Marijuana for Insomnia

Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez (https://bit.ly/2KQlizp).

Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez (https://bit.ly/2KQlizp).

New research suggests medical marijuana may be able to help people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, sleepiness during the day, depression, anxiety, irritability, and worrying about sleep. The American Sleep Association claims 30% of adults suffer from short-term sleep issues, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Current treatment options include prescribing sleep medication, treating conditions which may be causing the disorder, or undergoing behavioral therapy. Studies have found marijuana may be able to offer an alternative therapy for insomnia. One research review from 2017 found the cannabinoid THC could help patients fall asleep faster. Another study from 2004 found CBD had the opposite effect, and actually produced wake-inducing effects. Another study from 2006 found patients who were prescribed synthetic marijuana for pain also used the medication because it improved sleep. A study from 2004 found THC and Sativex reduced pain and increased sleep.

While marijuana can serve as a sleep aid, there are side effects that coincide with using the medication as well. It may reduce dreaming through diminishing REM sleep, cause a hangover-like effect, and become less effective over time. For most, reducing dreams would be a negative side effect, but acoording to one scientific review in 2017, this was actually a beneficial outcome for patients suffering from PTSD. For those patients, the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone effectively reduced nightmares. Various studies have found that using marijuana before bed can produce increased sleepiness, changes in mood, memory impairment, and increased daytime sleep the following day. Lastly, marijuana may be best used as an occasional sleep aid. Overtime, chronic used of the medication becomes less effective, but at the same time stopping its use can further make sleep difficult.

There are pros and cons to using marijuana as a sleep aid. When choosing to use the medication, it is best to use in lower doses and infrequently. If you use the medical cannabis for sleep, be sure to keep track of it with our journaling function. That way, you can monitor the frequency and strength of your dose, while also keeping track of whether or not its benefits outweigh its negative side effects. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for our product.

Marijuana And Sleep - Part 1.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Marijuana is beginning to gain notoriety as a sleep aid, helping those who struggle with sleep apnea and insomnia, and those who suffer from conditions like chronic pain and PTSD that are known to cause sleep disturbances. Even in healthy users, one 2013 study found volunteers who used marijuana had less difficulty falling asleep and it took a shorter amount of time to fall asleep. Another study from 1973 found THC reduced the amount of time insomniacs needed to fall asleep by over an hour. That said, proper dosing is important as too high of a dose could actually exacerbate symptoms. THC also could help those with sleep apnea by calming and stabilizing breathing. One study from 2013 found synthetic THC worked in a dose-dependent to improve breathing throughout the night in those who suffered from sleep apnea. THC was also found to help those who suffer from PTSD-related nightmares, and one study from 2009 found patients with PTSD slept longer, experienced higher quality sleep, and did not experience as many daytime flash backs the following day after synthetic THC administration. Lastly, chronic pain users attest to marijuana’s ability to improve their quality of sleep.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In the following post, we will continue our discussion by looking into the specifics on how marijuana is able to affect sleep.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 3.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

In the last post, we continued to look at the conditions where medical marijuana is effective. It’s not done yet! We’ll continue the discussion below.

While the relationship between marijuana and heart disease is complicated, and cannabis can actually exacerbate symptoms in some users by increasing heart rate and blood pressure, scientists have found low doses of THC can reduce damage from heart attacks, and CBD can be used as a treatment for cardiovascular disease. Cannabis may also reduce the severity and lessen the impact of a stroke. Although most studies thus far have been animal studies, researchers believe medical cannabis may help treat the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, and one human study found synthetic THC improved motor-related symptoms of the disorder. Animal studies have found cannabis may slow the progression of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and many properties of cannabis could help reduce pain, relax muscles, reduce saliva, stimulate appetite, and induce sleep. Synthetic cannabinoids also improved pain symptoms in fibromyalgia patients, and one survey found patients actually preferred cannabis to any approved pharmaceutical medication.

New support is starting to accumulate for the use of marijuana for Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana may be able to do so by reducing inflammation and the formation of plaques. Marijuana has been found to alleviate tics and be well tolerated in patients with Tourette’s syndrome. Cannabis topicals are now offered as effective treatments for varying skin disorders, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties make it effective for the treatment of acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Marijuana may also help those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea fall asleep quicker and improve breathing during sleep. Lastly, and probably most well known, is medical marijuana’s ability to treat epilepsy. Specifically, the cannabinoid CBD is well-tolerated and effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures.

There are even many more conditions to talk about regarding medical marijuana treatment. Keep reading as we conclude our discussion in the next post! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cancer Patients in Seattle Effectively Treat Symptoms with Cannabis

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Information coming from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle has found of 926 patients at the Seattle Cancer Centre Alliance in Washington State, nearly a quarter self medicate with cannabis to treat symptoms like physical pain, nausea, stress, insomnia, and depression. In the study, which was published in the journal Cancer, 24% of patients used cannabis within the year, and 21% within the month. Around 66% had used it at some time in their lives. Three-quarters of those surveyed also expressed interest in learning about cannabis from reliable sources like healthcare professionals.

Investigators also found most patients were not receiving their information from healthcare professionals, leading researcher Dr. Steven Pergam to state, “Cancer patients desire but are not receiving information from their cancer doctors about marijuana use during their treatment, so many of them are seeking information from alternate non-scientific sources… We hope that this study helps to open up the door for more studies aimed at evaluating the risks and benefits of marijuana in this population ... This is important, because if we do not educate our patients about marijuana, they will continue to get their information elsewhere.”

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Can Marijuana Help With Fibromyalgia?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Fibromyalgia is a condition that produces pain throughout the body and specific tender spots where the pain is characterized as deep tissue tenderness. Fibromyalgia patients also suffer symptoms similar to that of the flu, feeling fatigued and exhausted, or experiencing stiffness. Current treatments for fibromyalgia usually include exercise, cognitive behavioral treatment, mind-body awareness, and lifestyle changes, but now, some patients are looking to medical marijuana for symptom relief due to the fact it has been found to relieve pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, mood disorders, and digestive disturbances. There are few controlled clinical studies revolving around marijuana use for fibromyalgia, but surveys have found fibromyalgia patients find medical marijuana effective for their symptoms. In a survey from Canada, one out of every eight people with fibromyalgia use marijuana or its cannabinoids for symptom relief. More men opted for marijuana than women, and marijuana users tended to be younger. Of the study’s participants, 77% of cannabis users were unemployed, leading researchers to theorize the marijuana was either ineffective at improving function, or patients who opted for marijuana were more severely affected by their symptoms from the beginning.

Another online survey of 1,300 fibromyalgia patients found 62% of patients who had tried marijuana had found it effective for treating their symptoms. The survey, which was conducted by the National Pain Foundation, also found that many sufferers claimed marijuana was the only option that helped provide symptom relief. In another survey, in which fibromyalgia sufferers were divided into groups of marijuana users and non-users, marijuana users smoked or ate marijuana not only to help with pain, but also to alleviate all of their other symptoms. Patients reported decreases in pain and stiffness and improved relaxation, sleep, and well-being, within two hours of dosing. Side effects were mild, but included dry mouth, dizziness, or sedation. Over 80% felt relief from sleeplessness. Lastly, a 2008 randomized trial published in the Journal of Pain found the administration of nabilone, which is a synthetic form of THC, improved pain and other symptoms in 40 fibromyalgia patients. A following study in 2010 found nabilone produced similar improvements.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis Juicing

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

There are a wide range of vehicles available to medical marijuana patients, and each method offers its own unique benefits. One such method gaining in popularity among the medical marijuana community is cannabis juicing, which involves juicing the raw form of cannabis in order to extract its cannabinoids without experiencing any psychoactive effects. When consuming the raw form of cannabis, patients can access unique cannabinoids that disappear when the plant is heated, like THCA, CBDA, and CBG, which are known to help immune and cell function. Juicing cannabis only works with fresh leaves and flowers that have not been cured or age, and it can take days to weeks before its benefits can take effect.

It is believed cannabis juice may be able to treat depression, anxiety, dementia, stroke, insomnia, fatigue, cancer, pain, diabetes, and immune system disorders. It is also a powerful dietary supplement. Because cannabis juice is non-psychoactive, patients can ingest more of it without feeling unwanted side effects, and can therefore ingest higher amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis juice contains cannabinoids in their acidic forms, and while research is still lacking, what does exist suggests there may be a wide array of therapeutic benefits. THCA has shown promise in treating pain and inflammation, nausea and appetite loss, acting as an anti-proliferative against prostate cancer, and protecting against nerve degeneration. CBDA may also treat nausea and fight the growth of cancerous tumors. 

Cannabis juicing may not be for those diagnosed with kidney or gallbladder disorders, and it can interfere with certain medications. For more information about cannabis juice and for recipes or instructions, visit Leaf Science. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Some Conditions Medical Marijuana Can Help Treat

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

The Medicinal Marijuana Association has compiled a list of the top five symptoms patients seek to alleviate using medical marijuana therapy.

Medical marijuana is an analgesic, and it is most commonly prescribed to treat pain. This includes neuropathic pain, AIDS, and spinal cord injuries. In addition to treating pain, medical marijuana shown to be as effective as pharmaceutical pain killers, but with a much higher safety profile, so it is equally effective in treating and reducing addiction brought on by pain killers by allowing patients to ween off of and replace these medications. Because marijuana receptors in the brain are responsible for regulating anxiety and stress, medical marijuana (especially CBD-rich strains) can be beneficial for those who suffer anxiety disorders. Marijuana can also help those who suffer from fatigue, insomnia, restlessness, and pain fall asleep, stay asleep longer, and experience higher quality of sleep.  

Medical marijuana also helps lower levels of depression with fewer side effects than anti-depressants. The medication also helps treat nausea, which is especially effective for cancer and AIDS patients. By reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and inducing appetite, medical marijuana can fight cachexia and help patients to gain weight. This also makes medical marijuana effective for those diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which irritates the small intestine. Medical marijuana therapy can reduce pain and diarrhea while increasing appetite and weight gain. Medical marijuana is also effective in treating muscle spasms and stiffness typical of multiple sclerosis. This helps MS patients improve sleep, walking, and other daily activities that would otherwise interfere with quality of life. 

This information has been provided by Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

10 Little-Known Uses for CBD - Pt. 2w

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Today, we will continue our discussion of the lesser-known uses of CBD. 

Evidence is continuing to mount about the medicinal benefits of CBD for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBD's anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, and anti-inflammatory effects can produce a calming effect, which helps provide a stable mental environment for those who suffer from PTSD and allows them to overcome anxiety and stress. A German study from 2012 and published in the journal Translational Psychiatry compared the antipsychotic Amisulpride and CBD in 45 patients who suffered from schizophrenia, and found that while both treatments were effective, the fewer side effects of CBD made it preferable to the pharmaceutical medication. 

CBD could also benefit bowel diseases, and research shows cannabis' anti-inflammatory properties, along with CBD and THC's ability to control gut function in the body, offers relief for Crohn's disease patients. Using animal models and cell cultures, scientists from the Cajal Institute found CBD reversed inflammatory responses and provided protection from multiple sclerosis (MS). Within 10 days of beginning CBD treatment, mice had superior motor skills and showed improvements in their condition. Lastly, CBD provides a non-habit forming sleep aide that can help those who suffer from insomnia.

This concludes our post about CBD's little-known uses. This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief medical officer. 

An In Depth Look at the Medicinal Value of Cannabinol (CBN)

Cannabinol (CBN) results from the break down of THC after its long exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is mildly psychoactive, but not like its predecessor THC. CBN's anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential therapeutic agent for multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, allergic asthma, and Crohn's disease. By stimulating appetite, it can help treat cachexia, anorexia, and help those suffering from cancer or HIV/AIDS. CBN is also antibacterial, and when applied topically, it is effective in combatting MRSA. The topical application of CBN lowers ocular tension so it can reduce the risk and progression of glaucoma.

Out of all other cannabinoids, CBN is the most sedative, making it the most powerful cannabinoid for those who suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders. CBN releases calcitonin and gene-related peptides from sensory nerves without impacting the CB1 or CB2 receptors. This means that it can reduce sensitivity to pain on its own, but that it can also work alongside CBD for enhanced pain relief. Research has shown CBN prolongs seizure latency in mice, making it a potential treatment for epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Lastly, CBN is an agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors, so it is among the cannabinoids that stimulate bone growth, promote bone health, and help patients with bone diseases like osteoporosis.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

How Does Cannabis Affect Sleep?

Sleep disorders affect one's quality or amount of sleep. Sleep disorders vary widely, causing some patients to sleep too much (hypersomnia), and others to not sleep at all (insomnia). Other disorders cause people to fall asleep randomly (narcolepsy), or cause odd symptoms during slumber, like sleep walking (somnambulism). Sleep disorders are often caused by other conditions, and discovering this cause is an important step for relieving a patient's sleep issues. Now, patients who suffer from a sleep disorder can try cannabis as a sleep aid that helps patients fall asleep and remain asleep, specifically in deep sleep or the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) period.

Interestingly enough, cannabis strains high in THC are especially effective as sleep aids. One 1973 study found THC helped insomnia patients fall asleep earlier than normal, but noted that strong doses actually delayed the onset of sleep. Cannabis also gave patients a form of a "hangover" the next day. Another study from 2002 and published in the journal American Academy of Sleep Medicine found THC and the endocannabinoid oleamide suppressed sleep apnea in rats. A 2008 study revealed THC increases deep sleep, stating, "Acute administration of cannabis appears to facilitate falling asleep and increase Stage 4 [REM] sleep." 

Patients should keep the type of sleep disorder they are treating in mind when choosing the cannabinoid and terpene makeup of their sleep aid. This information has been brought to you by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.