Five Ways Cannabis Can Help You Sleep

Believe it or not, cannabis can help restore your sleep cycle, naturally.

We all know that a good night’s sleep is essential.

Unfortunately, more than 33 percent of Americans experience some form of sleep disorder. And with the anxiety we’re all feeling due to COVID-19, the number of people dealing with insomnia is rising.

“Our brain wants to think: what do I do, what should I do, where should I hide, where should I go,” said Dr. Savannah Geske, a behavioral health specialist at Saint Luke’s Health System.

Fortunately, cannabis could help you catch some Zs. A 2019 study revealed 74 percent of respondents consumed cannabis to help them sleep. Of those respondents, 84 percent found it very or extremely helpful.

“Marijuana is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules,” says Dr. Matt Roman MD, a medical cannabis physician.

Ready to get back in sync? We’ve got you covered. Here are five ways cannabis can help you sleep.

1. Fall Asleep Faster

THC has sedating effects, which explains why it can help you drift off to sleep.

A 2011 study found 79 percent of research participants fell asleep quicker when consuming THC before bed.

 THC helps to influence sleep induction. THC acts on the same CB1 receptors as the endocannabinoid anandamide, increasing sleep through an adenosine pathway in the forebrain.

2. Reduce Nighttime Anxiety

People who experience anxiety are more likely to have higher sleep reactivity. High sleep reactivity makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep when you’re stressed.

Thankfully, THC can help you manage stress and anxiety.

A 2017 study found THC could reduce anxiety caused by stressful activities. In one test, research participants consumed a low dose of cannabis before a fake job interview and reported less anxiety than placebo.

“Our findings provide some support for the common claim that cannabis is used to reduce stress and relieve tension and anxiety,” said Emma Childs, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author on the study.

But there’s a caveat. Too much THC caused increased anxiety in the research participants, so make sure to get your dosage right.

3. The Entourage Effect

THC isn’t the only cannabinoid that can help with anxiety and insomnia. Full-spectrum THC products, like High Notes cannabis chews, also often contain CBD and CBN, which could amplify THC’s therapeutic effects.

Unlike THC, CBD can make you feel alert. So how does it help you drift off to sleep?

“[CBD] is particularly helpful for people whose sleep problems are due to anxiety,” said Dr. Sarah Brewer MD, cannabis supplement expert. “A recent review of 72 adults with anxiety or poor sleep found that anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 79.2 percent and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores also improved within the first month in 66.7 percent, and it was well tolerated.”

4. Ditch the Sleeping Pills – and Their Side Effects

Weed can help you get to sleep without the need for sleeping pills.

In a 2019 survey of cannabis consumers, most respondents taking over-the-counter (87 percent) or prescription sleep aids (83 percent) said they had reduced or stopped using those medications. Always remember to consult your doctor before reducing or stopping any medication.

5. Cannabis Might Help to Solve Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. One in five American adults has mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common form.

A 2002 study showed THC and oleamide effectively stabilized respiration in mice during their entire sleep cycle. THC reduced the apnea index during NREM (42 percent) and REM (58 percent) sleep stages.

A follow-up study in 2013 found synthetic THC reduced the sleep apnea index in people by 32 percent. The results are promising, although we’re still waiting on clinical studies using natural THC.

Get the rest and recovery your body needs.

We make our High Notes edibles with all-natural Oregon cannabis oil so that you can get your sleep schedule back in sync – naturally.

Our cannabis oil is full-spectrum, too, so you get the benefits of THC, CBD, and CBN.

Sleep longer and faster naturally with High Notes cannabis chews. Click here to find us in Oregon.

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Cannabis Might Be Your Anxiety-Reducing Secret

Cannabis could be your solution to stress and anxiety this holiday season.

We love the holiday season, but it can be pretty stressful.

And with the added challenges that COVID-19 brings, mental health professionals already see a spike in people seeking help for stress and anxiety.

Thankfully, a growing body of research points to cannabis as an effective treatment for a range of anxiety disorders.

That’s good news. After all the challenges you’ve dealt with this year, you deserve to unwind during the holidays. Here’s how cannabis can help.

The Stress Test

A 2017 study found THC can reduce anxiety caused by stressful activities.

In one test, research participants consumed cannabis before an intense fake job interview. The pretend interviewers offered no feedback – verbally or through body language – while an ominous screen continually displayed the participants’ performance.

At a low dose, the weed helped take the edge off. The participants who consumed 7.5 mg of THC reported less stress after the tests, and their stress levels lowered faster.

 “Our findings provide some support for the common claim that cannabis is used to reduce stress and relieve tension and anxiety,” said Emma Childs, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author on the study.

Too Much of a Good Thing

But there’s a caveat. Participants who received a higher dosage before the tests – 12.5 mg – reported increased anxiety.

“Our finding that participants in the higher THC group reported small but significant increases in anxiety and negative mood throughout the test supports the idea that THC can also produce the opposite effect,” said Childs.

How can THC both suppress and increase anxiety? And more importantly, what can we do to make sure it’s good vibes only?

Let’s dig a little deeper and look at how cannabinoids like THC take effect.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system helps keep our bodies in balance, and it’s present before we’re born.

“The endocannabinoid system exists throughout our life, before we’re born,” says Dr. Ruth Ross, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. “It’s there in people who have never been exposed to cannabis. It explains how cannabis works, but cannabis is not why it exists.”

So why does the endocannabinoid system exist?

The endocannabinoid system promotes homeostasis, which means maintaining stable conditions in the body despite internal or external changes. It helps us relax, eat, fall asleep, and forget painful memories.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the brain and body. Plant-made phytocannabinoids, like THC and CBD can also bind with these receptors.

THC, Anxiety, and the Brain

When THC binds with CB1 receptors in the brain, it inhibits the release of many excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.

Two primary neurotransmitters moderate anxiety in the brain: glutamate and GABA. Glutamate is anxiogenic (increases anxiety), while GABA is anxiolytic (reduces anxiety).

When THC binds to CB1 receptors on glutamatergic neurons, it inhibits the release of glutamate.  An appropriate dose of THC, therefore, reduces anxiety.

 Conversely, too much THC reduces GABA in the brain. Reduced GABA levels can lead to higher glutamate levels and increased anxiety.

A Little Goes a Long Way

As we’ve seen, consuming the right amount of THC is crucial to treating anxiety effectively. The perfect dose differs for every individual, so how do we find that sweet spot? 

Dustin Sulak, an osteopathic physician and medicinal cannabis expert based in Maine, suggests you increase the THC by small increments until you find your “minimal effective dose.”

“Before consuming, ask yourself three questions, and answer on a scale of one to 10: How easy is it to breathe, how comfortable and calm does your body feel, and how easy is it for you to smile authentically, to feel content and grateful?” he says.

Consume 1 mg, wait 45 minutes, and then ask yourself the same questions. No change? Try another milligram until you find your perfect dose.

The Dream Team

Sulak suggests you consume THC alongside CBD to get the best out of both cannabinoids. 

The research backs his claims. A 2009 study showed CBD could mitigate THC’s side effects, including its anxiogenic effects at higher doses.

More recently, a 2018 study proved consuming cannabis high in CBD and THC produced the most considerable reductions in stress.

“Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC,” said Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University and lead author of the study.

Nibble Your Stress Away

We make High Notes edibles with full-spectrum THC, which means every bite contains a hit of CBD.

Plus, our premium, cannabis-infused chews are made with all-natural Oregon cannabis oil so that you can relax the natural way.

If you’re feeling the stress over the holidays, consider a nibble on one of our cannabis chews. With three delicious flavors available, relaxation never tasted so good.

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The Four Steps to Making THC Distillate, and Why It’s the Future for Cannabis Edibles

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how we make premium THC distillate for High Notes cannabis chews.

Are you wondering how we make High Notes(™) cannabis chews? It starts with one essential ingredient: THC distillate.

What is THC distillate?

THC distillate is 99% pure THC. It’s the purest, most potent, and versatile cannabis concentrate out there. And according to industry insiders, THC distillate is the future of weed extracts.

But before you start searching Google for home distillation kits, here’s a piece of advice: leave cannabis distillation to the professionals. Distilling THC safely and successfully requires a lot of know-how and a laboratory full of expensive equipment.

Nevertheless, it’s fun to learn about the process. Plus, to make the best purchase decisions, it’s always wise to know how your favorite brands manufacture their cannabis products.

With that said, here’s how we make the THC distillate for our High Notes cannabis chews.

Step 1: Extraction

First, we separate the THC and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant matter.

We use ethanol to extract the good stuff. Ethanol is the same ingredient you’ll find in many of the foods and drinks you enjoy every day, from burger buns to wine.

The FDA says ethanol is safe for consumption. Plus, ethanol has a low boiling point, which means it’s removed quickly in the purification process.

Other companies use hydrocarbon solvents like petroleum – the same stuff you put in your gas tank. Worryingly, a 2013 study detected harmful hydrocarbon residues in cannabis extracts like Butane Hash Oil (BHO). No thanks – we’ll steer clear of petroleum.

Step 2: Winterization

Extraction leaves us with thick cannabis oil containing unnecessary plant matter, including fats, waxes, lipids, and chlorophyll.

Winterization removes these byproducts. To do this, we keep the THC concentrate at extremely low temperatures (between -20°C and -60°C) for up to 24 hours. The ethanol and cold temperature separate the cannabinoid extract from the impurities.

Next, we filter the cannabis concentrate and pass it through a rotary evaporator to remove the remaining ethanol.

Step 3: Decarboxylation

Now, we activate THC, the primary extract ingredient.

Raw cannabis extract contains the non-psychoactive compound THCA. We convert THCA into the psychoactive THC through decarboxylation

After decarboxylation, we heat the cannabis extract at a high temperature for roughly 40 minutes to remove the extra carbon atom (the “A” in THCA).

Step 4: Distillation 

Finally, it’s time to distill the THC through heat and pressure.

Every cannabinoid has a unique boiling point and molecular weight, which makes it easy to isolate the ones we’re looking for – in this case, THC.

We transfer the cannabis extract to a vacuum distillation vessel. The oxygen in a vacuum is limited, which prevents cannabinoid oxidation. The cannabinoids vaporize at a lower temperature in a vacuum, which stops cannabinoid decomposition through thermal reaction.

Later, we can balance the THC effects by combining it with CBD and other cannabinoids (if we want to), which we’ve also isolated through distillation. This creates a full-spectrum extract. Full-spectrum extracts offer the entourage effect – the theory that cannabinoids work better as a team.

Premium quality, without the premium price tag.

Free of all impurities, the beautifully clear THC distillate is ready to infuse in all our High Notes(™) cannabis chews.

THC distillate is more expensive than other cannabis oil, thanks to the cutting-edge equipment required for production. But don’t worry – we don’t charge you a premium. You can enjoy our high-quality chews without the lofty price tag.

Oh, and did we mention the three unique flavors – Dark Chocolate, Strawberry Cream, and Thai Iced Tea? Inspired by the tastes you’d find in a boba teahouse, our chews are unlike anything else in cannabis.

We’ll be releasing even more delicious flavors next year. What’s more – these new chews will be effects-based, including a 1:1:1 THC/CBD/CBN chew for a fantastic night’s sleep.

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