Did you know that an estimated 25% of Canadian adults are dissatisfied with their sleep?
Whether it’s trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or simply not getting enough, many of us aren’t getting a quality night’s rest.
Sleep disorders can present themselves in a variety of ways, and it’s not always our evening snooze that is the culprit behind our 3 pm slump. Sleep behaviours such as difficulties with natural sleep-wake cycles, daytime fatigue, and breathing issues may all be symptoms of a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders: more than just a restless night
Although there are a wide variety of these disorders, the most common forms are:
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
Anyone who is dealing with these energy-draining conditions understands how impactful they can be when it comes to day-to-day life. Brain fog, irritability, forgetfulness, and even an increased appetite can result from poor sleep.
Luckily, there is a natural treatment option for those dealing with disruptive sleep. Read on to learn about how cannabis can help a wide range of sleep disorders.
We hope to delve in even more on how cannabis can help various sleep disorders on our blog’s future posts. For the purposes of this article ,we focus on insomnia, nightmares, and the science behind cannabis’ effect on sleep.
Can cannabis help with sleep?
The relaxing properties of cannabis are well-known. It can help soothe anxiety, calm a stressed mind, and reduce pain. Due to these impressive qualities, many people reach for marijuana to help them sleep.
THC can help you fall asleep
A 2013 study performed on habitual cannabis users found that higher concentrations of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) were able to shorten sleep latency and also reported more ease in falling asleep. Sleep latency describes the time it takes to go from wakefulness to sleep.
Cannabis can help increase slow-wave sleep
A 2008 review comparing the effects of different drugs on sleep also revealed that THC could facilitate falling asleep. It states that THC can reduce REM sleep and increase stage 4 sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep. This part of the sleep cycle allows the muscles to relax and is vital for the repair and growth of tissue in the body. This is also the time when energy stores are replenished, and hormones reset during the night.
Cannabis can help reduce nightmares
Nightmares prevent some of us from having a good night’s rest. One interesting link between the reduction of REM sleep and cannabis is the potential to help reduce nightmares from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients. Since most of our dreams are at this stage of sleep, researchers have found that administering cannabinoids (in this case, the synthetic version ‘”nabilon”) reduced the intensity and frequency of nightmares.
Although this research is very positive when it comes to demonstrating cannabis’s unique ability to treat sleep disorders, we want to dive a little deeper into why it works so well as a sleep aid.
The impact of terpenes and strain selection
Terpene is a term that most people are unfamiliar with. A terpene is a class of monocyclic hydrocarbons of the formula C10H16, obtainable from many plants, including cannabis.
Basically, the same part of the cannabis plant that secretes CBD (cannabidiol) and THC will also produce oils, and each one has a distinctive scent and flavour. Originally used as a defence mechanism to deter potential threats from destroying the plant, terpenes are gaining quite a reputation for their therapeutic effects.
Currently, there are approximately 100 terpenes that have been identified, and it’s not just the fragrance of these chemicals that make each one unique. Terpenes themselves have individual healing properties, and some are more effective at treating sleep disorders than others. For example, myrcene is quite a common terpene and is known for its sedative effects.
Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep?
It is also important to mention that different strains of cannabis will have different effects on the body. Generally speaking, strains that have relaxing properties, such as indica, will be the most effective in helping you catch some extra zzz’s. If you opt for a strain that is more energizing, such as sativa, the effect may boost your energy and make it more difficult to rest.
At the end of the day, it is important to speak with a Cann-Expert when choosing which the correct strain and dosage for dealing with nights of interrupted sleep.
Marijuana for Sleep: Visit our Calgary and Edmonton Medical Cannabis Clinics
Appointments for Alberta residents are free and covered by Alberta Health Services. Prior to your medical consultation with one of our licensed physicians, you will be educated on how medical cannabis works in our body and how it reacts to our endocannabinoid system.
During your education session with a Cann-Expert, you will learn:
- The main differences between an Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strain
- Benefits of THC, CBD, and Balanced strains
- The body’s unique Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)
- The timing of inhalation vs ingestion
At the time of your consultation, your Revolution Medical Cannabis doctor will review your medical history and ensure that cannabis will not conflict with any medications you’re currently taking.
Our Calgary and Edmonton medical cannabis prescribing doctors can help prescribe a sleep treatment plan for you. Our team will guide you in selecting a licensed producer as well as the registration.
Alberta residents schedule a free appointment today.
Schedule Your Next-day Appointment
Are you ready to explore the benefits of medical marijuana? Contact Revolution Medical Cannabis today and schedule your free appointment with a cannabis educator and physician.