Cannabis and Sleep Difficulties

The use of cannabis dates back hundreds of years when this plant has been used for different medicinal purposes which include help people with sleep problems. The lack of getting adequate sleep can harm a persons physical and mental health and wellbeing. The use of cannabis to aid with sleep, though recommended, should be done with caution.

Overall, the consensus surrounding the legal adaptation of the use of cannabis as a treatment option is still wanting. However, healthcare professionals are gradually endorsing the use of marijuana and various states across American allow its use in healthcare.

The legislation surrounding the use of cannabis is yet to reach a consensus as evidenced by the different stands take across the legal fraternity. Questions about its use as a treatment option for various illnesses and health problems are still rife. As such, its use as an aid for sleeping does have some grey areas.

 Does Cannabis Help With Sleep?

Research on this matter has yielded mixed results and findings. On the one hand, cannabis or marijuana is known to induce a state of drowsiness and relaxation, and this can be essential in inducing sleep. Much of the findings are based on studies that date back to the 1970s. However, in-depth research with concrete results are scarce, and this can be attributed to the fact that cannabis is still primarily viewed as an illegal substance.

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However, studies have given positive results that have become the reason behind the drive to change perceptions and attitudes surrounding this herb as different experts across the medical and health care fields understand the potential cannabis has in medicinal use. Marijuana has many components, but the two main ones are:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Which is a non-psychoactive compound that will not include the high associated with the use of cannabis.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Which is the psychoactive element in cannabis that evokes the feeling of being high.

Given that marijuana has two main active compounds, much of the medical research surrounding its use focus on CBD, which has been found to have numerous health benefits.

What Are The Main Facts As Per The Studies?

In one study where 147 participants had and some without sleep problems, it was found that the use of marijuana reduced the time it took them to fall asleep.

Research done in 2014 that focused on the therapeutic effects of CBD shows that it has a positive impact on people who were having sleep difficulties due to anxiety issues. Thus, CBD can be beneficial to individuals battling with PTSD and are finding it hard to sleep. At the time of this study, the use of cannabis for the treatment of PTSD was acceptable in five different states.

However, it is necessary to point out that the long-term impacts of the use of marijuana (CBD) as a treatment option for PTSC is not fully known.

A 2017 review of the scientific research into the use of CBD to aid with sleep and manage sleep-related disorders concluded that more studies are necessary for experts to have a clear picture of the overall benefits of using cannabis for sleep.

In a different study that involved rodents subjected to anxiety, it was found that CBD has the potential of inducing a state of deep sleep. However, earlier research on the same that involved humans found that CBD made the participants more alert while THC would be sedative.

In a study done n 2016 on the use of cannabis in young adults, it was discovered that it had a negative impact on the sleep quality for the youths that had no reported sleeping problems. If further suggested that more research was needs so that the full extent of the impact that cannabis has on sleep can be known.

Overall, experts reviewing the use of cannabis as an aid to sleep believe that the hype surrounding its use is anecdotal. But the interests regarding the use of marijuana compounds to help with sleep difficulties has also extended to treating insomnia.

Should I Take Cannabis For Sleep?

Sleep is a natural process in how the body functions. At times, all it takes is the right settings for you to be able to fall as sleep. So, before you consider using cannabis, try to be in a quiet and dark room where you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Remember that the use of marijuana can become an addiction and turn into a negative thing as it impacts your mental health and overall wellbeing. The risk of becoming overly dependent on cannabis is greater in people that have stress, anxiety, depression, and mental health conditions.

Given this, it is prudent to point out that cannabis cannot be a substitute to the natural ways of inducing sleep, more so when you take into consideration the high risk of dependency on the substance.

If you are looking for long-term answers to the problem, you may want to try the following:

  • Developing a habit of going to bed and waking up the same time every day of the week.
  • Resting in a room that is dark and peacefully quiet.
  • Eating light meals and ensuring you have your last meal at least an hour or so before bed.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks when you are about to go to bed.

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