Unfortunately for patients that cannot access Medical Cannabis for sleep, the struggle often leads to a dependence on synthetic sleep medications like Ambien. The depressing effects of these drugs often requires 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. The pain of this then requires another pill, with another set of side effects, and another pill to counter act those, and then another side effect….
These issues are driving people towards more natural sleep solutions with Medical Cannabis. The below article will help you understand your options and determine how Medical Cannabis for sleep can help.
Synthetic Side Effects or Medical Cannabis for Sleep?
Your body is kept out of balance, your mind is constantly stressed, and the crippling cycle of synthetic drugs becomes harder and harder to break.
And when these drugs mix in our bodies, a treacherous cocktail is created. This contributes to why America suffered through at least 70,000 deadly drug overdoses in 2017 alone.
This is an epidemic and we must shift our minds away from propaganda, towards compassion, and towards the science of medical cannabis.
How to Naturally Get Better Sleep
- Eat healthy fats like coconut oil, pasture-raised meats, eggs, and avocado all help in building sleep hormones
- High antioxidant foods help, as well as not eating shortly before bed
- Try yoga for exercise and relaxation
- Keep your circadian rhythms on track by following a schedule where you wake up and fall asleep at the same time
- Avoid caffeine after lunch
- Use the app f.lux on your computer, tablet, or phone to block blue light waves that trick your brain to thinking that it’s earlier in the day
- Take an epsom salt bath before bed
- Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day, this will help with serotonin which increases melatonin production
- Pray or meditate. We all have a spiritual side, even if that’s only a deeper connection to ourselves. There are great apps like Headspace that will guide you into meditative states that help you process emotions more effectively and improve your health
Medical Cannabis, PTSD, and Sleep
In the field today, soldiers are supplied with Ambien, but often have their supply cut off when they return home. These soldiers usually exchange it for sedatives like zolpidem, benzodiazepines like xanax, or heavy alcohol use.
All of these options have a long list of dangerous side effects. Ambien side effects can include sleep-walking, hallucinations, and increased suicide risks.
US Army Officer David Bass describes the problem:
“One of the reasons [we’re] so adamantly working for medical marijuana was that we discovered it was the answer to insomnia,” Bass said, referring to himself and his veteran friends who were experiencing sleeplessness. “[We] were able to use it to have very peaceful and restful sleep. I realized I didn’t need Ambien and didn’t need to drink myself to sleep.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and even pharma company Sanofi-Aventis funded a study that showed THC-enabled patients to fall asleep easier and more quickly.
As readers of this blog might already know, PTSD is a struggle for millions of people. The vast majority of whom aren’t veterans. Those who suffer know that they are often crippled by flashbacks, nightmares, and debilitating anxiety.
If you’re among them, Medical Cannabis for sleep may be a great solution to utilize, especially in conjunction with the other natural solutions listed above.
Medical Cannabis for Sleep
If you’re wondering why Medical Cannabis is effective for sleep here are a few reasons:
- THC connects with the receptors in the brain that control sleep and wake cycles. Medical Cannabis for sleep 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 “cannabinoids” that interacts with these receptors is anadamide. The root of this word is “ananda” which 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 for sleep 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 Cannabis for sleep 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.