Cannabis treatment for insomnia is a huge step forward for the millions of people living with this common sleep disorder. Studies show that around 1 in 3 people have at least a mild form of insomnia. While some only deal with insomnia briefly, others find it to be a severe and ongoing struggle that negatively impacts many areas of their life.
With continued advances in the use of cannabis to treat common chronic illnesses, cannabis treatment for insomnia is making positive changes in the sleep health industry. Let’s take a look at some important facts about the effects of insomnia, the need for medical treatment for this common condition, and the ways medical marijuana has helped patients across the world.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep condition that causes individuals difficulty when they want to fall asleep. It can also impact your ability to stay asleep once you do fall asleep. Sleep plays a vital role in many areas of our lives. It is crucial you get a good night’s sleep for several reasons. Quality sleep supports good physical health and a person’s overall well-being.
When you get the right amount of sleep every night, you ensure your mental and physical health, and your safety and quality of life. But, studies show that millions of people face sleep deprivation daily. Statistics show that 30-35% of adults have brief symptoms of insomnia, and 15-20% have short-term insomnia disorder that lasts less than three months. While even brief bouts of insomnia can greatly impact your life, it is the 10% of adults who deal with chronic insomnia disorder who face a major negative impact on their overall health.
Regardless of whether you experience brief bouts of insomnia or chronic insomnia, the condition can easily lower your quality of life. That’s because common symptoms of insomnia include:
- Loss of concentration
- Inability to focus
- Memory issues
- Changes in mood
- Daytime sleepiness
- Decreased energy
- Loss of motivation
- Increase in mistakes and/or accidents
How Does Insomnia Impact Everyday Life?
There are several ways insomnia can impact your daily living. Sleep is a basic human need. Just as we need to eat, drink, and breathe, sleep is vital to our health and livelihood. Without the right amount of sleep, adults face a higher risk of:
- Physical health issues
- Mental health issues
- Loss of productivity
When you don’t get good, quality sleep, it can be difficult to perform the necessary daily tasks you are responsible for in life. Insomnia can interfere with work, school, home responsibilities, and even social functioning. Adults with chronic insomnia have reported trouble learning, focusing, and reacting. Since sleep is necessary for good brain health, losing sleep can lead to trouble with decision making, problem solving, coping skills, and controlling your behavior and emotions. In fact, insomnia has been linked to an estimated $63 billion in lost work performance in the United States alone.
While sleep is often studied solely among adults, many children face the negative impact of sleep deprivation as well. Children with chronic insomnia often have issues paying attention. They may display signs and symptoms that impact school performance and come across as behavior issues.
Everyday living, school and career work, and social interaction aren’t the only ways your life can be negatively impacted by insomnia. The long-term effects of insomnia can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, and hypertension. In severe cases, insomnia can even lead to death. But, its negative impact does not stop there. Insomnia can lead to large-scale damage beyond its effect on your personal life.
Adults deprived of sleep can be a risk behind the wheel. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your driving ability and lead to car accidents and even death. It is estimated that sleep deprivation leads to 100,000 car accidents a year and 1,500 deaths. Furthermore, it can impact people in all areas and line of work. Just imagine the impact insomnia can have when health care workers, pilots, mechanics, assembly line workers, and law enforcement officers are unable to perform their jobs effectively.
The overall potential negative impact of insomnia is huge. And, since the consequences of sleep deprivation reach beyond the person affected by the disease, sometimes causing large-scale tragedy, treatment of the condition is crucial to human life.
Common Treatments for Insomnia
Before the introduction of cannabis treatment for insomnia, treating insomnia was a series of long tests and trial treatments that were both time consuming and expensive. Many patients started their treatment by undergoing a sleep study. Sleep studies help medical professionals try to pinpoint any underlying causes of poor sleep habits.
Some patients are diagnosed with sleep apnea, which can be treated to help improve sleep. Other patients are identified as simply having poor sleep habits based on their routine behaviors. These patients may be advised to make lifestyle changes to improve their habits. Still, many other patients are unable to identify an underlying cause of their insomnia.
For patients who can’t identify an underlying health issues as the source of their insomnia, doctors may prescribe sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are a quick fix to help patients get a good night’s sleep. But, taken often, some patients develop a tolerance to these pills that can reduces the effectiveness of this treatment. And, a more serious complication of using sleeping pills is that they are habit-forming. When patients become dependent on these pills, they can face other health complications. So, better treatment for improved sleep health was certainly a major medial need for patients affected by this common health condition.
The Introduction of Cannabis Treatment for Insomnia
As a leading dispensary in Canada, we have seen the use of medical marijuana studied and researched extensively over the last several years. Cannabis has been scientifically proven as an effective treatment for many common health conditions patients face. Based on the medical need, there are several ways patients can use cannabis for treatment.
- Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a common cannabinoid found in marijuana. It has several health benefits and is non-psychoactive. CBD does not contain THC which is the element of marijuana that causes the “high” feeling associated with the drug.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is used to treat many other conditions. It replaces many common opioids and other strong pain killers that can become addictive when used for extended periods of time.
For cannabis treatment for insomnia, the THC strain of marijuana is used. Since THC is also responsible for inducing sleep, it makes sense that cannabis treatment for insomnia uses the THC strain. The National Center for Biotechnology Information released a 2008 study that showed that marijuana use with strains containing higher levels of THC can reduce the amount of REM sleep you get. When you reduce your REM sleep, you also reduce the amount of dreams we have.
In patients who deal with mental health conditions like PTSD and anxiety, cannabis treatment for insomnia can result in the reduction of sleep-wakening nightmares. The less time you spend dreaming, the more restful, deep sleep you get. Since the deep sleep cycle is the most restorative part of the sleep cycle, this means a great improvement for the overall health of patients.
But, since REM sleep is still an important part of the sleep cycle, cannabis treatment for insomnia should be discussed with your health care professional before you begin. Talk to your medical professional to create the right cannabis treatment option for your individual case.
With the right strategy, medical marijuana can be ingested in a way that delivers a good night’s rest for those using the cannabis treatment for insomnia. Since timing and dosage are important for use, talk to your marijuana dispensary in Saskatchewan for tips to achieve best results. Everyone’s physiology is different, so it may take some time to find the exact treatment and timing that works for you. But, once you find the right dose, you can be sure the effects of cannabis treatment for insomnia will change your life for the better.
Insomnia is a serious health concern for adults who deal with the condition on a regular basis. It does not only impact your overall physical and mental health; it can lead to lapses in judgment that result in serious large-scale effects for those around you. The introduction of cannabis treatment for insomnia has allowed patients to reduce the physical and mental health effects of this common condition and live a more productive, satisfying life.
As an online dispensary in Saskatchewan, we are dedicated to deliver the latest news in the medical marijuana industry and the best uses for patients across Canada.