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Cannabis as a Treatment Against Sleep Disorders

Please note that the laws on the growing and possession of Cannabis vary from country to country. Shared Care takes no responsibility for any action that the reader may take as a result of reading this article

Last modified 2014-04-26 13:55

There are numerous types of . Some of these are a symptom of a much broader condition and are coupled with a physical manifestations, such as teeth grinding. Others occur in isolation, without being linked to broader pathologies. Insomnia refers to sleep disorders that occur without any apparent medical reason, and can occur without being accompanied by any further problems. Even though in the long run a structural lack of sleep can lead to serious complications.

Cannabis has frequently been used to alleviate sleep disorders - particularly in the context of insomnia - and has been for centuries. Unfortunately, only very few studies have been carried out to scientifically pinpoint which molecules of the plant are responsible for the improvement in the sleep cycle. Evidence from patients suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders inherent in certain conditions (e.g. restless sleep caused by fatigue often associated with ) are relatively numerous and well documented, probably because sleep disorders are not only highly prevalent, but they can also affect a large part of the population.

In a , largely done on patients with multiple sclerosis, a researcher demonstrated that the administration of synthetic THC caused sedation, a fact already known to a lesser extent from the recreational marijuana consumers, who have experienced the sedative qualities for centuries already. These consumers distinguish between the Sativa and Indica types of marijuana, which provide physical relaxing effects, or rather cause a mental "buzz". In the treatment of sleep disorders, the Indica strains would be recommended, although according to the study cited above, the percentage CBD (cannabidiol) also plays a role. When this compound is mixed with THC, it can "activate" the patient and therefore limit the calming effects originally made ​​by THC.

The lack of advanced scientific research is partly explained by the fact that only certain varieties of cannabis would be perfectly suited for the treatment of sleep disorders, implying that studies performed on at least dozens of varieties would be needed to allow physicians to validate the use of medicinal cannabis in this context. A study that is even more difficult to obtain, considering the classification of cannabis as a substance of type 1 (the most dangerous type) in most countries. This is not an insurmountable obstacle thanks to the multitude of evidence provided by the patients themselves. Numerous physicians practicing in countries or the United States that allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis, are in fact frequently granting access for it to people with sleep disorders. In an even broader sense, the impasse faced by the medical community coupled with the determination of patients and activists has given birth to a solidarity effort carried out by various online communities. Throughout the years many websites have emerged where patients report their experience with different varieties, making them publicly available for those wishing to opt for informed self-medication.

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