The perception of the general public about the highly desirable drug used worldwide is slowly changing. The most important thing is that the laws governing the use of cannabis are giving the public access to marijuana for recreational and, most importantly, for medical use. The use of cannabis as a remedy for pain has long been acknowledged. Medical marijuana for insomnia is also a hot topic.
The spreading legalization of the use of cannabis or marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in almost 30 states in the United States of America including Washington D.C is creating a hype which makes it more popular than ever. The history of cannabis being used for medical purposes dates back hundreds of years ago when people tried to use the weed for therapeutic benefits especially in relieving pain, alleviating anxiety, and managing mood disorders.
What is insomnia?
In simpler terms, insomnia is the condition where one has difficulty falling asleep. It is a common sleep disorder that deprives the person to get enough sleep, or makes it hard for him or her to fall asleep, or get any sleep at all. The condition can be acute (Short-term, 1 night to a few weeks) or chronic (long-term, more than 3 weeks, months, or more).
There are several types of insomnia. The primary and secondary type of insomnia are as follows:
- Primary insomnia – sleep problems are not linked to any health problems or conditions.
- Secondary insomnia – this is a condition when insomnia is due to a particular health condition like depression, asthma, arthritis, heartburn, cancer, pain, or substance abuse.
The causes of insomnia can be inferred from the type of symptoms that you experience.
Short term insomnia:
- Stress – this can be big life events like loss of a loved one, moving away, separation, or divorce
- Things that might disturb you like temperature, noise, or light
- Change in your sleep schedule, bad sleeping habits, and other sleeping problems
Long term insomnia:
- Behavioral or mental health issue (anxiety, depression, trauma)
- Medications for a particular medical condition such as cold, asthma, high blood pressure, and allergies
- Discomforts due to a particular medical condition
- Excessive use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
- Endocrine problems like hyperthyroidism
- Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
Medical Marijuana for Insomnia?
Medical studies have shown that marijuana could help treat sleep disorders like insomnia. This subject has been one of the well-studied topics. It has shown positive results along with issues concerning mental health such as anxiety and depression. For one, a study published in 2019 showed a positive result. Eighty-three percent (83%) who used to seek aid from over-the-counter medications in the past were reported to have better sleep after they began using medical cannabis. This study regarding the effects of medical marijuana for treating insomnia has shown positive results.
Research studies conducted in the 70s, 80s, and 90s showed positive feedback on the role of cannabis in dealing with sleep problems. The ability of marijuana to induce sleep is attributed to the sedative effects of a particular cannabinoid called the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This terpene found in a cannabis plant is a promising element that can induce sleep. Terpenes are tiny molecules in the plant that give its taste and aroma. They have medical benefits making them helpful in appeasing pain and inflammatory problems. They also lower the risk of anxiety.
Fortunately, marijuana contains hundreds of different terpenes, most of them having sedative properties which are very helpful in treating symptoms of insomnia. Examples of such terpenes are Myrcene, Limonene, Terpineol, and Terpinolene, all of which are proven to have strong sedative effects.
Additionally, Phytol and Pinene can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and Phytol specifically can increase the amount of sleep. Another important component of cannabis or marijuana is the cannabinoid CBD (Cannabidiol) which is effective in managing anxiety, stress, and pain. On-going studies are being conducted on the role of CBD in promoting sleep. Based on the many studies conducted, researchers have found out that marijuana significantly mitigated the symptoms of insomnia. They showed that CBD has a more significant effect on the treatment of the symptoms of insomnia than THC. It was also found out that more than 400 marijuana strains can help treat insomnia.
Best Marijuana Strains for Insomnia
Keep in mind that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of marijuana strains. It is important to know which strain can help you with your sleeping disorder. Choosing the right marijuana strain is a very important part of treating insomnia—and remember that there are two types of marijuana, Sativa, and Indica.
Sativa-dominant cannabis can boost energy and provide uplifting effects. It can make you feel upbeat. In other words, you don’t need Sativas if you want to sleep. What you need are Indicas or Indica-dominant strains. An indica strain is the best choice for treating insomnia. These strains can provide deep relaxation and can induce sleep in general. The Cannabinol found in Indicas has sedative effects, so strains with high CBN are a perfect choice.
Here is a list of strains that can aid you with your insomnia:
- Tahoe OG Kush
- Purple Urkle
- Godfather OG
- Granddaddy Purple
- God’s Gift
- Blackberry Hashplant
- Afghan Kush
- Northern Lights
- 9 Pound Hammer
- Big Bud
To be able to find the ideal marijuana that can help you with your problems with insomnia, you may need to do a little experimenting. It is important to know that the body may react differently to different strains. The best way to start your medication using marijuana is to consult a doctor. Obtain a written recommendation and prescription.
If insomnia is keeping you up all night, then perhaps it is best to try exploring marijuana as an affordable and natural substitute to over-the-counter drugs. With the legalization of marijuana, more research is being conducted on the benefits of this herb in the medical field. Medical marijuana for insomnia has been tested and has shown positive results. If you have suffered enough with over-the-counter sleeping medications, it is about time that you see your doctor, get a medical marijuana prescription, secure a medical marijuana card, shop at a cannabis store or dispensary, and get that marijuana strain that will lead you to dreamland.