Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in America. Estimates show roughly 30-40% deal with some form of insomnia-based symptoms (TheGoodBody.com). Cannabis use with Insomnia has been considered an effective treatment for many Americans. Spreading awareness on cannabis use with Insomnia will be the first area of my research. My goal is to make Americans realize themselves whether it can help them if they themselves suffer from Insomnia.
Insomnia, which is Latin for no sleep, is best described as difficulties falling asleep despite being in bed, waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep, waking up too early in the morning or having an unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia can lead to depression, irritability and even an increase in the risk of heart disease (Saddichha). Lack of sleep can also lead to higher increase in risk of accidents due to slower reaction times. Causes can range from stress, medication, stimulants, and medical conditions; however, primary insomnia is a diagnosis in which one suffers from insomnia with no catalyst to cause its occurrence (TheGoodBody) Some common treatments for constant insomnia include Melatonin, a supplement taken to help with sleep, but prolonged use effects have yet to be fully investigated. Valerian is another supplement with more of a sedating effect but also linked to people suffering with liver damage. Alternative treatments include yoga and meditation, but these are not always effective for all people (Saddichha). Federal regulations have limited studies with Medical Marijuana, however there has been studies that show the effectiveness with improved sleep with marijuana use. Using Indica-based strains of marijuana, patients report more relaxed feelings and have greater ease following sleep. Marijuana also eases chronic insomnia causes such as stress, depression, anxiety, and pain in general. Medical marijuana has shown to help all these conditions, therefore help the person’s insomnia if it were created by the prior conditions. The desired effects for treating insomnia is in part to the cannabinoids within in the cannabis plant, cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). CBN tends to have a heavier sedating effect making it ideal for sleep. THC has shown to help you fall asleep with less difficulty however it has also shown to worse effects in anxiety if used in high doses. Insomnia that stems from anxiety will not benefit from high levels of THC (TheSleepDoctor.com). CBD on the other hand can reduce anxiety, showing an increase in sleep quality especially in those who suffer insomnia based from chronic pain.
Whether or not one can become dependent on medical marijuana is still up for debate, however in terms of dosage and risk of overdose, medical marijuana is much safer than most pills. These include sleeping pills which do in fact carry risk of dependency. Marijuana however does contain some side effects. A euphoric “high” state is most common with strands containing a high level of THC. Other effects include increased hunger, red eyes, dry mouth, and sleepiness (the desired outcome for treating insomnia).
Medical Marijuana’s long-term effects with those suffering insomnias are still not fully known as medical marijuana use medically has yet to be legal federally in the United States and furthers studies would be needed to confirm marijuana’s direct influence on primary insomnia. However, marijuana has shown effects in the underlying conditions that cause insomnia such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Medical Marijuana’s potential as medicine is nearly limitless for disabilities, disorders, and diseases it can ease and, in some cases, cure. My research will focus on the cognitive disorders as well as the central nervous system dysfunctions that can be benefited greatly by the cannabinoids within the cannabis sativa plant.
Saddichha, S. (2010). Diagnosis and treatment of chronic insomnia. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 13(2), 94–102. http://doi.org/10.4103/0972-2327.64628
Medical Marijuana for Insomnia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/conditions/insomnia/
A. (2018, January 29). Understanding CBD: The calming and sleep promoting benefits of cannabidiol. Retrieved from https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/08/10/understanding-cbd/
(Eye-opening) Insomnia Facts: Including Causes, Symptoms, Treatments. (2018, May 13). Retrieved from https://www.thegoodbody.com/insomnia-facts/