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Medical Marijuana and Nightmares

Although cognitive behavior therapy has shown promise as a treatment for nightmares, it can take a considerably long time to see results and its success may depend on the underlying cause of the nightmares. Most of the medications that are used to treat nightmares come with their own long list of potentially negative side-effects. Medical marijuana is a safer, potentially more effective alternative. Medical marijuana may work to reduce anxiety, alleviate depression and decrease insomnia. In addition, when the underlying cause of nightmares is anti-anxiety or narcotic based pain medication, medical marijuana may provide an alternative, which in turn removes the cause of the nightmares.

Medical Marijuana and Nightmares: Clinical Evidence

Medical marijuana has been relied on, and used, for centuries to reduce stress, tension and anxiety. Recent studies that have been done an patients suffering from anxiety or stress have confirmed what numerous cultures have known for centuries — that many patients do report a decrease in anxiety levels with the use of medical marijuana. Conversely, some patients show an increase in anxiety when using medical marijuana. Individual body chemistry may be the key to why some patients actually report an increase in anxiety. For those who experience a decrease in anxiety, medical marijuana may be an alternative to conventional anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications that are at the root of the patient’s nightmares. When the THC found in marijuana reacts with a brain substance known as anandamide it has been shown to produce a calming effect throughout the body, thereby reducing anxiety.

Nightmare sufferers who also suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation may be able to get relief from medical marijuana as well. Because the chemical properties found in marijuana create a calming effect throughout the body, patients may find that sleep comes easier is interrupted less often by nightmares.For nightmare sufferers who suspect that narcotic based medications may be contributing to their nightmares, medical marijuana may allow them to reduce the amount of opiate based medications they are taking. A recent study showed that patients taking opiate based pain medications were able to reduce their opiate based medication by augmenting their medication with medical marijuana while still experiencing the same degree of pain relief.

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This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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