How Medical Marijuana Helps Treat Insomnia
Medical cannabis has been largely associated with the treatment of insomnia. Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that makes it impossible for one to fall or stay asleep. Some of the most common symptoms of insomnia include difficulties falling asleep, troubles falling back asleep after waking up in the course of the night, waking up way early in the morning as well as the feeling of tiredness upon waking up in the morning.
Two Types of Insomnia
There are two types of insomnia, namely, primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia involves sleep disorders that are not directly associated with any other health conditions or problems, whereas secondary insomnia occurs when a person is having sleep problems because of other health conditions such as asthma, depression, arthritis, heartburn, and cancer. There are many causes of insomnia, some of which include emotional/physical discomfort, significant life stress, illnesses, interferences in normal sleep schedules as well as pain or discomfort at night.
Mild insomnia can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleeping habits, whereas sleeping pills may be prescribed for a limited time if the insomnia makes it impossible to effectively function during the day. However, to treat chronic insomnia, it is imperative to first of all treat the underlying health conditions that are causing the insomnia.
Medical marijuana is now offering hope for people with insomnia by helping them get a good night sleep. This is because most conventional medications have failed to improve the duration as well as quality of sleep in patients suffering from insomnia. This also goes to explain why Massachusetts passed an initiative that legalized the use of cannabis in treating chronic insomnia and other sleep disorders in 2012. It should be noted that cannabis has been proven to have sedative effects, with most patients reporting the feelings of deep relaxation as well as drowsiness after using it.
This effect is particularly related to THC, which is a common cannabinoid in cannabis. Even though cannabis is a complex compound that science is only beginning to understand, low doses of THC seem to have sedative effects that can even improve sleep. The truth is that aside assisting with deep sleep, medical marijuana appears to decrease the amount of REM sleep. THC is also known to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
There are many ways through which medical marijuana improves sleep. First of all, medical marijuana is known to improve sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene simply refers to the quality of sleep and the habits that contribute towards it. For instance, it is possible to obtain better sleep hygiene by abstaining from caffeine. That said, many users of medical marijuana have reported to have experienced deeper, more satisfying sleep with fewer interruptions including not waking up in the night.
The use of medical marijuana can also result in decreased sleep latency. Sleep latency simply refers to how long it takes for a person to fall asleep, from a state of total wakefulness. Therefore, with the use of medical cannabis, sleep latency can be reduced, thereby making it possible for individuals to fall asleep within minutes instead of hours.
There are also claims that the use of medical marijuana in treating insomnia has no serious side effects. For instance, marijuana does not produce unpleasant side effects like the groggy, disoriented, headache-y, and poorly-rested feelings that are associated with consuming alcohol before bedtime in a bid to sleep well.
Studies & Findings
Many studies have corroborated the use of medical marijuana in treating insomnia. According to a study that was published in Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, up to 71% of the participants reported using medical marijuana for improved sleep. Similarly, according to another study that was published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology on subjects with Crohn’s Disease, it was reported that consuming medical cannabis can result in improved sleep and appetite without any significant side effects.
Furthermore, findings from another study that was published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience insinuates that many effects of medical marijuana may be applied in the management of certain symptoms including, muscle relaxation, analgesia as well as sleep induction. This finding only goes a long way to buttress the point that medical marijuana could be effective in treating secondary insomnia.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that medical marijuana affects people differently, with different people experiencing different results. Thus, it is worth exploring different strains of medical marijuana if your current medication isn’t working for you. Some of the best strains of medical marijuana that are used in treating insomnia and other sleep related disorders include G-13, Critical Kush, Kosher Kush, as well as Purple Kush.