioning.

But it’s not just the amount of sleep. In fact, gauging the quality of sleep is just as important as measuring the total amount when it comes to its impact on mental health. “The relationship between sleep and mental health is bi-directional,” says lead author Dr. Michael Wainberg, a postdoctoral researcher at the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics. “Poor sleep contributes to poor mental health and poor mental health contributes to poor sleep. Sleep pattern differences were a feature of all mental illnesses we studied regardless of diagnosis.”

The Endocannabinoid System and sleep.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a system that enables signaling between different types of cells in order to regulate a range of critical activities in the body. The ECS is made of several parts:

  • Compounds that are similar to the cannabinoids found in cannabis, known as endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids (eCBs). The two best known and most well studied are anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
  • Cell receptors located all over the nervous system, immune system, and vital organs that interact with those endogenous cannabinoids, the most well-known being CB1 and CB2.
  • Enzymes that produce and release endogenous cannabinoids, as well as break them down after they’ve done their job.

At a fundamental level, the ECS’s role is to help maintain homeostasis—the biological stability and balance that living beings need to remain resilient to stress and disease—including:

  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Stress, mood, nervous system activity
  • Cognitive processes, including memory and learning
  • Sleep and maintenance of sleep-wake cycles

Scientists have identified this system as perhaps the most important in maintaining balance in human physiological function.

There have been at least six eCBs identified to date that bind with CB1 or CB2 receptors, triggering signals that a physiological response is required. By binding with receptors, they can launch an immune response to pain, increase or decrease the production of hormones that regulate mood, and stimulate wakefulness, relaxation, or drowsiness.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

How the ECS Regulates Sleep

Sleep-wake cycles are an expression of homeostasis in action—a dynamic, ongoing balance of rest and activity that is essential for survival, vitality, and health. The body’s own homeostatic sleep drive works alongside circadian processes to move us between sleep and wakefulness throughout the 24-hour day. The endocannabinoid system influences sleep in several ways:

  • Regulates and modulates sleep-wake cycles. Research shows the ECS plays a direct role in the maintenance of daily sleep-wake cycles through a complex series of cell signaling. The CB1 receptor, which THC loves to interact with, has been shown to both induce sleep and stimulate wakefulness.
  • May affect dreaming. The ECS exerts an ongoing influence over cognition, emotions, and consciousness in ways scientists are just beginning to understand. Likely for these reasons, this system appears to influence the content and emotional intensity of dreams.
  • Mood: The ECS helps regulate and stabilize mood and stress levels. Mood and stress, in turn, have an enormous impact on sleep. A lot of us learned that lesson every time pandemic stress escalated and made emotions more volatile, in turn making it harder to sleep.
  • Immunity: The ECS has a set of receptors—CB2 receptors—that are primarily connected to immune cells. Through these receptors, the system can activate, suppress, and direct immune function, including the production of inflammation. We’ve written before about the relationship between inflammation and cannabis, and how to use cannabis to support healthy inflammation.
  • Pain perception: A growing body of research has established the ECS as important in regulating pain sensation in the body. Both CB1 (central nervous system-based) and CB2 (immune system-based) receptors appear to be involved in pain perception, and high doses of CBD kill pain by desensitizing TRPV1 channels. Physical pain is a major obstacle to sleep—and when pain is chronic, sleeplessness is often chronic, too.
  • Other health conditions: The ECS appears to play a role in both disease pathology and disease protection for a range of conditions, including metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and neurodegenerative disease. These disorders—from diabetes to high blood pressure to Alzheimer’s disease—can have a profound impact on sleep.

CBD for sleep.

To understand whether CBD can improve sleep, we first have to understand what causes poor sleep.

Many things can cause you to sleep badly. According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia can be caused by:

  • mental health disorders, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression
  • medication, which can disturb your sleep-wake cycle
  • physical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome
  • caffeine, especially when consumed late in the day
  • environmental factors, such as loud noises or an uncomfortable bed

If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.

While research on CBD is still in its infancy, early studies indicate that high dosages of CBD may support sleep by targeting multiple causes of sleep disruption and insomnia at once.

Research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep.

Pain, which may also cause sleep problems, can be helped by CBD as well. A 2018 review in Frontiers in Pharmacology noted that there’s a fair amount of evidence to support the claim that CBD soothes pain. The authors note that by reducing chronic pain, CBD can improve sleep.

Other research tells us that CBD affects the sleep cycle. Research from 2014 looked at four patients with Parkinson’s disease. It found that CBD improved the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder in which a person acts out their dreams. RBD is associated with poor sleep and nightmares.

2017 review also noted that CBD may be helpful in treating RBD, and that it shows potential for treating excessive daytime sleepiness.

Grogginess, another symptom of insomnia, might also be affected by CBD. A 2014 review found that CBD could have the potential to promote wakefulness, based on both human and animal research. The authors noted they weren’t sure exactly how or why CBD promoted wakefulness in some instances.

Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, typically peak in the morning, but people with insomnia may have high cortisol levels at night. Independent of insomnia, having high cortisol levels at night is associated with an increased number of nighttime awakenings.

In one study on the effects of CBD, researchers found that cortisol levels decreased more significantly when participants took 300 or 600 mg of CBD oil. These results suggest that CBD affects the release of cortisol, possibly acting as a sedative.

How to Use CBD for Sleep

PRO TIP: Taking CBD with a meal that is rich in healthy fats increases its bioavailability (absorption) by four to five times. CBD tinctures (oil drops) should be dropped under the tongue and held for at least 60 seconds before swallowing. The longer the CBD oil is held under the tongue, the greater the amount of CBD absorbed through the capillaries beneath the tongue, and the faster the onset of CBD’s therapeutic benefits.

Our CBD Dosage Calculator was designed to help you find an optimal starting CBD dosage for better sleep. You can also use it to find the optimal CBD dosage for other health goals and concerns.

But if you'd like a quick reference guide to using our products for sleep:

  1. Start with 50mg of Full Spectrum CBD oil 1 - 2 hours before sleep. You may need to experiment a bit to find your ideal timing.
  2. For stubborn sleep issues, our Sleep Solutions are formulated with a potent botanical complex to deliver multi-depth calm, rest, and relaxation:
  3. Increase your dose the next night if needed.

Full-spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate for Sleep

If you're looking for a CBD oil that is better suited to promoting sleep, we recommend full-spectrum CBD oil. Like all whole-plant medicines, it offers synergistic benefits thanks to the hundreds of therapeutic cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that work together to better promote sleep quality.

It's also easier to dose with full-spectrum CBD; studies show that CBD isolate only works within a specific range, and for specific conditions, while full-spectrum CBD's effects increase with the dose.

Read: CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD: What You Need to Know

Read: How to Choose Between Full-spectrum, Broad-spectrum, and CBD Isolate

THC for sleep.

THC appears to improve sleep in certain cases. For people with certain conditions2 such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis (MS), THC may help them fall asleep faster, wake up less during the night, and enjoy better sleep quality overall—especially when paired with balancing CBD.

THC’s benefits for sleep are especially pronounced for those with chronic conditions that interfere with sleep. For example, THC has shown potential for treating obstructive sleep apnea and improving sleep for people living with chronic pain.

According to results from a 2008 study, THC typically reduces the amount of REM sleep. Reducing REM sleep means reducing dreams — and for those who experience PTSD, it could mean reducing nightmares.

So, the theory is that if you spend less time dreaming, you’ll spend more time in a “deep sleep” state. The deep sleep state is thought to be the most restorative, restful part of the sleep cycle.

Still, REM is important for healthy cognitive and immune functioning, and cannabis with higher THC levels could impair your sleep quality if taken long term.

But this isn’t true across the board. Some studies have found that sleep can actually be impaired by regular use of THC.

So, while it’s clear that THC changes sleep cycles and can support better sleep, it is likely not meant for daily use.

How to Use THC for Sleep

PRO TIP: THC tinctures (oil drops) should be dropped under the tongue and held for at least 60 seconds before swallowing. The longer the THC oil is held under the tongue, the greater the amount of THC absorbed through the capillaries beneath the tongue, and the faster the onset of THC’s therapeutic effects.

  • Start with 5mg of Unwind an hour before sleep. Unwind is our THC oil formulated with bio-terpenes known to promote calm, relaxation, and pain relief.
  • For stubborn sleep issues, you might want to try 1:1 Sleep Solution (CBD:THC), formulated with a powerful botanical complex to deliver multi-depth calm, relief, and relaxation. Take Up to 0.5mL for sleep-inducing calm + pain and inflammation relief
  • Increase dose the next night if needed.

The daytime regimen that supports better sleep.

When you’re exposed to stress or have an alcoholic drink, your body releases cortisol. Increased cortisol can manifest as irritability, exhaustion, inflammation, and more. Most importantly, it can prevent you from achieving REM or delta-wave sleep. Delta-wave sleep is the deep, slow-wave sleep that’s associated with restoration.

Sleep is fundamental to healthy brain function. A lack of sleep strongly impairs the functional connectivity of prefrontal cortical (PFC) areas, affecting functions mediated by the PFC such as working memory, learning, and more.

We designed our Stacks with two key ingredients designed to combat this:

  • Psilocybin for healthy brain function. Activates serotonin receptors to brighten mood and relieve anxiety while supporting neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and neuroplasticity, processes that are fundamental to the repair, creatin, and maintenance of brain networks.
  • Stress-busting adaptogens for calm, mood, and focus. Work with the sympathoadrenal system and HPA Axis, both of which are intimately involved in the body’s stress response, to tweak hormone production and physiological responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind to your immune system to your energy levels—functions as it should.

You may wish to try the Stacks for an AM regimen that supports healthy brain function and cortisol production. To combine, take 1 cap each in the AM. 4 days on, 3 days off.

  • 🧠 Brain Stack: Proactive + reactive brain support. Golden Teacher, Lion's Mane, Sage, Cinnamon, Niacin. 1 - 4 caps in the AM⁣.⁠
  • 🧬 Vitality Stack: Age backwards. Golden Teacher, Turmeric, Cordyceps, Chaga, Cinnamon, and Niacin. 1 - 4 caps in the AM.⁠
  • ⚡️ Energy Stack: Better energy, more clarity, less stress. Cordyceps, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Arabica Coffee, Niacin. 1 - 4 caps in the AM.⁠

Questions about using our microdose Stacks, or which is best for you? Let us know in the comments below.


An ever-growing body of research suggests that cannabinoids may help relieve sleep disruption in its myriad manifestations. We believe healthy sleep is requisite for a healthy society and decreasing the economic burden of health, and the monumental effort of scientists reveals its importance for a range of functions, from memory and learning to heart health.

Our products won’t necessarily fix the problem, but they can be reparative to your natural body systems by helping them become more resilient to stress—so you don’t lose sleep every time life happens.

If you choose to supplement with cannabis or magic mushrooms, it will work best as part of a comprehensive sleep treatment plan. A multi-faceted approach is essential to healing and preventing an otherwise good life interrupted by poor sleep. Determine the correct nutrition and hormone balance for your biochemistry. Work with trauma-informed practitioners to address any negative experiences that may be stored in your body. And for self-exploration, keep tools like Balanced High or other high-quality psilocybin products on hand.

We encourage you to speak first with a trusted medical professional about your plans, especially if you currently take prescription medications. Similar to grapefruits, CBD could interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize drugs. A doctor or integrative practitioner can also help you rule out any contributing deficiencies and other worrisome health issues.

For your psychedelic journeys, our PAT Directory is currently the most comprehensive list of psychedelic-assisted therapy practitioners in Canada.

We wish you success on your journey and deep healing for your brain and your body.

Read: CBN for Sleep: Revealing the Truth

Other reports in this series:

We reviewed the clinical data on some of the most commonly reported medicinal cannabis uses. Learn more about how you can use both CBD and THC to improve your libido, get better sleep, and eliminate anxiety:

Read: Cannabis and Sex

Read: Cannabis and Mood

Read: Cannabis and Anxiety

CBD oils for calm and relaxation that eases you into sleep.

Sleep deep and optimize your healing power at night.

CBD:THC oils for gentle yet powerful pain relief.

THC oils formulated to help you seize the day, from rise to rest.

Leave a Reply