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How Does Medical Marijuana Help Insomnia Sufferers?

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May 28, 2018 9:00 AM

How-Does-Medical-Marijuana-Help-Insomnia-Sufferers-compressorIf you suffer from insomnia, you know how unpleasant this disorder is. It leaves you exhausted and anxious when all you want is a good night’s sleep. If your current medications aren’t working, it’s time to see how medical cannabis can help. 

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Keep reading to learn how medical marijuana helps treat insomnia.

Defining Insomnia

Sleep is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. Even with the opportunity to fall asleep, a person with insomnia has difficulty doing so or staying that way. 

Insomnia is a result of the brain’s inability to sleep, and it’s usually a secondary issue related to a primary condition facing the patient. It can be caused by psychiatric or medical conditions, such as allergies, asthma, chronic pain, and neurological conditions. 

There are two kinds of insomnia: acute and chronic. Almost everyone experiences acute insomnia. Think about how you feel when you have a final exam or a big work presentation the next day. Chronic insomnia occurs at least three times a week and lasts upwards of three months. Those suffering from it experience side effects such as fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, and decreased performance, whether it’s at school or at work.

Its Sedated Effects

The typical stoner is often portrayed as lazy and sleepy—there’s truth to that stereotype. Some strains, including those used to treat insomnia, act like a nightcap to help put patients to sleep. They promote peace and relaxation, leaving the patient feeling drowsy enough to fall asleep. 

Everyone experiences the same sleep cycle: The brain rotates through four stages. Some scientists think a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system may disrupt sleep. As cannabis interacts with this part of the body, it’s thought that this drug can be used to restore the sleep cycle. Medical marijuana starts working at the third stage, the slow wave sleep, and the fourth stage, rapid eye movement (REM). REM is when the brain is most active. This is when you dream. 

Medical marijuana inhibits the REM stage and reduces it. Its sedative effect results in a dreamless, restful sleep for patients. Less time spent in the REM cycle theoretically means a person will spend more time in the restorative sleeping stage. 

What’s the best cannabis for sleep and insomnia? Strains higher in THC are often authorized. The proper THC dosage makes it possible to reduce interruptions and increase sleep time. It improves the quality of sleep in those difficult final stages, leaving the patient feeling rested in the morning. It helps restore a person’s natural sleep cycle, which is particularly crucial given today’s increasingly busy schedules.

No Harsh Side Effects

While over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications may feel like the right choice for you, they come with their own warnings. Prescription sleeping aids may not work well with your other medications, and self-medicating with pharmaceutical drugs can be dangerous if you aren’t diagnosed with insomnia.

Prescription sleeping aids often come with other side effects, including depression, headaches, dizziness, and aggression. This may cause the patient to stop taking their medication. It suppresses the normal sleep cycle, causing users to feel more tired during the day.

Medical marijuana works to normalize sleeping patterns, so patients feel just as good when they wake up. Patients are less likely to build a high tolerance to cannabis when compared to pills, which reduces the need for higher dosages and eliminates a future pharmaceutical addition. Not only are patients using medical marijuana unlikely to develop an addiction to this medication, overdosing on it is a practically non-existent risk.

Find out more about how to treat insomnia with medicinal marijuana. Speak to the health professionals at Aleafia Health and see how they can help you get back to your bedtime routine.

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Topics: medical conditions

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