Approximately 70 million Americans experience chronic sleep issues, making it a prevalent problem in the country today. Sleep is crucial to your overall health, and without enough of it, people can’t function at their best and are even more susceptible to getting sick.
Many people who struggle to sleep at night have found medical marijuana to be an effective sleep aid. Its ability to calm the mind and body can positively affect your sleep cycle.
How Medical Marijuana Affects Sleep
The cannabinoids in marijuana are thought to help with sleep because of how they interact with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. When cannabinoids attach to these receptors in the brain, they stimulate higher adenosine levels, which leads to sleepiness, and curb the arousal system in the brain. Together, these effects can make individuals fall asleep (and stay asleep) more easily.
Medical Marijuana and Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are often rooted in stress and anxiety. Feelings of anxiety and fear can keep the mind from winding down, making it difficult to sleep. People who struggle with anxiety may have trouble falling asleep and/or may wake up throughout the night.
CBD, which is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, has been widely shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. One study showed that CBD can significantly reduce levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Patients who have trouble sleeping due to anxiety often find that medical marijuana helps ease racing thoughts and feelings of worry, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Additionally, a 2019 study showed that medical marijuana can improve sleep for patients with certain chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even chronic pain. According to this study, the cannabinoids found in marijuana can improve the quality of sleep, decrease the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep, and reduce sleep disturbances!
If you struggle with disordered sleep and are interested in the benefits of cannabis for sleep, schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor at Tetra Health Care today.