Insomnia Patients Relieved by Medical Marijuana

The activation of the endocannabinoid system is one of the primary reasons why cannabis aids in sleep induction and maintenance. Endocannabinoids are lipids, or fats, that function as neurotransmitters throughout your body.

Cannabinoids, a group of chemical compounds that includes both marijuana and hemp, have been found to activate CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain, whereas the CB2 receptors are located throughout the body, particularly in the joints and gastrointestinal system.

Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis that give it its distinctive effect. THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known cannabinoids. These chemicals have been the focus of most research. When cannabis is ingested, endocannabinoids such as anandamide (AEA) and arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) are activated. These endocannabinoids influence the body’s circadian rhythm and are directly affected by cannabis usage, allowing for better sleep management.

2-AG is released into the lateral hypothalamus, where it activates sleep-promoting melanin-concentrating neurons (MHC), according to researchers, who think it motivates rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. However, this is contradicted by the fact that an increase in endocannabinoid tone using enzymes rather than a direct injection actually reduced REM sleep. Dreams are experienced during this stage of sleep. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who have trouble sleeping because of their fears.

Check out our post on endocannabinoids to learn more about how medical cannabis may help you.

Is CBD effective for insomnia?

CBD has been studied extensively for its potential use in the treatment of insomnia. The majority of these studies found that it does not provide patients with any significant benefits in terms of sleep. Keeping that in mind, if you have chronic pain or other chronic illnesses, CBD may help relieve the signs and symptoms of your condition, allowing you to sleep better.

Cannabinol: what is it?

CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is absorbed into the body when THC is broken down. It’s present in all cannabis flowers in trace amounts and has a sedating effect comparable to that of prescription medications like Valium or Xanax. CBN requires further study, but products containing it may be found at dispensaries to aid with insomnia.

Improve your sleep with Terpenes

Terpenes are organic compounds that give plants their unique scents and secondary effects, such as antibacterial properties, memory improvement, and so on. For additional information, please see our page about common terpenes.

The following are some of the most beneficial cannabis terpenes for sleep:

  • Anti-depressant, stress reducer, and neuroprotective.
  • Caryophyllene
  • Citrus smell
  • Myrcene
  • Linalool
  • Limonene
  • Relieves inflammation, insomnia, and pain.
  • Relieves anxiety, stress, inflammation, insomnia, and pain
  • Smells spicy
  • Smells like cloves
  • The spicy, lavender smell
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, inflammation, depression, and pain 
  • Stress reducer, anti-depressant, and anxiety reducer

Medical marijuana as an insomnia treatment

It’s a good idea to keep track of your sleep quality and the dosages you take while using medical cannabis to treat insomnia in a log. Furthermore, taking medical marijuana via tinctures or capsules is an excellent method since the doses are easier to measure and track. If you’re new to medical cannabis, begin with smaller dosages at first until you figure out how it affects your body.

Many patients like to smoke or breathe cannabis, but the disadvantages include difficulty measuring dosages and the risk of lung-related problems. Smoking flowers can irritate the bronchial airways in the lungs, much like smoking cigarettes.

When purchasing cannabis for sleep problems, look for those that are higher in THC than CBD since low doses of CBD have been shown to make people more awake. Many patients find Indica strains helpful for insomnia, though the distinctions between Indica and Sativa aren’t as distinct as once thought.

A Few Things to Consider

Cannabis has a high addictive potential, and frequent usage develops tolerance. Higher doses are required to achieve the same results over time as a result of this. This is also true for medical cannabis use to improve the quality of your sleep and help you fall asleep. When heavy cannabis users cease using the drug, they frequently experience poor sleep quality. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons why people return to cannabis use after quitting.

It is important to consult your doctor about utilizing medical marijuana for insomnia, especially if you’re already using other sleep aids since they might interact and have negative side effects.

Insomnia causes

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder defined as difficulty falling or maintaining sleep. It can be idiopathic, which implies that there is no known reason for it. The following are some of the causes:

Medical Conditions

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Restless leg Syndrome (RLS) and other sleep disorders 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Allergies 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Chronic pain

Medications

  • SSRI antidepressants 
  • ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers 
  • Allergy medications 
  • Blood pressure medications Asthma medications 

Disruption in circadian rhythm

  • This is the body’s natural sleep and wake rhythm.
  • Can be disrupted by poor sleeping habits (or “sleep hygiene”) 

Environment

  • The room is too hot, too cold, too loud, too bright, etc. 

Stages of Sleep: What are they?

The following are the five stages of sleep:

Stage 1 sleep

  • The lightest stage of sleep is when a person is not yet asleep.
  • While awake, brain EEG readings are somewhat lower than they are while resting.
  • Breathing takes place at a normal rate.
  • Muscle tone is still noticeable.

Stage 2 sleep

  • Sleep duration was longer than that of stage 1. 
  • The sleeper is unable to be awakened.

Sleep Stages 3 & 4

  • Deep sleep stages vary in intensity over time.
  • The slower the frequency, but greater the amplitude of the EEG readings.
  • If a person is awakened during stage 3 sleep, he or she will be extremely drowsy and have reduced mental function for up to 30 minutes. Sleep inertia is the phenomenon of feeling tired after being awoken from sleep.

Stage 5 Sleep

  • REM sleep is a form of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that’s relatively uncommon.
  • The results of an EEG scan are similar to those who are fully awake.
  • Muscles are completely motionless. Researchers believe that this is done to minimize the chance of injury while sleeping.
  • Breathing is erratically and irregularly chaotic, and the heart rate rises.
  • The dreaming cycle is linked to this sleep pattern, but it can take place in any of the non-REM phases of sleep.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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