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What Happens When You Sleep High: Weed Benefits, Risks & Safety

There’s a question out there that most cannabis fans are wondering about: “What happens when you sleep high?”.

In this article, we will talk about using marijuana for sleep, whether it’s a good option, and which products you might want to consider for such an approach. Ready, set, go!

What Happens When You Sleep High?

Sleeping while high can have varying effects depending on the strain of cannabis and your personal reaction to it.

THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been found to suppress REM sleep – the stage of sleep where most dreaming occurs. This could potentially affect memory processing.

On the other hand, high-CBD, low-THC strains may lower cortisol levels in the blood, which can positively impact sleep and alleviate anxiety.

Is It Safe To Go To Sleep While High?

While marijuana can induce feelings of relaxation and sedation that may help with falling asleep, it’s important to note that it can also disrupt your sleep cycle.

Specifically, some studies suggest that cannabis use before bed could lead to shorter REM sleep cycles, altering the quality of your sleep. Moreover, THC can cause anxiety and paranoia, which might be amplified in individuals with anxiety disorders.

Can You Sleep Off a High?

Yes, sleeping can help you come down from a high. What happens when you sleep high is that deep sleep stages may even increase, leading to a feeling of being more rested upon waking.

However, as mentioned, the quality of sleep when using marijuana for sleep might be affected, so it’s not an ideal routine for consistent, restful sleep.

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The Effects of Cannabis on Sleep

The matter of using marijuana for sleep is complex due to the presence of numerous cannabinoids, each with unique impacts. Let’s talk more about what happens when you sleep high.

THC’s Impact on Sleep Stages

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound in cannabis known for inducing feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. However, it’s also been found to alter the sleep cycle, specifically reducing REM sleep and increasing deep sleep.

REM Sleep and THC

In the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, dreams occur, and memory consolidation occurs. What happens when you sleep high is that the THC suppresses this stage, which can lead to fewer dreams and potentially affect memory processing.

Did You Know

Non-REM Sleep and THC

THC can increase the time spent in deep sleep, the most restorative sleep stage. This might cause a feeling of being more rested upon waking but could disrupt the balance of sleep stages.

Sleep Architecture Changes

Chronic use of cannabis strains explicitly high in THC can cause alterations in sleep architecture. This term refers to the distribution of different sleep stages throughout the night.

Over time, these changes could lead to less restful sleep and a higher likelihood of sleep disorders. Therefore, what happens when you sleep high is that while cannabis might help initiate sleep, its impact on sleep quality in the long term could be detrimental.

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The Relationship Between Cannabis and Dreams

Cannabis has a significant impact on dreams due to its interaction with our sleep cycle. We’ll now dive deeper into using marijuana for sleep.

whathappens whenyou sleep high

Dreams and Cannabis Use

Dreams primarily occur during REM sleep. However, what happens when you sleep high is that cannabis, specifically THC, suppresses this stage, leading to fewer dreams or even dreamless nights for regular users.

Suppression of Dreams with Cannabis

THC’s suppression of REM sleep can lead to a reduction in dreaming. This effect can be beneficial for those suffering from nightmares or PTSD, as it can provide temporary relief from disturbing dreams.

Lucid Dreaming and Cannabis

Lucid dreaming, the ability to control one’s dreams, generally requires a more extended REM stage. What happens when you sleep high is that THC reduces REM sleep, which could potentially make lucid dreaming less likely for frequent cannabis users.

Dream Rebound Effect

Interestingly, when regular cannabis users stop consumption, they often experience a “rebound effect,” where REM sleep increases, leading to more vivid and intense dreams. This rebound can be unsettling but typically stabilizes as the brain readjusts to the absence of cannabis.

The Potential Benefits of Using Cannabis for Sleep

Potential BenefitsofUsing CannabisforSleep

Cannabis’ effects on sleep are complex and varied, but scientific studies have identified some potential benefits of using marijuana for sleep.

Insomnia Relief With Cannabis

What happens when you sleep high is that cannabis, especially strains high in THC, can induce feelings of relaxation and drowsiness, which may help individuals with insomnia fall asleep faster.

Studies show that insomniac participants who used cannabis saw significant improvements in their sleep latency [1].

Managing Sleep Disorders With Cannabis

Certain cannabinoids like CBD have shown potential therapeutic effects for sleep disorders. CBD may have therapeutic potential for treating insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness [2].

Pain and Sleep Improvement

Cannabis has long been used for pain relief. It can indirectly improve sleep quality by alleviating chronic pain.

Studies show that medical cannabis users reported a significant decrease in the use of conventional prescription medications and improved quality of sleep [3].

Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Cannabinoids like CBD are known for their anxiolytic properties. Cannabis can potentially make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep by reducing anxiety and stress.

A study in The Permanente Journal found that 79.2% of patients reported lower anxiety scores within a month of CBD treatment, which could positively impact their sleep patterns [4].

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Best Weed Strains for Sleep

When it comes to using cannabis as a sleep aid, not all strains are created equal. Many factors, including the specific strain used, can influence the effects of cannabis on sleep.

Here’s a deeper dive into some strains often recommended for their sleep-inducing properties.

Best Weed Strains for Sleep

Granddaddy Purple

Known as one of the best Indica strains, Granddaddy Purple is a potent blend of Purple Urkle and Big Bud. This strain is renowned for delivering a fusion of cerebral euphoria and deep physical relaxation.

With its high myrcene content, a terpene known for its sedative properties, Granddaddy Purple is often used to combat insomnia and is readily available at Seed Supreme.

Northern Lights

Another classic Indica strain, Northern Lights, combines Afghani and Thai landrace strains. This strain is famous for its fast-acting, dreamy effects that tend to pull users into a deep sleep.

These marijuana seeds are also high in THC, which can help those who have trouble falling asleep. You can find it at ILGM.

Tahoe OG Kush

A hybrid of OG Kush and SFV OG, Tahoe OG Kush is a potent strain best reserved for those nights when sleep seems elusive.

With its strong aroma of lemon and spice, this strain offers a heavy-handed mix of body-numbing relaxation and euphoria, making it a favorite among those seeking to combat sleeplessness. Tahoe OG Kush is readily available at Homegrown Cannabis Co.


As a CBD-dominant strain, Remedy offers a mellow, relaxing high without the intense psychoactive effects associated with high THC strains.

It’s a cross between Cannatonic and Afghan Skunk, and it’s often used for promoting sleep and fighting off insomnia due to its high CBD content. Some of the best Remedy marijuana seeds are available at Seedsman.

9 Pound Hammer

This Indica-dominant strain is a triple threat, blending Gooberry, Hell’s OG, and Jack the Ripper. With its high levels of myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene, 9 pound Hammer is often used to induce sleep.

Users report a strong sedative effect that makes this strain a popular choice for those dealing with insomnia. Not all the best seed banks offer this strain, but Blimburn Seeds is one of those who have it for sale.

Afghan Kush

Originating from the Hindu Kush mountain range near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Afghan Kush is an almost pure Indica.

With its high THC content, this strain is known for inducing a deep sense of calm followed by heavy, tranquilizing sleep. You can purchase this cannabis strain at Seed Supreme.

The Risks and Drawbacks of Sleeping High

Sleeping high can lead to potential risks and drawbacks. What happens when you sleep high is that THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, can disrupt the sleep cycle by reducing REM sleep, the stage where dreaming occurs.

Also, cannabis dependency could develop with regular use, leading to poorer sleep quality when usage is discontinued. Heavy users might experience “rebound insomnia” during withdrawal, where sleep disturbances are worse than before.

Tips for Using Cannabis to Promote Better Sleep

Cannabis can aid sleep if used correctly. Here are some expert tips and a few things you should know about what happens when you sleep high.

Finding the Right Strain for Sleep

Different cannabis strains have varied effects. Indica strains, like Granddaddy Purple and Northern Lights, are often recommended for sleep due to their high THC and CBD content.

Proper Dosage and Timing

The key is starting low and going slow. A study found that while high doses of THC can promote sleep, too much can have the opposite effect. Take it 1-2 hours before bed for optimal results.

Combining Cannabis with Sleep Hygiene

Cannabis should complement, not replace, good sleep hygiene. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, limit screen time before bed, and create a relaxing bedtime routine for best results.

Alternative Sleep Aids and Strategies for Better Sleep

There are several alternatives to cannabis for promoting sleep. Here are some of the top options you can look into right now.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia is a proven method for treating sleep disorders.

CBT-I is not just a temporary fix; it’s a structured program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems by dealing with the underlying causes of sleep issues.

Lifestyle Changes for Better Sleep

Small changes in your daily routine can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. Regular physical activities, especially aerobic exercises like walking and running, can help insomniacs fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.

Furthermore, maintaining a balanced diet and reducing caffeine intake can improve sleep.

Sleep-Inducing Supplements

Supplements such as melatonin, magnesium, and lavender can be beneficial. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is particularly effective.

It’s known to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the total amount of sleep time.

Remember, all these strategies become even more effective when combined with good sleep hygiene practices, like maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and making your bedroom a comfortable sleep environment.

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What Happens When You Sleep High: FAQs

We’ve covered many important aspects, but here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions about what happens when you sleep high.

What Does It Mean To “Sleep High”?

Sleeping high refers to the act of sleeping under the influence of cannabis. This typically involves using cannabis products such as edibles, tinctures, or vaping shortly before bed to induce sleep.

Does Cannabis Help With Sleep?

Cannabis is known to have sedative effects, which can help individuals fall asleep more quickly. However, its impact on sleep quality varies.

What happens when you sleep high is that while it can increase the duration of deep sleep,  and the restorative phase of sleep, it can also disrupt REM sleep, which is essential for cognitive functions.

What Are the Benefits of Sleeping High?

Some individuals report that using cannabis before sleep may help with relaxation and potentially improve sleep quality for some.

Does Being High Cause Insomnia?

Yes, being high might cause insomnia. While cannabis may initially help with sleep, regular use, especially in higher doses, can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, potentially contributing to insomnia.

Can You Fall Asleep After Taking an Edible?

Yes, you can fall asleep after taking an edible. Edibles take longer to kick in compared to smoking or vaping, and their effects can last longer. It’s possible to fall asleep after taking an edible, but timing is crucial, and individual reactions vary.

How Does Cannabis Affect REM Sleep?

Cannabis use before sleep often results in a reduction of REM sleep, the stage when most dreaming occurs. This can lead to a decrease in dream recall.

However, when cannabis use is stopped, there’s often a REM rebound effect, leading to more vivid dreams and, in some cases, nightmares.

Is It Safe To Sleep High Regularly?

While occasional use may not lead to significant issues, what happens when you sleep high regularly is that dependence and withdrawal symptoms can appear. It can also affect the natural sleep cycle and impair sleep quality in the long run.

Are There Any Legal Issues With Sleeping High?

Legal issues with cannabis use, including use for sleep, vary by location. In some areas, recreational and medical use of cannabis is legal, while in others, it remains illegal. Always check local laws and regulations before using cannabis.

How Can I Use Cannabis for Better Sleep Without the Negative Effects?

To minimize potential adverse effects, consider a low dose of a cannabis product high in CBD and low in THC, as CBD can promote relaxation without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Also, avoid chronic use and combine cannabis use with good sleep hygiene practices. Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended before starting any new sleep aid regimen.

What Happens When You Sleep High: The Takeaway

And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed the ride and that we have successfully answered the question, “What happens when you sleep high?”.

Again, while cannabis use can be beneficial for sleep, it’s vital to approach it correctly. So, check out our guide once more, make sure to use appropriate strains like Granddaddy Purple, and stay safe!


  1. Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 23 (2017).
  2. Hsiao, Y. T., Yi, P. L., Li, C. L., & Chang, F. C. (2012). Effect of cannabidiol on sleep disruption induced by the repeated combination tests consisting of open field and elevated plus-maze in rats. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), 373–384.
  3. Belendiuk, K. A., Babson, K. A., Vandrey, R., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2015). Cannabis species and cannabinoid concentration preference among sleep-disturbed medicinal cannabis users. Addictive behaviors, 50, 178–181.
  4. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041.

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