Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Look at the top New Year’s resolutions and you probably won’t be surprised. Most goals are focused on healthy choices—eating better, sleeping more, exercising. At their core, our resolutions are about finding better balance in our lives.

You might be surprised to learn that legal cannabis and hemp CBD can support your goals for better balance. The key is to use these products in moderation together with other positive lifestyle changes.

You Have an Endocannabinoid System – And It’s Made for Balance!

Your body already has a built-in system for maintaining internal balance (also called homeostasis)—the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system exists in humans and most animals. It plays an important role in regulating metabolism, sleep, mood, and immunity, along with other functions.

Your body’s ECS contains two types of cannabinoid (CB) receptors: CB1 and CB2.

  • CB1 receptors are found in your central nervous system—primarily your brain and spine. These receptors play a role in memory, behavior, appetite, motor control, and perception of pain.
  • CB2 receptors exist throughout the body, helping to control inflammation and immune response.

Your body makes endocannabinoids which bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, signaling when your body’s system needs to take action to maintain or restore internal balance.

You can also use products which contain cannabinoids that interact with these same CB1 and CB2 receptors to help bring balance.

There are many different cannabinoids. These include cannabidiol, better known as CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Both are present in cannabis. THC provides the “high” that many people associate with cannabis, while CBD doesn’t have any Intoxicating effects.

When thinking about the connection between your ECS and cannabis, it’s helpful to look at how you already use medicines to help your body. For example, your body generates pain-killing endorphins in response to pain, but you can also take ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation. With cannabis, the difference is that endocannabinoids (produced by your body) and cannabinoids (produced by the cannabis plant) are very similar to one another, which minimizes unwanted side effects.

Kickstarting Your Resolutions with a Good Night’s Sleep

Better sleep may not be on your list of New Year’s resolutions. However, being well-rested will definitely help you achieve your goals!

While many of us get the recommended amount of sleep each night, the quality of that sleep isn’t great for a lot of folks. The National Sleep Foundation reports that over a third of Americans report low-quality sleep.

Many people are discovering that cannabis and CBD hemp products help them relax, fall asleep, and wake up more well-rested. However, finding a product that works for you may take time, and the options can feel overwhelming!

If you are interested in using flower (the plant buds), start with indica-dominant or hybrid cannabis strains that are known to promote good sleep. These strains also contain beneficial plant compounds called terpenes that help with sleep as well.

Cannabis edibles designed for sleep are also an appealing option for many people. While edibles take longer to kick in than smoking or vaping, their effects also last longer. This means that if you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, you might feel unexpectedly high. Edibles also have a reputation for causing brain fog in some people when they wake up, though this isn’t the case for everyone. Timing is key when consuming your product. Our nurses at Leaf411 can help guide you in the right direction for the best edible dosage and timing. 

Also, you’ll want to check the label on any edibles or tinctures for the full list of ingredients. Manufacturers sometimes add melatonin, valerian or other herbs to boost their product’s sleep-inducing power. It’s up to you to decide whether those added ingredients are needed or not.

Our founding members at 1906 have put exhaustive research and refinement into their formulation, Midnight, because sleep issues are one of the most prevalent health problems Americans face. Midnight’s key ingredient, corydalis, has been used for millennia, and works in several crucial ways which maybe why it’s 1906’s best-selling product!

Cannabis plays a useful role in improving sleep quality, though too much THC and CBD can be counterproductive, increasing alertness or anxiety, or leaving you feeling groggy the following day. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to look for a product with lower THC and CBD concentrations or try CBD hemp products instead.

Some people prefer products that don’t contain THC, either due to employment-related concerns with drug testing, anxiety or personal preference. CBD  isolate products provide a great alternative—but make sure you ask for a COA (Certificate of Analysis) prior to purchasing to ensure it has zero THC.

It’s important to note that CBD is not a sedative. It will not knock you out like a prescription sleep medication. Instead, CBD’s power comes from its potential to reduce anxiety and pain while also helping to regulate sleep. Hemp-based products are widely available online and in retail stores, eliminating the need to visit a dispensary (though many dispensaries may carry CBD products as well). Remember to look for reputable manufacturers who provide COAs to back up their product quality.

Our founding member Altus’s mission is to empower you to make the most educated and personal choice when selecting a cannabis product. They created helpful Pillars to categorize their products based on users’ needs. Their Ritual products are low-dose thc or non-intoxicating products designed for daily lifestyle needs. That includes maintaining endocannabinoid system balance, managing minor issues, and helping to get better rest. 

If you’ve ever talked to our Leaf411 nurses, you’ll know that cannabis is only part of the picture when it comes to better sleep. We also encourage you to look at underlying issues and bedtime habits that may be keeping you up at night. Even the strongest indica can only do so much, if your nighttime routine includes scrolling through drama-filled threads on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

Our Leaf411 hotline nurses are happy to discuss the pros and cons of different cannabis sleep products with you. Call our free, anonymous hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for guidance specific to your needs.

CBD-Powered Workout Recovery

Exercise tops many peoples’ lists of resolutions. Sadly, it’s a resolution that many people quickly abandon for well-known reasons: the goal isn’t specific enough; it’s not stated positively; or it doesn’t answer the “why”—that is, why the goal is important to you. Many articles provide helpful tips for sticking with your exercise goals (like habit tracking or setting specific goals or identifying why you’re doing it).

We have an additional suggestion for keeping your exercise resolutions: CBD. Waking up early on cold, dark winter mornings is hard enough without fighting against soreness from the previous days’ workout. Many professional athletes use CBD products for pain and post-game recovery. You don’t need to be a pro player to tap into the benefits of CBD, though!

Our founding members over at Arcanum have been dedicated to producing products that complement active lifestyles. They were the first company to sponsor a professional sports team in the United States and know a thing or two about recovery!  

Arcanum Edge’s Sarco Freeze topical cooling gel comes in two different strengths, and combines CBD with arnica, menthol and other herbs to provide immediate post-workout relief while also soothing sore muscles. Sarco Freeze received a positive review by the Athletes for Care Tastemakers program, which is made up of professional athletes. 

They also offer Sarco Skin, the first CBD and menthol-infused kinesiology tape and The Coil family of tinctures which are terpene-infused for more benefits and bioavailability.

Arcanum Edge’s best-selling product is The Quill transdermal gel delivery pen. The Quill provides patented transdermal delivery of a precise microdose of full spectrum extract and terpenes. Leaf411 is proud to  support Arcanum Edge as a trusted source for performance-driven CBD products. Arcanum Edge products are third-party tested with their COAs available online. They also provide a 30-day, 100% money back guarantee.

Out of Balance: Too Much Cannabis?

Cannabis is a tool, not a magic cure-all. While we enthusiastically support the benefits that this plant provides, we also caution that you can overdo it with any medicine, including cannabis. If you would like help cutting down on your marijuana use or switching to different types of products (for example, switching from smokable flower to edibles), our Leaf411 cannabis-trained nurses can help by providing non-judgmental, balanced guidance. We also provide resources at our online library.

Are you interested in exploring cannabis or hemp CBD’s health benefits in 2020, but not sure where to start? Our nurses can help! Call our free, anonymous hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.