Delta 9 creates a chill, euphoric high that’s perfect for relaxing in the evening. But can it do more? Can it help you sleep better at night?
In this article, we’ll explore the research around delta 9 to determine whether it really is a viable sleep aid, or if it’s better left for recreational use. We’ll also discuss how to use delta 9 for sleep.
What is Delta 9?
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9 THC or delta 9) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.
Though delta 9 is most commonly known as the compound in the marijuana plant that gets you high, it’s federally legal in the United States when derived from hemp as of the 2018 Farm Bill.
(Hemp is simply cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight).
What are the Effects of Delta 9?
Delta 9 renders the signature “high” effect associated with smoking weed, as it’s the exact same cannabinoid that’s in marijuana.
Commonly reported effects of delta 9 include euphoria, deep mental relaxation, and for some, heightened sensory perception and an altered perception of time.
Can Delta 9 Help You Sleep? What Research Says
Delta 9 will definitely get you high, but can it help you sleep?
Research on delta 9 for sleep has shown mixed results. However, anecdotal evidence suggests delta 9 has therapeutic benefits for sleep. Delta 9 may directly promote sleep by inducing feelings of drowsiness, and it may also help with other things that make sleeping difficult, like pain and anxiety.
The Research on Delta 9 for Sleep
There are a variety of studies showing delta 9 contributes to sleep, but there are also several studies indicating it does nothing or worsens sleep.
Other research suggests delta 9 may help with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a disorder that often contributes to sleep problems. However, the study states that more clinical research is needed to verify the efficacy of delta 9 for RLS.
Delta 9 may also help stabilize the circadian rhythm, according to this study, which looked at the use of delta 9 for dysregulated sleep cycles in elderly people.
However, there is also research showing delta 9 isn’t beneficial for sleep. One research review looked at the studies on cannabis- and hemp-derived delta 9 to determine whether they found delta 9 to be beneficial or adversarial to sleep.
The studies examined in the review concluded that cannabis, in general, created better sleep (21% of studies), worsened sleep (48%), rendered mixed results (14%), or had no impact at all (17%).
In summary, it’s best to assume that delta 9 may render sleep-supporting benefits, but not for everyone — and you may experience the benefits to varying degrees depending on why you struggle to sleep.
Delta 9 May Help With Pain
Pain is a common reason people struggle to sleep. It creates a vicious cycle: more pain means less sleep and less sleep means you’re in more pain.
One study on nerve pain found that using delta 9 allowed patients to decrease their use of opioids, as it had many of the same effects without as many downsides.
Another study found that delta 9 may have therapeutic potential for different forms of abdominal pain, including various inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).
Since delta 9 may provide support against pain, if pain is a reason you struggle to sleep, delta 9 may also provide sleep support.
Delta 9 May Help With Anxiety
Anxiety is another common reason people struggle to sleep. Delta 9 may help with anxiety, but as with sleep, the research isn’t conclusive.
One study showed that, compared to a placebo, 7.5mg of delta 9 THC reduced feelings of distress in research participants after they were subjected to a test designed to induce the stress response.
However, other studies suggest delta 9 may increase anxiety — and anxiety is a commonly-reported side effect of delta 9.
Therefore, if your anxiety keeps you up, chances are that delta 9 may help you. However, be open to the possibility that it might not work.
Delta 9 May Promote Drowsiness
Generally, delta 9 induces feelings of drowsiness that contribute to sleep.
Anecdotally, many delta 9 users report that it helps with falling asleep and staying asleep.
Additionally, delta 9’s effects of euphoria and relaxation may help ease you into the mood needed to bed and get some rest.
Delta 9 for Sleep: How It Works
Delta 9 works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a receptor system in your body responsible for many vital functions, including sleep, mood, immune response, inflammatory response, and many more. The ECS’s main job is to keep your body and mind in a state of balance.
The ECS normally runs on its own without any problems. However, during times of physical or mental distress, introducing outside cannabinoids like delta 9 may help it perform its job better.
The ECS has two main types of cannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors — Located in the central nervous system and throughout the body. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your mind.
- CB2 receptors – Located all throughout the body, except for in the nervous system. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your body.
Delta 9 primarily interacts with the CB1 receptor, thereby altering your mental state. Through this interaction, delta 9 is able to support relaxation, induce drowsiness, and render other benefits that may help you sleep better.
Side Effects of Delta 9
Though delta 9 is beneficial for sleep, it’s not without its side effects.
Potential side effects of delta 9 use include:
- Difficulty thinking and speaking
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Memory loss
- Red eyes
- Slowed reaction time
How to Use Delta 9 for Sleep: Best Products
If you’re going to begin using delta 9 for sleep, the next step is to figure out which product to use. In this section, we’ll explore your options.
- Onset time — How long it takes for a given delta 9 product to begin having effects on your mind and body.
- Bioavailability — The percentage of delta 9 in a given product that your body actually uses (your body naturally will discard a significant portion of any substance you consume).
Onset Time: About 1 hour
The most common type of edible is gummies. Gummies offer a fixed-dose delta 9 delivery method, making them great for therapeutic use.
Onset Time: About 1 hour
Swallowable capsules, like edibles, offer a fixed-dose delivery method for delta 9. They’re less convenient for therapeutic use, though, because you can’t split them to take a smaller dose.
Vapes & Flower
Onset Time: 10-20 minutes
Vapes and flower are very high-potency delivery methods because they deliver delta 9 straight to your bloodstream through your lungs, rather than forcing it to pass through your digestive system.
However, dosing can be difficult — it can be hard to measure how many milligrams of delta 9 each puff contains.
Onset Time: 20-30 minutes
Oils, like vapes and flower, are very potent. They’re taken under the tongue and absorbed through the blood vessels in your mouth, bypassing the digestive system.
The one downside to delta 9 oil is taste: the bitter flavor of hemp can take a bit of getting used to.
Delta 9 Dosage for Sleep
For sleep, we recommend starting with a smaller dose of delta 9 and working your way up. This will ensure that you know how your body and mind react to delta 9 before taking a larger amount.
You can calculate your starting dose with this formula:
(0.05) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your nightly delta 9 dosage in mg.
Using a formula, rather than a set recommended amount, means you get a dose customized for your body.
Delta 9 vs. Delta 8 for Sleep
Delta 8 has been dubbed delta 9’s “nicer younger sibling.” But how does it compare to delta 9 for sleep?
There are a few main differences. The first is that delta 9 is roughly twice as strong as delta 8. So if you’re in need of stronger effects, it’s the better choice.
However, delta 8’s effects are more spread across the mind and body, while delta 9’s effects are almost all in the mind.
This means if you’re looking for full-body relaxation in order to sleep better, you may be better off going with the less potent, but more evenly balanced, delta 8.
Additionally, delta 8 is much less likely than delta 9 to have anxiety as a side effect. You may notice that after taking delta 9, you feel a bit on edge — and you may realize that delta 8 is the way to go.
Still, if you’re in search of the strongest mental effect, delta 9 is your go-to.
The Best Delta 9 Gummies for Sleep
Obviously, we’re a bit biased, but we think we have the best THC gummies for sleep that you’ll find anywhere — online or in-store.
Our signature formula contains delta 9 and CBD in a 1:10 ratio. Each gummy has 7.5mg of delta 9 and 75mg of CBD.
This may seem a bit counterintuitive at first; they’re supposed to be delta 9 gummies, not CBD gummies, right?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with a multitude of benefits and full-body relaxing properties. Taken together, it also helps reduce the side effects of delta 9.
With 7.5mg of delta 9 in each gummy, you’ll get high and feel relaxed. But with the additional larger dose of CBD, you’re also less likely to feel the negative effects of delta 9 (especially anxiety), while also getting the full-body relaxation that delta 9 by itself can’t provide.
For therapeutic use, in other words, our gummies combine delta 9 with the ultra-beneficial CBD in an optimal ratio.
This formula is based directly on feedback our customers have given us. In addition to selling online, we have six brick-and-mortar stores where we serve 100s of people daily — this allows us to get real-time feedback and constantly improve our products based on what’s working for our customers.
The result? Our customers, whether in our local area of Houston, TX, or throughout the USA, get premium delta 9 products that actually work.
They’re not only effective: they’re also safe and made with the best quality ingredients. Our delta 9 gummies are 3rd-party lab tested, made with American-grown hemp, and backed by 100s of reviews.
If you’re interested, click here to check out our delta 9 and CBD gummies.
Or, click here to browse our entire delta 9 collection — we have other edibles, including candy, honey, and even drinks!
Conclusion: Beneficial for Many
Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that delta 9 certainly does have therapeutic benefits for sleep, but it may not work for everyone.
If you’ve never used delta 9 before, our advice is to take it along with CBD to dampen the high a bit and enhance its overall effects. Many products, like our delta 9 gummies, combine these two cannabinoids by default, but you can also take a bit of each.
Delta 9 for Sleep: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions customers frequently ask us about using delta 9 for sleep.
Will delta 9 help me sleep?
Yes, delta has therapeutic benefits for sleep. Anecdotal evidence suggests delta 9 helps you get to sleep sooner, improves sleep quality, and reduces episodes of waking up during the night.
How much delta 9 should I take for sleep?
The amount of delta 9 you should take for sleep depends on several factors, especially your tolerance. For the best experience and effects, start with a smaller dosage (for most people, this is between 4mg and 10mg) and work your way up over time as needed.
When should I take delta 9 for sleep?
For sleep, take delta 9 gummies or other edibles roughly 1 hour before you go to bed. Edibles take roughly 1 hour to take effect, so you need to take them a little while before your bedtime. Vapes and flower pre-rolls take just 10-15 minutes to kick in. Delta 9 oils take 15-20 minutes to begin working.