Finding the Best THC, CBD, CBN Ratio To Improve Sleep

Looking for the best CBD to THC ratio for sleep? Our guide will help you find the right product for a good night's rest.

You fell asleep…an hour before your alarm for work goes off, jarring you awake. Again. The good sleep habits you’ve established are a start, but you want something more. You’ve seen people online talking about taking cannabis to sleep better; may even read a bit about the science behind it all. But the next step is confounding: finding the best ratio, dose, and method of consumption for your needs.

Cannabinoids and sleep

There are three major cannabinoids - chemicals found in cannabis that interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which are responsible for the effects of weed on the mind and body - that come up in conversation around sleep. They are:
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): The cannabinoid we know the most about, the one responsible for the classic “high” effects from marijuana. 
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Now well-established, this cannabinoid comes with a lot of health benefits but is non-intoxicating, an ideal situation for people seeking relief without a “high.”
  • Cannabinol (CBN): A rising star among consumers, this cannabinoid comes from THC breaking down over time. It’s said to be the most sedative of the three, and may come with a slight psychoactive effect.

While trying one certainly has its benefits, consuming them together in various ratios can provide a different entourage effects.

Common cannabinoid ratios for sleep

Though you could hypothetically DIY a ratio of your own - and many people do through various forms of consumption overlapping - there are a handful of common ratios you’ll see from shops and dispensaries. They’re listed as numbers with colons, indicating how many ‘parts’ of each cannabinoid are in the product. Here are some you may see: 
  • 1:1 – Equal amounts of each cannabinoid, such as THC and CBN. If this is your pick, go low and slow. There’s a fair chance of intoxication with the amount of THC.
  • 5:1 – For those who need a higher dose of CBD or CBN with the benefits of the entourage effects, this ratio is a solid starting point. With five parts CBD/CBN to one part THC, people get the benefits of the entourage effect with far less of a “high.”
  • 10:1 – A high CBD/CBN alternative for those who think the 5:1 ratio is still too intoxicating. May still feel a hint of a “high.”
  • 20:1 – One of the less common ratios (as many would just opt for non-THC CBD products), this ratio is very, very rarely intoxicating. 

In terms of medical studies, like all cannabis research, data is scarce and there is work to be done. This is even more the case with the effects of different cannabinoid ratios; few if any studies have focused on much beyond 1:1 THC and CBD. The studies that do exist show that a ratioed dose could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease the time it takes to drift to sleep.

Selecting the best product for better sleep

First, always be sure to consult a doctor, especially if you’re already trying a sleep aid. Second, consider what kind of consumption you’re comfortable with. Here are a few of your options:
  • Inhaling: Both the classic smoking of flower and the more modern vaping fall into this category. Since the effect is nearly immediate and lasts a few hours, many people choose to inhale for situations that need quick - sometimes intense - relief.
  • Transdermal: Both patches and gels, this is an option for extended relief; the cannabinoids go right into your bloodstream consistently for about 12 hours. It could be 30 minutes to an hour to feel the effects.
  • Edibles: From gummies to capsules, coffee to cookies, edibles are a go-to favorite. Since they need to digest, it can take up to 2 hours to initially feel the effects, which can last up to 8 hours. 
  • Topicals: These are your creams, lotions, and salves. They’re best for local, short-term relief, such as a sore joint (absolutely a pun.) They kick in within minutes and last up to an hour or so.

Many people layer their cannabis consumption. For example, you may take a properly-dosed edible an hour before bed, smoke a sleep-inspiring strain, and apply lotion to the bad shoulder that bothers you right before you turn off the light. In this situation, you get the local anti-inflammatory and painkilling effect of the lotion, the immediate full-body effect of the flower, and as those wear off, your edible takes over until morning.

Let’s say you choose to try edibles - the slow, gentle onset and long-lasting relief for better sleep through the full night is what you’re wanting. Now what?

Most edibles come in the ratios listed above, oftentimes a combination of THC and CBD, or THC and CBN. It’s generally recommended to consider your consumption habits and goals. Many people start with a 1:1 and dose low, adjusting to their needs over time.

Our suggestion: Nite Bites

Maybe we’re a bit biased here (well, more than a bit), but we wanted a product that was not only delicious, but healthy, with all the added medicinal benefits of cannabis. Our Nite Bites are the result, sporting a delightfully sleepy 1:1 ratio of THC and CBN, melatonin, and minimal sugar. Easy to adjust dosing and created to be a decadent dark chocolate nighttime treat, these edibles can easily fit into your bedtime routine.

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