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.

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.