Medical Marijuana A Sleep Aid?

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Insomnia, Massachusetts

Medical Marijuana A Sleep Aid?

With the increasing legalization of medical marijuana, more people are exploring its effectiveness in relieving various ailments. From alleviating anxiety disorders to lowering blood pressure, people are putting cannabis to the test.

Another area where people believe marijuana to be effective is in promoting sleep. Given the amount of supporting evidence pointing to the same conclusion, joining the bandwagon is easy.

But how true are these claims? Is medical marijuana a sleep aid?

Stay tuned because Medwell Health and Wellness shares the answer below!

The Insomnia Epidemic

Have you ever found yourself incapable of sleeping, no matter how exhausted your day was?

Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Sleep Association, insomnia is an epidemic faced by 50 to 70 million U.S. adults. Things would have been manageable if not getting a wink was the only problem. Unfortunately, insufficient sleep opens the door to a cascade of problems, like:

  • Abnormal reaction time
  • Lack of energy
  • Reduced self and environmental awareness
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Cloudy memory, concentration, and thought-processing challenges

The worst is that consistent insomnia weakens the immune system, which may lead to chronic health problems. As a result, many people have looked at cannabis as the saving grace they need to overcome insomnia. So, is medical marijuana a sleep aid?

The answer remains controversial even after many years, but let’s address the question through the lens of science.

Is Medical Marijuana A Sleep Aid?

Before delving into the nitty gritty, let us first dissect the main compounds in medical marijuana (it will help us understand the topic!).

While hundreds of compounds, called cannabinoids, are in medical marijuana, two take center stage in sleep: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. In other words, it does not cause that “high” feeling people get. On the other hand, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effect. Apart from that, experts attribute marijuana’s sleeping pill-like ability to THC.

A study once explored the best doses to achieve sleep using the abovementioned cannabinoids. The double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment yielded promising results. According to the researchers, increasing the quantity of THC resulted in increased sleepiness among the subjects, with a decreased sleep latency or time it takes to sleep after lights out.

Moreover, THC also helps reduce a person’s REM or rapid-eye-movement sleep. That means people can spend more time in deep sleep, the regenerative portion of sleeping. For people suffering from PTSD, this could also mean lesser nightmares.

Does that mean THC is all you need to counteract insomnia? Not necessarily. Other findings also point to CBD posing positive effects on users’ sleep.

A 2019 study suggests that cannabidiol can improve the sleep score among patients suffering from anxiety. Researchers found that 25 mg of CBD helps with anxiety, but higher doses can benefit their sleeping patterns more. With that, retraining your brain to sleep using CBD can be helpful.

CBD and THC are better together, especially when sleep is involved. Having the two compounds introduces an “entourage effect” or a synergistic relationship between the two compounds, amplifying their effects on a user.

Studies point to medical marijuana being a sleep aid, and there is still plenty of room for additional research to fully understand the benefits of THC and CBD. Practicing healthy habits is important to set yourself up for good sleep.

Tips to Help You Get a Great Night’s Rest

Here are some curated tips to get your body primed for bedtime:

  1. Establish a solid sleeping routine
  2. Keep electronics off your bed
  3. Set the mood for sleep (switch off lights, prepare your blanket, etc.)
  4. Avoid alcohol and coffee before bedtime
  5. Eat healthier food options

You can train your brain and body to sleep with the above tips. Meanwhile, using medical marijuana can be a powerful tool to help smoothen this process.

Is Marijuana Your Sleep Cycle’s Saving Grace?

Marijuana should never be your be-all, end-all solution to insomnia.

While studies suggest marijuana’s potency as a sleep aid, people must never depend on cannabis for sleep. For best results, consulting a physician is advised so you can receive professional guidance tailored to your individual condition.

Medwell Health and Wellness provides medical marijuana certifications for residents of Massachusetts and Florida. Feel free to reach out if you need any help or a consultation with a professional.

Book an appointment here.

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