Medical cannabis for insomnia?
For many adults, consistent and healthy sleep is often elusive. Science and common sense tell us that sleep is a necessary component for a balanced and active lifestyle. To be short, you need sleep. Unluckily, sleep eludes countless adults. Statistics from the American Sleep Association shows that around 70 million American adults in the United States experience or are symptomatic of some sort of sleep disorder. Insomnia is one of the most frequent with around 30 percent of the American population experiencing slight or chronic insomnia. If shutting your eyes at night is becoming harder or difficult, you can know that you are not alone.
Since the number of individuals that experience sleep disorders have been increasing, there has been a synonymous rise in interest in medicinal cannabis. Members of the medical marijuana community consider marijuana as an effective treatment for insomnia, with little or no side effects on other aspects of their life. Marijuana has the capacity to restore a patient’s natural sleep cycle and can, in fact, be an effective treatment for you if shutting your eyes at night is the toughest part of your day. Using marijuana medicinally offers relief towards not only insomnia but the anxiety that keeps the mind awake when the body is ready for rest.
The science linking cannabis with sleep
Confronting the relationship between the brain, sleep, and cannabis unlocks the secret behind the medicinal power of marijuana and its positive effects on natural sleep patterns.
At its simplest level, cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids. The two most common cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD offers many health benefits as it is non-psychoactive. In other words, it does not cause the “high” feeling that is often associated with marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the other hand is psychoactive and responsible for psychoactive effects of marijuana. Because THC is the cannabinoid that induces sleep, you should select a strain that contains a high percentage of THC. A study conducted in 2008 suggests that ingestion of cannabis strains with higher levels of THC greatly reduces a subject’s experience of REM sleep. With reduced REM sleep, you should expect fewer dreams. If you have ever been diagnosed with PTSD, you should similarly see a decline in nightmares and night terrors. Although less REM sleep seems like a bad thing, science suggests that people who spend less time dreaming spend more time in a deep sleep state. Deep sleep state is the most restful and restorative part of your sleep cycle. Because REM is vital for healthy immune and cognitive functioning, taking high levels of THC for a long term could impair the quality of your sleep. Some studies have shown that regular use of marijuana may impair your sleep. Regardless of the subjective effects, marijuana can alter sleep cycles in ways that may truly help you.