THC Gummies for Sleep: A Bad Idea?

THC Gummies for Sleep: A Bad Idea?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to THC use.

THC gummies are becoming a popular over-the-counter (OTC) sleep remedy. Many brands tout the sleep-promoting benefits of their gummies, positioning them as a natural alternative to sleep medication.

But is THC shown in research studies to improve sleep, or are these just marketing claims? Do THC gummies contain an effective dose? Do they have unhealthy additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of THC gummies for sleep?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze medical studies on THC for sleep to give our take on whether it’s likely to be effective, or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll share our concerns about some of the additive ingredients in THC gummies, and feature unsponsored user reviews.

Does THC Even Improve Sleep?

THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. This compound has been studied in clinical trials for its effects on sleep.

A medical review published in the Neurotherapeutics journal documented that THC can reduce time-to-sleep initially, but may reduce total sleep time after long periods of use.

A 2022 medical review suggested that THC may have a negative impact on sleep-related quality of life:

“THC…was associated with a ‘hangover effect’ the next morning. In addition, patients experienced temporal disorganization.”

A clinical trial published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that cannabis oil improved sleep quality, but cannabis oil has many other psychoactive compounds beyond THC.

Based on the available research, we consider isolated THC unlikely to improve sleep quality, with the research on whole cannabis appearing more promising.

We Tried THC Gummies for Sleep

THC gummies for sleep UGC

One of our product testers named Matt Donnelly tried THC gummies for sleep. Here's his experience:

It was my first time trying THC gummies, and I didn’t experience any significant effects initially.

I was introduced to them as being helpful for sleep, so I consumed one gummy about an hour before bed.

I did not sleep any better or worse. However, when I consumed a gummy earlier in the evening, it produced a sort of euphoric “high” feeling, which is what is intended.

I did not experience any significant side effects, though I felt a little groggy the next morning.

I would rate this solution for sleep 3/10, and I do not plan to try it again nor would I recommend it to others.

Are THC Gummies Unhealthy?

Kush Queen THC gummies ingredients

The ingredients above are from a THC gummy brand called Kush Queen.

While researching this article, we searched “THC gummies” in Google and this brand was the top organic result.

This ingredient list illustrates why we consider most THC gummies to be unhealthy. They’re formulated to look and taste like candy, and contain inactive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Sugar and glucose syrup are both forms of added sugar, and added sugar consumption in excess is associated with obesity and cardiovascular disease, according to a 2019 medical review.

Many Americans already consume too much added sugar from their diet, so intaking additional added sugar from supplements may be harmful in some cases.

Citric acid is a flavor enhancer that can cause whole-body inflammation, as we documented in our article on do CBD gummies work for pain.

Natural flavors is a broad categorical descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring agents used.

FD&C Color refers to artificial food dye. Typically the manufacturer lists the specific food color used, but nonetheless a 2012 medical review on the potential consumer harm from food dyes concluded with the study author’s opinion that all commercially-available dyes should be removed from the market for safety reasons.

We haven’t come across a THC gummy brand that we consider to have a healthy formulation, and speaking with a doctor about THC oil (if it’s available in your jurisdiction) may be a healthier choice.

Interview With THC Gummy User

A Good Morning America segment interviewed a woman who claimed that using THC gummies made her a better mom:

What Happens If You Overdo THC Gummies?

A YouTube creator named “Chubbyemu” who’s a pharmacist has a video on what happened when an individual ate 96 THC gummies in one sitting, that has over 2 million views:

Our Clean Sleep Picks

There are sleep products with ingredients and materials clinically shown to improve sleep quality.

Sleep Mode from Bulletproof is our top value sleep supplement.

It contains melatonin which is arguably the most well-studied sleep inducer, along with l-ornithine which is an amino acid that's clinically shown to reduce cortisol and improve sleep quality at the same dose as in Sleep Mode.

Beam Dream Capsules is our top premium sleep supplement.

These multi-action capsules provide melatonin, magnesium, THC-free hemp and Reishi mushroom which is clinically described as possessing an "anti-insomnia mechanism."

Nolah Weighted Bamboo Blanket is a great option for consumers who prefer non-supplement solutions for sleep. Weighted blankets are clinically shown to improve sleep quality in both older adults and in children, and early research suggests they may also reduce anxiety.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients or materials that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

The medical evidence on THC gummies for sleep is unimpressive in our opinion. If anything, the studies we came across suggest that long-term, THC gummies actually impair sleep quality.

Whole cannabis may improve sleep, but it’s too early-stage to say so definitively in our opinion.

THC is psychoactive and can cause side effects, so it may be illogical to use this for sleep when there are research-backed, non-psychoactive options with a superior side effect profile.

Most THC gummies are unhealthy and contain a range of questionable additives like refined sugar and artificial flavors. This is an issue for the gummy supplement industry at large (including CBD), and in this article we highlighted the ingredients in one popular THC gummy article to make our case.

Taking too many THC gummies in one sitting may cause bodily injury, so it’s important to follow the directions on the product label carefully.