Cannabis — Natures Natural Sleep Aid and Cure For Insomnia
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 03/14/2016 in Medical Marijuana
For many, sleep is something that comes naturally, but there is also a spectrum of people who suffer from the sleepless-nights of the sleep disorder, insomnia — a disorder that is responsible for clinically causing significant distress and impairment in social, behavioral, educational, social, occupational, academic, and other important areas of functioning. But even people with the most stubborn of insomnia, are finding that the sedative effects of an indica cannabis strain, work wonders when it comes to ensuring a restful night’s sleep. But theres more to it than indica simply creating a drowsy-effect — for instance, did you know that dried, older cannabis works better than fresh bud?
Here are a few more important things to know about marijuana, and its ability to either help, or hinder, your nightly slumber.
1. THC vs. CBD
As most people by now know, cannabis can either be an indica, sativa, or hybrid — sativa and sativa hybrids typically creates a “head high” often resulting in an energizing effect, while indica and indica hybrids typically produce a body high that most often results in a drowsy effect. A study conducted in 2006, tested the effects of high-CBD on animal models, in both a light-son and lights-off environment. Results showed that the non-psychoactive CBD cannabinoid, increased alertness with lights on, but showed no discernible effects on lights-off. The study concluded that CBD appears to hold therapeutic promise for those with somnolence. When it comes to choosing cannabis as a sleep aid, a high CBD / low THC indica strain, would be most effective, typically inducing heavier sleepy effects.
2. Aged Bud Works Better
Over time, as marijuana flower dries and ages, the THC degrades and converts into cannabinol (CBN) , a sedating chemical that is five times more sedating that THC. “As d9-THC degrades through both isomerization and/or oxidatively, only a small portion of it turns into CBN. As a result, CBN is a bit difficult to collect in large quantities for usage. My experience is that if I take cannabis that is about 20% THCA, and I wrap in in plastic and let it sit in the garage for 3 years (in summer heat and dry), it results in a 3-5% production of CBN. Yes, I use ‘old weed’ to make sedative medicinals,” explains Chief Research Officer Rev. Dr. Kymron deCesare of Steep Hill.
3. Other Natural Remedies Work Well Maximizing The Sleepy Effects of Cannabis
Pairing cannabis with natures other natural sleep aids, can help create an even more restful night’s sleep. Hops, chamomile, and lavender, also contain important terpenes — the aromatic compounds that contribute to each strain’s unique fingerprint of special effects — also found in cannabis, but found in a much higher concentration. Combining these other terpenoids with cannabis has been found to work synergistically with CBN. Melatonin, 5-HTP, and valerian root, have also been found to be useful aids in improving the quality of sleep.
4. Cannabis May Improve Sleep Apnea
Preclinical studies show that cannabis may improve sleep apnea, a sleeping condition categorized by frequent obstructions of breath, with lapses ranging from just a few seconds, to several minutes. Sleep apnea causes an individual to awake many times through the course of the night, resulting in a myriad of domino-effects including fatigue, daytime sleepiness, headaches, mood disturbances, inattention, an increased susceptibility to accident and injury, and many other serious health problems. A 2002 study observed THC’s ability to improve respiratory stability, by resulting the serotonin signaling. While a study conducted in 2013, measured the efficacy of an exogenous cannabinoid known as dronabinol — a mimic of THC — noting marked improvements in 15 out of 17 participants following the study’s 21 days of treatment.
5. Cannabis Can Help You Fall Asleep Quicker Than Counting Sheep
Given marijuana’s therapeutic ability to physically relax the body — especially in those treating pain, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, and other conditions that interfere with the ability to fall asleep — cannabis is a sound solution to a sound night’s sleep.