The list of uses for medical cannabis is rapidly expanding. Cannabis may help patients with a wide variety of conditions and health issues. Many people are already aware it may be an effective treatment for cancer patients managing the side effects of chemotherapy. Many see it as a safer alternative to opioids for chronic pain.
What about sleep disorders such as insomnia? Could cannabis be the secret to getting a good night’s sleep?
How Cannabis Works
Cannabis is a psychoactive substance. In effect, it works on the central nervous system and the brain. Cannabinoids block specialized receptors in the brain, which affects both the mind and body.
The most common effect is a sense of relaxation and ease. Cannabis works to enhance the perception of feel-good chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. By blocking the re-uptake of these chemicals, cannabis helps them stay in your system longer. It also blocks stress-response receptors like adrenaline, depressing their effects.
Many people state cannabis also produces a sense of sleepiness or drowsiness.
Different Effects of Different Strains
No two people are exactly alike. This accounts for some of the different effects cannabis may have on patients. Two people might use the exact same strain and dosage but have very different experiences. Your unique brain chemistry affects the results of cannabis use.
No two strains are exactly alike either, which also plays into the production of different effects. Some strains claim to promote alertness and activity. They may boost focus, helping people concentrate and immerse themselves in a variety of activities.
Other strains claim to promote sleep. For the most part, these are indica strains. Sativa strains tend to promote more alertness. If you’re hoping to catch a few z’s, you’ll likely want to investigate indica strains designed to promote relaxation, rest, and sleepiness.
How Effective Is It?
Most people wonder exactly how effective medical cannabis is at putting them to sleep. The answer varies. It depends a lot on the strain and dosage in your authorization. You may need to experiment to find the right combination for your unique chemical makeup.
Another factor to consider is why you’re experiencing insomnia or another sleep disorder in the first place. Some people experience insomnia as a side effect of other medications. Some experience it as a result of PTSD. Still others don’t have an identifiable cause for their insomnia.
Medical cannabis may be able to assist in all of these scenarios. The key, of course, is getting the right strain and dosage for you.
Creating a Custom Plan
If you’re hoping to use medical cannabis to achieve better sleep, the good news is it can and will help.
The biggest factor, aside from ensuring you meet the criteria to get an authorization, is designing a custom plan to meet your unique needs. Consulting with qualified medical professionals is a crucial step toward getting a plan geared specifically for you.
Ask your doctor to refer you to a clinic specializing in medical cannabis. These professionals will consult with you, design your custom plan, and help you implement and adjust it going forward. Working in partnership with them, you’ll be more likely to achieve the results you want.