Have you had trouble falling asleep during the pandemic? Sleep neurologists have coined the term, “COVID-somnia”, which is linked to an increase in sleep disorders during the pandemic. However, it's not all bad news — medical cannabis can be a benefit to a variety of health issues, including insomnia.
Let's talk about insomnia. Insomnia can be found in 10 to 30% of the general population. It's a fairly common sleeping disorder.
Therefore, it's likely that you know someone who can't fall (or stay) asleep. This isn't the worst thing about insomnia. Extended loss of sleep can lead to mood swings, memory loss, and chronic fatigue.
Insomnia also seems to go hand-in-hand with heart disease and hypertension.
Users of medical cannabis and CBD products often report an improvement in their quality of sleep — whether or not they have insomnia. Medical cannabis seems to be the obvious cure for insomnia.
This is what you need to know about treating insomnia with CBD.
Medical Cannabis for Better Sleep
If you're going through a tough time, you'll always feel better after a good night's sleep. Doing this is essentially the human equivalent of, “turn it off and on again — sorted”!
But sometimes, your sleep can be affected — especially if your anxiety isn't easing up, or the pain in your shoulder is just too much. We're happy to tell you that medical cannabis can help.
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Earlier, we mentioned that users of medical cannabis — anything from CBD oil drops to edibles — have described an improvement in their quality of sleep. In the age of COVID-somnia, among other sleeping disorders, this is especially good to know.
A study in 2018 proved that the consumption of cannabis is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia. This means that medical cannabis has the potential to increase your quality of sleep and help with your insomnia.
To do this, scientists monitored 409 people with insomnia via an app. Participants could use the app to record their insomnia ratings, both before and after consuming cannabis.
The results spoke for themselves. On a scale of 0-10, participants reported a 4.5 decrease in their insomnia. Additionally, the study showed that the use of a vaporiser with a higher dose of CBD produced the best results.
Medical cannabis improves your quality of sleep by increasing the time spent in the Stage 4 sleep cycle. This is the deepest level of sleep, where the body is at its most restful.
In addition to this, researchers have also found that medical cannabis can nip insomnia in the bud, by making it easier to fall asleep at night.
Medical Cannabis as a Sleep Disturbance
For the most part, treating insomnia with CBD has been remarkably safe. The good news is that there are none of the dangers of sleeping pills.
However, while medical cannabis has been celebrated as an excellent cure for insomnia, it's not without its side-effects.
Here are three potential side-effects of CBD:
- Diarrhoea: Before you jump the gun and write CBD off, this is fairly rare. In fact, diarrhoea was only reported in patients taking CBD for an epilepsy study.
- Somnolence: Don't let the big words scare you — somnolence is just constant sleepiness. If you're taking medical cannabis for your insomnia, this is exactly what you want.
- Changes in appetite: This can be a big one. Many users report a reduction in their appetite while taking CBD. However, this can be managed by consulting with a medical professional.
In addition to this, it's important to obtain a form of medical cannabis with little to no THC content. This is because THC can impair sleep on a long-term basis.
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It might also sound counterproductive, but in high enough doses, CBD can act as a stimulant.
If you're thinking of relieving your insomnia with medical cannabis, be sure to consult with a doctor. This ensures that you're taking the correct dose.
What Do Scientists Say?
Scientists are working hard at finding out more about the link between medical cannabis and insomnia.
There is evidence that the endocannabinoid system plays a large part in this relationship, and can be tied to insomnia and sleep duration.
In addition to this, there has been evidence that while cannabis can alleviate sleeping disorders in adults, it can do the opposite in young adults. Teenagers who consume cannabis — medical or otherwise — are more prone to young adult insomnia.
Scientists have also said that some people might have a genetic predisposition to the positive effects of CBD. This means that an individual's genes associated with their circadian rhythm — among other sleep behaviours — can affect how much CBD they'll need.
This only places more emphasis on how important it is to consult with a medical professional, before using cannabis to treat your insomnia.
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Medical cannabis can be a great way to get a good night's sleep. CBD consumption can cause sleepiness, and this might be a negative side-effect for some.
However, it can also be an incredible way to improve your quality of sleep. The benefits of medical cannabis for insomnia far outweigh its negatives.
That being said, it's important to consult with a medical professional, before medicating with cannabis. It's also important to ensure that you're consuming high-quality, rigorously-tested products.