Millions of Americans struggle to fall and stay asleep through the night. For many patients, medical marijuana for sleep is a miraculous solution.

Unfortunately, for patients that cannot access medical marijuana for sleep, the struggle often leads to a dependence on synthetic sleep medications like Ambien. The depressing effects of these drugs often require a stimulant like Adderall to wake back up in the morning.

As most people who have used stimulants know, they often lead to anxiety, addiction or other mood disorders. This makes people need another pill, with another set of side effects, and another pill to counteract those, which can lead to another side effect, and so on, in a vicious circle. For those taking synthetic drugs, the side-effect wild goose chase is often worse than the condition itself. With bodies kept out of balance and minds constantly stressed, the crippling cycle of synthetic drugs becomes harder and harder to break.

These issues are driving people towards more natural sleep solutions with medical cannabis. Read on to understand your options and determine how medical cannabis for sleep can help.

What Are Sleep Disorders & How Are They Treated?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, sleep disorders “involve problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning.” The most common of these is insomnia, but they also include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and parasomnias. Symptoms of insomnia afflict around a third of adults and over 6% experience symptoms bad enough for them to be considered insomnia disorder.

Though insomnia is frequently treated with such medicines as Ambien, antidepressants and antihistamines, sleep issues can often be addressed by simply improving sleep habits and practicing relaxation techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy and melatonin supplements can likewise be used to successfully improve quality of sleep. Through prayer or meditation, many find improved sleep through their spiritual side, even if it’s only a deeper connection to themselves. There are great apps like Headspace that guide you into meditative states that help you process emotions more effectively and improve your sleep and overall health.

High-quality diet, exercise, and mindfulness exercises are all connected to helping with sleep. Here are few other key tips:

  • Consume healthy fats like coconut oil, pasture-raised meats, eggs and avocado, which all help in building sleep hormones
  • Eat high antioxidant foods
  • Don’t eat shortly before bed
  • Keep your circadian rhythms on track by following a schedule, waking up and falling asleep at the same time each day
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch
  • Use f.lux (or similar apps or programs) on your computer, tablet, or phone to block blue light waves that trick your brain into thinking that it’s earlier in the day
  • Take an epsom salt bath before bed
  • Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day, which will help with serotonin, thereby increasing melatonin production

Medical Marijuana & Sleep Disorders

Medical cannabis is an effective alternative for treating sleep difficulties for a few reasons, outlined below.

THC connects with the receptors in the brain that control sleep and wake cycles. Cannabis helps by stimulating the hippocampus and the limbic system. These parts of the brain control sleep and are rich with cannabinoid receptor sites. The specific cannabinoid that interacts with these receptors is Anandamide. The root of this word, “ananda”, means bliss in Sanskrit.

In a 2002 study from the University of Illinois, Dr. David Carley found that THC was effective in stabilizing respiration during sleep. In his study, people suffering from sleep apnea that used medical cannabis had their symptoms reduced by an average of 32%.

Indica-strain cannabis helps with sleep by triggering the production of PGE2. This helps sleep by aiding in the production of melatonin, a known sleep enhancer. Some people find the effects of supplemental melatonin and cannabis together to be pleasurable, more relaxing, and easier to fall asleep. Others find that they have more vivid dreams that are more likely to be lucid.

With all medicines, be careful with dosage and frequency. If you take more medical marijuana than you need, you may have difficulty waking from such deep sleep, and any dependence has risks.

As we advise all patients, start low, go slow, and gradually increase as needed to your minimum effective dose.

How to Get Medical Cannabis

If you want to use medical marijuana for insomnia and sleep disorders, you’ll need to check the laws of your state. While some states allow all adults to legally purchase marijuana for any purpose, others will require you to apply for a medical marijuana card. This will allow you to buy high-quality medical marijuana and CBD products from dispensaries across the state.

Qualifying patients in Florida can get a medical card in a few simple steps. First, you must visit a medical marijuana doctor who will assess your symptoms and health records to see whether you qualify. If they deem you eligible, you can then apply for a medical card online and receive it within a couple of weeks. Once your medical card has been approved, you can use it to visit medical dispensaries and get the cannabis and CBD products you need to help improve your sleep.

The Takeaway

While insomnia and other sleep disorders can be very hard to manage, research shows that medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment that can significantly help patients sleep better and improve their quality of life. Many states now offer medical cards for patients with insomnia and sleep disorders to help them deal with their condition(s).

Treat insomnia and sleep disorders naturally by getting your medical marijuana card. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. We make it fast and easy!


MY FLORIDA GREEN sets the green standard in marijuana medical care. Find the city nearest you and get certified!