Medical Cannabis for Insomnia
What is Insomnia and How is it Hurting Your Health?
According to a recent report from Statistics Canada, roughly one in three Canadians suffer from symptoms of insomnia, making it one of the most common sleeping disorders out there. But what causes insomnia?
As far as causes go, the usual culprits like stress and anxiety are usually to blame. In some cases, depression, pain and even certain medication could be causing you to lose countless hours of sleep.
Insomnia leaves us feeling like we have to face each new day with fatigue, low energy, and generalized anxiety. Failing to get a good night’s rest can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health.
Although it might have more than one root cause, a medical cure for insomnia doesn’t seem that apparent. Many patients feel like they’ve tried just about everything out there to help them get a decent night’s sleep.
So what options do insomnia sufferers have?
Patients with chronic insomnia may be given prescription medications to help them sleep, such as sleeping pills. There are also non-prescription sleep aids that use antihistamines to make the user drowsy.
However, many doctors recommend that prescription medications be used only only as a last resort for people who suffer from insomnia, as some users may experience side effects from certain drugs.
Individuals with insomnia might find hope in using medical cannabis for their sleep problems. Research has shown the benefits of medical cannabis as a sleep aid and treatment solution for sleep disorders similar to insomnia.
Findings from such studies suggest that medical cannabis could be a safe alternative to conventional prescription and over-the-counter sleeping Aids.
Can Medical Cannabis Help Me Sleep Better?
Cannabis is known to induce a state of relaxation and drowsiness which might induce sleep. This is why some medical professionals have been considering the use of medical cannabis for insomnia.
Early evidence has shown that the compound THC found in cannabis plants has strong sedative effects and may help you fall asleep easier by relaxing your body and inducing drowsiness. When THC degrades over time, it converts into cannabinol (CBN), a compound that is much more sedating than THC.
When used in combination with THC, CBN can promote better sleep and prolong sleep time. Research also indicates that medical cannabis for insomnia might help sleep-deprived individuals stay asleep and reduce the number of times a user wakes up.
Many studies support the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a sleep aid, finding that the stress and anxiety-relieving properties of cannabis helped users feel more relaxed when trying to fall asleep.
While further research is needed to provide a clear understanding of how cannabis affects sleep, most current findings show cannabis to be a promising sleep aid .
CBD vs. THC - What’s Better for Sleep Disorders?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. CBD is a non-psychoactive and non-sedative, while THC is psychoactive and is primarily responsible for inducing sleep.
Studies have shown that THC, which is also the compound that gives users a “euphoric” feeling, helps decrease the time it takes to fall asleep while also increasing the amount of time spent in stage 4 sleep, the deepest stage of sleep.
Another cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN) is a similar compound in cannabis plants that appears to offer sleep and other health benefits. CBN is more common in aged cannabis, as THC naturally converts into CBN over time.
What are the Best Strains of Cannabis for Helping with Sleep Problems?
You might be familiar with the stereotype of cannabis users appearing “sleepy” or “drowsy,” and the idea might actually hold some truth.
That’s because some strains of cannabis are more calming and sedative than others. There are many strains that are known and popularized for their sleep-inducing properties, such as: Pink Kush, Sedamen, Snowdome, and Bubba Kush Whistler.
While different strains can often deliver varying experiences to patients, indica strains of cannabis tend to be more effective than sativa strains due to higher levels of CBD to balance out the THC content of a given strain.
Recent findings suggest that indica strains are usually more relaxing and soothing than sativa strains. Sativa strains of cannabis, on the other hand, are typically more stimulating varieties of cannabis.
However, identifying the best strain of cannabis to help you with your sleep needs will depend on trying different strains and products to figure out what works best for you.
What Are the Best Medical Cannabis Products to Help Me Sleep Better?
There are various types of medical cannabis products, allowing for multiple ways of consuming cannabis. Depending on your particular needs and preferences, certain kinds of medical cannabis products may work better than others for helping to treat insomnia.
In addition to smoking dried cannabis flowers in a joint or with a pipe, patients can consume cannabis by taking edibles or capsules, using a vaporizer, or applying THC and CBD oils.
Preliminary evidence suggests that medical cannabis oils are an especially effective way to treat insomnia. Indica strains with higher THC have proven to be more effective in sedation and also promote a deep sleep state. CBD oil also helps with sleeping by inducing a state of relaxation and calm.
The effectiveness of each product depends on a variety of factors, including THC and CBD dosage and method of consumption. Personal factors can also affect how your body reacts to certain cannabis products. Our cannabis educators will help you determine the best cannabis products to suit your sleeping needs.
How to Get Medical Cannabis for Insomnia in Canada
Whether your sleep problems are mild or you’re suffering from full-blown insomnia, Canadian Cannabis Clinics can help you plan and navigate your journey towards Better Days (and nights!).
Our clinics all specialize in assisting patients with finding the best possible medical cannabis treatment plans. For patients that prefer a consultation from the comfort of their own home, we have a virtual appointment service. Virtual appointments are conducted through a secure and private video call with a healthcare practitioner and medical cannabis educator.
Appointment is online through a secure and private video call.
Appointment is in one of our clinics across Canada.