Sleep disorders are common across North America. In fact, some estimates suggest one in four Canadians suffer from insomnia, making it the most common sleep disorder.
What is the main cause of insomnia?
Stress and anxiety are usually listed as some of the most common causes of insomnia. Other causes are less common, but they include depression, pain, and even certain medications.
Insomnia is a frustrating condition, and it may not have one root cause or an apparent cure. Some patients feel they’ve tried everything to treat their insomnia without much luck.
Medical cannabis is offering new hope for insomnia patients by helping them get a better night’s sleep.
Medical Cannabis Is a Sedative
How does medical cannabis help patients get to sleep?
First and foremost, cannabis often acts as a sedative. Most patients report feelings of deep relaxation and even drowsiness when they use medical marijuana. Some strains are designed to capitalize on this effect and put you to sleep.
This effect is primarily related to THC, a common cannabinoid in cannabis.
What Effects Does It Have on Sleep?
Cannabis is a complex substance that science is only just beginning to understand. In low doses, THC does appear to have sedative effects and can even improve sleep. In larger doses, these effects seem to disappear and may be replaced with anxiety or other psychological effects.
Medical marijuana appears to decrease the amount of REM sleep, in addition to assisting with deep sleep. Over time, however, the effect on deep sleep lessens. THC also appears to lower the time it takes to fall asleep.
How Does It Help You Sleep?
It’s one thing to understand what cannabis can do and another to understand how it helps insomnia patients sleep.
As mentioned, THC is responsible for most of the effects, although other cannabinoids also have sedative properties. These compounds are likely to make you feel drowsy or sleepy, and they may help you nod off sooner.
Cannabinoids interact with two specialized receptors in the body. Many of these receptors are located around the central nervous system. THC can also affect receptors in the brain directly.
Is It Safe?
It’s clear medical cannabis is helping insomnia patients get to sleep sooner, stay asleep longer, and achieve better quality of sleep.
The next question you have is whether it’s safe to use. While it shouldn’t be your first remedy for insomnia, it is a better choice than sleeping pills. Although the research in this area is still young, it seems medical marijuana may be able to promote longer, deeper sleep.
Another bonus is that medical marijuana has fewer side effects, and the side effects it does have are usually less severe than those associated with sleeping pills.
How Should You Use Medical Cannabis for Insomnia?
If you have insomnia, you should try some other remedies before you think about solutions like sleeping pills or medical cannabis. You may be able to manage insomnia effectively with tactics like meditation, exercise, and herbal remedies. Decreasing screen time with your electronic devices might help as well.
If you’ve tried these methods without success and need another solution, talk to your doctor about medical marijuana. It might be the right choice, especially if you combine it with certain herbal remedies, meditation, or exercise.
Managing insomnia more effectively is easier when you employ multiple solutions. Medical cannabis can help you make the most out of your insomnia treatment efforts.