Many North Americans suffer from insomnia and other sleep disturbances. In fact, the Center for Disease Control in the US has declared poor sleep to be a hidden epidemic. The CDC warns sleep disorders are likely to create a health crisis in the near future.
Perhaps surprisingly, few people see their doctors about insomnia, poor sleep, and other related disorders. Most try to treat insomnia with over-the-counter sleeping pills first. If this fails, people may seek prescription sleeping pills from their doctors.
Sleeping pills come with risks. What if there was a better alternative?
Would it surprise you to learn medical cannabis may be just as effective as sleeping pills when it comes to treating insomnia?
Different strains of cannabis have been cultivated to emphasize their sedative effects. If you talk to most people who use medical cannabis, they’ll tell you one of the most prominent effects is a sense of relaxation. Others will discuss feeling drowsy or sleepy.
Certain strains of medical cannabis may outperform certain sleeping pills. While not every strain of cannabis will make you tired, many of them may help you sink into a deep, relaxed sleep.
Sleeping pills, like many other medications, aren’t entirely harmless. They’re actually quite addictive. Most people begin taking sleeping pills during a bout of insomnia. Shortly thereafter, they find they need the pills to fall asleep.
So begins the cycle of dependence. You begin treating insomnia with a sleeping pill, only to find later you need the pill if you have any hope of sleeping at all. Over time, you need to increase the dosage in order to achieve the same effects.
Medical cannabis, by contrast, may be much less addictive. Cannabis may not require increases in dosage over time. People also claim to have an easier time “quitting.” You likely won’t be reliant on medical cannabis to fall asleep.
Since sleeping pills are addictive sedatives, they carry with them the inherent danger of overdose. Overdoses often happen when sleeping pills are combined with other depressants, such as alcohol. The famous actor Heath Ledger overdosed this way.
It’s possible to overdose on over-the-counter sleeping pills as well. A large dose may provoke hallucinations as well.
Many patients say cannabis is most effective in low doses. While it’s possible to take a high dose and experience unpleasant side effects, it is incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to overdose. Furthermore, it tends to have fewer interactions with other substances, such as alcohol.
Everyone reacts to medications differently. One type of sleeping pill may send you to sleep instantly while another may have little to no effect. The same is true of cannabis. One strain might help while another may not.
Medical cannabis offers more personalization than other medications. This is because there are so many different strains. Different strains also emphasize different effects. You may not like one strain because it leaves you feeling groggy in the morning. Another strain may not have this after-effect, unlike most sleeping pills.
Medical cannabis may be an effective and safe alternative to sleeping pills. If you suffer from insomnia, consider a medical cannabis treatment plan.