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According to the American Sleep Association 50 to 70 million U. Around 40 million Americans experience insomnia every year and about 10 to 15 percent of adults will deal with chronic insomnia. Many in the medical marijuana community refer to cannabis as an effective treatment, with little to no side effects, for a range of sleeping disorders. Matt Romana medical marijuana physician. There are different strains of marijuana. Some are more energizing, and some are calming and sedating depending on the balance of the different cannabinoids.
Can cannabis be a sleep aid?
By: Joseph W. Many states are adopting the use of marijuana for medical purposes even though federal law does not yet support marijuana to be used in this context. These reasons can include relaxation or fun, medical purposes, pain management, as a sleeping aid and for a variety of social interactions.
Ancient Hindus in India were against the use of alcohol but accepted social cannabis use. At ancient Indian weddings, cannabis bhang was served for good luck and as a of hospitality. Today, people often use cannabis for specific activities and occasions as well as perceived medical purposes.
Cannabis has a rich history of spiritual use.
The Scythians, who lived in what is now Eastern Europe, used cannabis at funerals to pay respect to departed leaders. The Persian prophet Zoroaster 7 BCE relied on the intoxicating effects of bhanga cannabis drink, to bridge heaven and earth. Some researchers believe that kannabosm, a plant mentioned in the Old Testament as an ingredient in the sacred anointing oil, was an ancient name for cannabis. Though social use of marijuana has been occurring for centuries, it was during the s and s when the social use of the plant experienced an explosion in modern culture popularity.
This popularity increase is partly attributed to music and social acceptance among the younger population of those decades. Its use continued through the next several decades but seemed to slow in popularity when employers began drug-screening potential employees and with the increasing popularity of other widely used substances such as cocaine.
In the Weed helps you sleep decade, the use of marijuana has shown a dramatic increase. This might be contributed to more social acceptance, increased availability, decreased criminalization, medical use and recreational use legalization in some states. Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, also mentions cannabis.
Marijuana and sleep – can it help you sleep better?
It was written in BCE and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical works known. Over the past decade, research has focused more on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Individuals with insomnia tend to use medical cannabis for sleep at a high rate.
Use for sleep is particularly common in individuals with PTSD and chronic pain. When we ask what marijuana, or cannabis, does to our sleep, we are combining two vast unknowns: an insufficiently studied drug and a biological enigma. It is a universally acknowledged truth that marijuana can make you sleepy. Smokers everywhere have long sought to learn exactly why. But this ignores a larger question; namely, how does it alter sleep itself? In fact, the opposite is true: Alcohol tends to disrupt our slumber, as it can cause breathing problems or sleepwalking.
The effects of cannabis vary widely depending on the user, the strain, the dose and environmental factors. But the mechanism of its influence is always the same. Researchers believe the endocannabinoid system plays a role in many of our daily biological functions, from hormonal and immune function to the regulation of appetite and pain.
It also mitigates our stress and anxiety responses.
New research suggests that cannabinoid aling can directly promote sleep. All this gives scientists hope that we will eventually develop therapeutic drugs that rely on the endocannabinoid system to deliver their physiological benefits. For now, though, marijuana makes use of this fascinating part of our anatomy.
And we are just beginning to understand the subtleties of how its cannabinoids can modify our nightly rest. It has also been widely reported that THC shortens the period of sleep latency and causes the users to sleep longer.
Research also connects THC to an increase in slow-wave sleep, an essential aspect of cerebral restoration and recovery. Other studies, meanwhile, show that CBD may keep us awake. In a different experiment, rats that received doses of CBD took longer to fall asleep in the daytime but slept more overall and had a slight increase in slow-wave sleep — however, not enough to be statistically ificant.
Since one consumes both these competing cannabinoids when marijuana is smoked, this could certainly for mixed in its confused reputation as a sleep aid. Whether marijuana ruins your sleep is a subject of more dispute than whether it makes it easier to fall asleep on the couch.
Lack of REM sleep can lead to health conditions like migraines, and, as experts, we know REM sleep is crucial for proper rest. If you speak to someone who has suffered from insomnia at all as an adult, chances are good that person has either tried using marijuana for sleep or has thought about it.
This is reflected in the many variations of cannabinoid or cannabis-based medicines available to improve sleep such as Nabilone, Dronabinol and Marinol. Researchers seeking to learn how cannabis affects the sleeping brain have studied volunteers in the sleep laboratory and measured sleep stages and sleep continuity.
While there are still many questions to be answered, existing research suggests the effects of cannabis on sleep may depend on many factors, including: individual differences, cannabis concentrations and frequency of use.
A small of subjects also had a slight increase in slow wave sleep. However, once nightly cannabis use stops, sleep clearly worsens across the withdrawal period.
Can you use cannabis to restore your natural sleep cycle?
This research suggests that, while motivation to use cannabis for sleep is high, and might initially be beneficial to sleep, these improvements might wane with chronic use over time. Interestingly, when controlling for the presence of anxiety and depression, the differences disappeared.
One recent study showed the frequency of use seems to be an important factor as it relates to the effects on sleep.
Thirty-nine percent of daily users complained of clinically ificant insomnia. Cannabis is still a Schedule I substance, meaning that the government does not consider cannabis to be medically therapeutic due to lack of research to support its benefits. This creates a barrier to research.
Few universities in the country are permitted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse to grow marijuana for research. One university that is approved is the University of Mississippi. This is expected to change. New areas for exploration in the field of cannabis research might examine how various cannabis subspecies influence sleep and how this may differ among individuals. For example, one strain might relieve insomnia, while another can affect nightmares.
Other studies suggest that medical cannabis users with insomnia tend to prefer higher concentrations of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating ingredient in cannabis. This raises an important question: Should the medical community communicate these findings to patients with insomnia who inquire about medical cannabis?
Marijuana & sleep: 9 things to know about your herbal nightcap
Follow Us Subscribe. Historical Use Ancient Hindus in India were against the use of alcohol but accepted social cannabis use. Spiritual Use Cannabis has a rich history of spiritual use. Social Use Though social use of marijuana has been occurring for centuries, it was during the s and s when the social use of the plant experienced an explosion in modern culture popularity. Medical Use Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. Endocannabinoid System Researchers believe the endocannabinoid system plays a role in many of our daily biological functions, from hormonal and immune function to the regulation of appetite and pain.
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