Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Having trouble getting a good night’s rest? You’re not alone. Many Americans deal with insomnia symptoms or chronic insomnia every year. Whether due to a sleeping disorder or another underlying condition, sleep issues make it difficult to function during the day. It’s no wonder so many patients use medical marijuana to increase their sleep quality!
If you’ve tried multiple sleep therapies to no avail, it might be time to try a natural alternative.
Many of us have heard adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. But, you need to have a healthy slumber during that time to get the most out of it. An expert panel chosen by the National Sleep Foundation established the following indicators of a good night’s rest:
If you don’t meet one or more of these criteria, medical marijuana can help in the following five ways.
One of the hardest parts about asleep can be drifting off in the first place. If you take more than half an hour to fall asleep, you’re taking time out of your total sleep duration. Indica strains of marijuana are well-known for their ability to make you feel calm and sleepy. Medications with higher cannabidiol (CBD) contents — the cannabinoid most present in indica strains — also have a relaxing effect.
Once you get to sleep, you must stay asleep to get the most out of your rest. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you interrupt your sleep patterns — you need to have both NREM and REM patterns to get the most out of your rest. To get to the REM stage of sleep, you have to stay asleep for an extended period. Waking up disrupts your cycle, starting it over again.
If you have chronic insomnia, you may have tried sleep medicine in the past. Ironically enough, these medications can interfere with your sleep. Some of them can cause sleep-disrupting symptoms like sleepwalking. Plus, certain prescription drugs can be highly addictive, resulting in withdrawal symptoms, such as — you guessed it — insomnia. On the other hand, cannabis has minor side effects that are easy to address, and indica strains have been proven to promote sleepiness.
The term “medical marijuana” doesn’t refer to just one medication — instead, it encompasses a wide range of remedies. If you live in a state that allows multiple types of cannabis medicine, you can choose a product tailored to your sleep issues. Choose a fast-acting solution if you simply have a hard time falling asleep. Or, find a medication that slowly releases into your system for all-night relief.
Trouble sleeping doesn’t always happen on its own. Instead, it can be a result of symptoms that come from a chronic condition. Medicinal cannabis can relieve symptoms of sleep-disturbing health issues, such as:
If your state has legalized medical marijuana for insomnia or your underlying condition, getting started is easy. Visit a doctor certified in cannabis medicine to get a recommendation and join your state’s medical marijuana program. Then, go to a medical marijuana dispensary to fill your recommendation.