Medical Cannabis and Sleep

What you need to know.

The jury's been out on whether medical marijuana is helpful or hurtful to the insomniac.

A personal medical decision

Before getting down to it, one should note that insomnia is a complicated affliction.  Many people will experience insomnia at some point in their life.  For some, the ailment is much more powerful, with more frequent interruptions to their sleep.

Insomnia has proven a massive jumping off point for persons considering using medical marijuana, while getting down to the root cause of the insomnia.  Many aliments can be masked within insomnia so the process of diagnosis can be lengthy.  Self exploration and numerous doctor visits may yield answers; but always the same question.

What can I do about it?

Among the plethora of remedies, both pharmaceutical and natural, is cannabis.  This is a very personal choice as cannabis has a different effect on sleep disorders than other medications do.

Sometimes it's a double edged sword.  

On one hand, it has been reported that the use of cannabis promotes a deep sleep with less time spent falling asleep in the physically health person.(1)   Also. it is said to decrease awakening disruptions during the first half of the night.

On the other hand,  cannabis has been known to interrupt the REM or 'rapid eye movement,' phase of sleep with patients reporting they were unable to remember their dreams.  This could be a negative for persons who value the insights they may receive from their dreams.(2)

It is being discovered that the most beneficial effect of cannabis as a sleep aid is from a low dose.

It has been studied that a high dose of the active ingredients of cannabis may actually have the opposite effect in fact inducing a "hangover" effect the next day.(1)
This could be annoying to people to want to wake up refreshed and without temporal disruption or "foggy brain."

Know your limit.

Knowing the amount of the active ingredients in the strains you choose becomes very important when using cannabis as a sleep aid.  The greater the percentage of active ingredients of the chosen variety, the less one needs for a good night's rest.

Let's take into consideration the THC / CBD ratio.  There is Tetrahydrocannabinol and there is Cannabidiol.  CBD's generally act as a buffer to psychoactive THC so higher CBD's may be preferred for those using cannabis for sleep.

Medical Cannabis : A bud of 'Patience'
This is Patience.  If you look really close, you can virtually see the science.

Withdrawl

Patients should be aware that they may have difficulties if they abruptly stop using cannabis.  It has been reported that the REM stage of sleep that had been suppressed when using cannabis suddenly comes alive and may increase a persons dreams and restlessness during sleep.  This effect may take up to several weeks to wear down.

Balanced strains

Strains from My Kind of Meds like Pink Cotton, Hindu Kush and Patience all work nicely for sleep.

They are a good balance of cannabis's active ingredients and as always they are produced organically without the use of sprays and chemicals.  Hashish at 34% THC and 12% CBD's also has good balance and requires very little to have the desired effect.  

As earlier mentioned, it is a very personal thing when choosing a strain or combination of strains that works for you.  Different body chemistries are always at work and knowing yourself is your best treatment to any health challenge you may be facing.

  1. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00437513#page-1
  2. http://www.leafscience.com/2013/11/25/5-ways-marijuana-affects-sleep/