ABX’s line-up of Sleepy Time cannabis products for sleep. Photo credit: ABX.
More than a third of American adults suffer from sleep disorders ranging from insomnia, to sleep apnea, to restless leg syndrome (RLS), reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A lack of sleep can affect one’s memory, mood, blood pressure, balance, immune system and more, reports Healthline. As a result of poor sleep, it costs Americans a collective $411 billion per year in lost productivity, reports Fortune Magazine.
While there are a variety of sleep aids on the market, many have turned to cannabis to ease issues like insomnia.
Sleep is perhaps one of the plant’s most famous side effects. However, until recently, researchers always regarded it as just that — a side effect. But now, scientists are finding that it may be an effective treatment for sleep disorders.
More specifically, a study conducted in April 2020 at The University of Western Australia (UWA) Centre for Sleep Science revealed that, “cannabis helps insomniacs sleep.”
Sleeplessness, or issues falling asleep, can stem from a variety of different things, including stress or anxiety, depression, trauma, medications, and more. While I do not suffer from insomnia, or typically have issues falling asleep — I struggle to stay asleep. I’m a light sleeper, so I often wake up in the middle of the night. I toss and turn for hours before getting back to sleep, sometimes just as the sun is rising. Consequently, I’m not known to be a morning person.
Because of this, the Sleepy Time products appealed to me. The products are made by the California-based company, AbsoluteXtracts (ABX). Those include capsules, concentrates, sublinguals and gummies. Without further ado, this is how each individual delivery method affected me.
450 mg THC
ABX Sleepy Time drops contain 450 mg of THC per bottle, or .63 mg per drop. According to the company, it’s also made with a “supportive blend of terpenes.”
To use it, consumers should shake the oil well, then drop it under their tongues and leave it there for one minute. The company instructs people to start low, and gradually increase their dosage if needed.
As regular consumer, I started with about half a dropper (or roughly 15 mg), as it takes a fair amount of THC to put me to sleep. It tasted and smelled faintly of blueberries. It has a mostly herbal and bitter flavor, like most tinctures I’ve tried. But unlike others, it is fruity.
Within 10 minutes of taking the tincture, I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I crawled into bed, and slept hard throughout the night. I woke up once or twice, but went back to bed quickly. I woke up later than usual and felt a bit groggy.
Half of a dropper was too much. Instead I tried just under one-third of a dropper (about 10 mg), and i’ve stuck with that dosage. When taken on nights when I feel particularly anxious, I sleep noticeably harder. I also wake up a few minutes earlier than usual, without grogginess.
100 mg per package
$15 for 10 count
The Blueberry Lavender Gummies are vegan, and free of gluten and artificial flavors. According to the company, they are made with “a proprietary blend of terpenes, potent THC, CBN, and calming lavender.”
Leafly reports that CBN may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and neuroprotective properties.
I gave these to my partner who, unlike me, is a fan of blueberry-flavored goodies. The recommended dosage is one gummy. However, as an experienced consumer, he took two gummies. Effects set in after one hour. He said he slept well, and woke up earlier than usual with a little grogginess. Two gummies were too potent; he recommends that even experienced users stick with one gummy.
Compared to the sublingual, these are much easier to dose, and tastier than the tincture. Although some vegan gummies can be off-putting, he really enjoyed the flavor and texture of these gummies. While fruity, it was planty (i.e. he could taste the cannabis).
25 mg THC per soft gel
While my partner tried the gummies, I tried the soft gels. They come in either 5 mg or 25 mg varieties. I tried the 25 mg soft gels. ABX instructs consumers to take one soft gel at a time, which kicks in in 15-90 minutes, according to the instructions.
As instructed, I swallowed one soft gel, and felt its subtle effects in an hour. I wasn’t fighting to stay awake. Instead, when my typical bedtime approached, I felt ready to hit the hay, mildly yawning as I prepared to hop in bed. My thoughts slowed down; I felt de-stressed; and went to sleep quickly when I awoke during the night. I woke up early, and felt well rested.
500 mg of cannabinoids total
$30 for half gram
Like all other products in ABX’s Sleepy Time line-up, the oil in the cartridge is high in THC and contains added terpenes.
It tastes similar to the other Sleepy Time products, with fruity and herbal flavors. When used with the company’s 510 thread battery, it was a bit harsh to smoke, and as a result, caused me to cough.
I puffed on the vape about 30 minutes before my usual bedtime. But, within 10 minutes, I was ready to sleep. After I used it for a few nights, I began to toss and turn in the middle of the night. Overall, I felt it helped put me to sleep, but not stay asleep throughout the night.
Test results or a certificate of analysis (CoA) can determine whether or not products contain what the company or label says it does. For example, according to ABX, the Sleepy Time Drops contain 450 mg of THC per bottle. Third-party test results shared with Emerald confirm the drops contain 457 mg of THC.
Additionally, results for the gummies also confirm there are exactly 5 mg of THC per serving/candy.
In terms of the vape cartridge, it should have 500 mg of cannabinoids in total. The CoA confirms that the oil is roughly 73.77% THC or has roughly 368 mg of THC out of 500 mgs.
Lastly, the test results show that the capsules have 24.38 mg of THC per pill.
Additionally, all CoAs proved products had terpenes.
According to experts, products (cannabis or otherwise) should contain within a plus or minus 10% range of what is advertised. If it falls within that range — it earns an A; 20% a B; 30%, a C; and 31% or more gets an F. ABX products all earn As.
Overall, ABX’s Sleepy Time products definitely delivered on their mission to promote rest. Each product induced sleep. But each had different onset times, and potencies. For example, the vape and sublingual were the quickest, while the gummies and capsules took about an hour to feel. The effects of the sublingual and capsules lasted the longest, whereas the vape wore off quickly. Additionally, the sublingual and gummies were most potent, and can cause grogginess when taking too much.
But, as the company also urges, start low and increase dosage. The gummies certainly make dosing easier, more precise and tastier. For that reason, the gummies may be best for newer users and those with low THC tolerances. The vape is effective as well. But it seemed to wear off during the night after a few uses. For that reason, I’d recommend keeping it by the bedside or using occasionally.
I preferred the soft gels most. They provided the right dosage for me, lasted throughout the night, and didn’t make me feel tired in the morning.
What really seals the deal were the price points, particularly for the sublingual. While other oils that target sleep can cost nearly $100, this one comes in at $41. Additionally, all of company’s cannabis product for sleep were fairly priced when compared to others on the market.