The research is accumulating, and more studies are showing the potential effects medical marijuana has on human health. Two of the best-studied areas currently are pain management and sleep.
Cannabis has long had a reputation as a sleep aid, and science believes this is in large part thanks to the properties of THC, one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis. The sedative properties of cannabis assist with pain management, but they might also help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who suffer from insomnia or another sleep disorder, you may wonder what a medical cannabis sleep aid program could do for you. Here are a few things you should know before you sign up for one.
1. Medical Cannabis Is an Effective Sleep Aid
You might wonder why you’d consider a sleep aid program that utilizes medical marijuana. As mentioned, cannabis, particularly indica strains, has long been known to have sedative properties, which could help you get to sleep.
THC is primarily responsible for these sedative effects, although other cannabinoids may play a role. Further, cannabis has been shown to reduce the number of REM cycles per sleep session and increase phases 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle where deep sleep is often achieved, leading to deeper, more restful sleep.
If you suffer from insomnia or another sleep disorder, medical cannabis could help you get to sleep sooner and stay asleep longer.
2. Medical Marijuana Is a Better Alternative
Another reason you might want to consider a medical marijuana sleep aid program over any other treatment option is that cannabis is considered to be safer than other sleep medications.
Cannabis has been shown to be less addictive than either opioids or sleeping pills. Both of these are common treatments for sleep disorders. They also tend to be highly addictive and long-term use can increase the risk of death. Use often comes with dangerous side effects, including risk of overdose.
Medical marijuana is thus a better choice than these medications.
3. A Sleep Aid Program Can Help You Get Better Sleep
Medical cannabis may be effective, but why should you sign up for a sleep aid program?
These programs are specially designed to assist patients whose sleep is severely affected by their medical condition. In many cases, this means a sleep disorder is the primary medical concern for the patient.
Many of these patients indicated their sleep was improved by the medical cannabis sleep aid program. A significant number of patients said their sleep was improved by at least 50 percent or more.
If you want to get better quality of sleep starting today, a sleep aid program might be right for you.
4. You Can Self-Refer
Some medical practitioners are still concerned about authorizing medical marijuana. Your doctor may not want to entertain cannabis as an option, or they may want to try other treatments for your sleep disorder.
If your doctor won’t refer you to a medical cannabis clinic, this can cause a problem. You may wonder if you’ll be able to continue exploring medical marijuana as a potential treatment for your condition.
The good news is some sleep aid programs have a self-referral option. This means you can refer yourself. You don’t need a medical professional to send in the referral for you.
5. It Starts with a Consultation
Like any other path to medical cannabis treatments, your next step after self-referring or receiving a referral will be a consultation with the medical professionals at the clinic running the sleep aid program.
A doctor will meet with you and assess you as a candidate for the sleep aid program. They’ll also answer questions you may have. If you do qualify, the medical staff will help you decide on strains and dosages.
More restful sleep isn’t out of your reach. All you need to do is fill out a form, and you could be on your way to getting a good night’s sleep.