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Does Medical Marijuana Help Insomnia?


red cross marijuana leafCan medical marijuana help insomnia? Well, it’s a fact that those who use marijuana in the evenings tend to report a good night’s sleep.

And, there is little doubt that poor sleep patterns can have a negative effect on your life as a whole; not only does it lead to poor health and many minor ailments (which when experienced all at the same time can have the same effect as a major medical condition), but it also leads to poor productivity and time lost from work. In worst case scenarios, of course, lack of sleep can be fatal, in that poor concentration when driving or operating machinery leads to operator mistakes.

There are various over the counter (OTC) medications that will help you to fall asleep; usually these medicines have been formulated for other applications — such as antihistamines for treating allergies. In general it’s not a good idea to take treatment for a condition you don’t have — especially if you are already taking other medications.

Sleeping pills that are obtainable with a prescription often have unpleasant side effects. Let’s take a look at the listed side effects of Ambien (zolpiderm tartrate) as an example:

depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself
unusual thoughts, risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger
anxiety, aggression, feeling restless or agitated
hallucinations, confusion, changes in personality
daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged” or light-headed
lack of coordination
amnesia, forgetfulness
vivid or abnormal dreams
nausea, constipation
stuffy nose, sore throat
headache, muscle pain
blurred vision.
A case here of the treatment being worse than the medical condition?

How can Marijuana help with Insomnia?
A recent study, undertaken at Alberta University in Canada, was designed to investigate the effects of THC on appetite, specifically on the appetite of cancer patients. An unexpected finding of the study, however, was that the patients receiving THC also slept better than the control group. In fact, the study was published with the headline:

Pot Helps Cancer Patients Sleep and Enjoy Food

The first thing to remember when looking for a marijuana strain to help you sleep is that sativa based strains tend to give you a high — the last thing you want when you have sleep problems. Indica based strains, on the other hand, are great for relaxation, stress relief, and for an overall sense of calm and serenity.

There is one particular indica strain, Ingrid, which seems to be particularly helpful for non-sleepers.

Ingrid is a high-quality marijuana strain, which is becoming increasingly popular among medical marijuana patients. It’s quite amazing to look at — a light green that is almost neon. It is very potent and you won’t need much to help you towards a restful sleep.

Source: Medical Marijuana Blog


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  1. I smoke… I sleep like a baby when I do! If I don’t have smoke and take the dollar store sleeping pills I sleep but I wake up all weird feeling… DONT TAKE AMBIEN***** I’m warning you!!! I’m 34 male and healthy… well took those last year to sleep and I had a seizure!!!! I know it was the cause cause I never had one in my life and I didn’t know you just cant stop taking them… I didn’t know I ran out and said ah I will refill it next week well I had a seizure. plus your behavior changes as well.. Smoking Marijuana is the best and I dream so I know I get REM sleep. I dreamed last night… while I may not remember I rememeber waking up and saying ah I was sleeping good cause I was dreaming.

  2. Stay away from the sativa if you are looking for sleep. Sativa is more of a daytime buzz to help with concentration and works mainly on the brain and not the body, as the author stated indica is perfect for sleep if you find a good strain. Also, hybrids may be helpful if you dose early in the evening giving the sativa time to wear down and allow the indica to kick in. Hybrids of 50/50 are perfect for me because I can smoke after work and enjoy a nice buzz then around time the indica kicks in I have no trouble getting a great night’s sleep for work the next morning!

  3. Cannabis helped me greatly with getting off to sleep. I recommend the Doctor Kush strain. Beautiful stuff.

  4. Not to be a negitive nelly, but the paper listed was actually a news article based on the study done. The study done was actually by Wendy Wismer, although I can’t find the paper. I wanted to find actually study, to see the actual results (news articles tend to twist the words of the authors of the studies or put in just what suits their article, often causing them to either miss the point or make an opposing statement to what the study actually makes). Oh well. I’ve just started smoking pot to help me sleep, and unfortunately, it makes me drowsy, but I still have a hard time actually falling asleep.

  5. I have had severe insomnia problems for 6 years since my son went to Iraq . Top grade indica (class A) has been a saving grace for me. No hang overs. No laziness In the morning and a good nights sleep. It messes with my memory if I over do it or If I drink more than 2 glasses of wine! It also has caused me to have wonderful dreams. I normally don’t have dreams!

  6. I would disagree on a personal level. I cannot sleep without some type of drug. But since my work and school schedules are mornings and nights, I rarely get 8 hours of sleep so anything prescription or over the counter is out. Plus, with those I almost always wake up feeling groggy and exhausted despite getting sleep. I also NEVER remember my dreams. With weed on the other hand, I ALWAYS have many dreams and they are usually funny and pretty much almost good dreams. No matter how much sleep I get, I feel rested and after a cup of coffee, I feel alert.

  7. marijuana has help me with my insomnia and sleepwalking i used to sleepwalk all the time and what also cause my discharged from the marine corps now a days i dont sleepwalk yes i do have less dreams but thats ok i have a restless nights sleep pretty much every night after i have a bowl or a joint i tend to fall asleep better and wake up feeling much mor energized at the task at hand such as work or school just waiting for the day that prohibition ends and this great gift can be taken by everyone with out being labeled a criminal.

  8. Hi my name is Kenneth Erickson, I’ve been smoking marijauna for 4 months. But now I found a way to not quit. We are not to smoke it. God’s plant is not to light fire to it. We eat it and drink water. I can say this because it’s true. But we have our own free will to do that. Please contact me on facebook. It is a healing plant. If you like what I’m saying then we need to vote on prop 19. I’m with you all the way. message me on my facebook only

  9. I like that idea about less dreams or rembering less dreams because we are less likely to fall into the REM stage of sleeping. Ive been wondering about that because lately i havnt been able to remember that many dreams since having a bowl before before bed. I also havnt felt as refreshed as I usually would if I’d slept without weed sure better than if I hadn’t slept and still ok but it’s just ok it’s not the same freshness you get from a sleep without weed.I geuss that could be because I don’t get that deepper sleep that occurs in REM which could account for not
    having as many vivid dreams and
    therefore not remembering any. Weed gives me an anthethised sleep ha mellow ! Brains too mellow for this rem shit!

  10. On the contrary, I disagree. I use canabis for sleep and I get more restful sleep than when I use over the counter sleep aids. For example, I’ve used Melatone and it put me in a deep sleep, but it was so deep it often took me an hour after waking up to feel fully alert and awake, but when I use canabis I get the sleep I need and don’t need more than 20 minutes to become fully awake. As for dreams, I’ve been able to remember the dreams I have, I just don’t bother remembering the details since I find no use for them.

  11. I agree with this. I’m a person who goes anywhere up to a week straight without sleep (having heard that after 72 hours/3 days, you’re legally insane), and I find that I get the best sleep at night after I smoke a bowl of weed. It’s so much easier for me to be able to wake up in the morning, no longer dazed and confused about the date and time and then being able to eat in the morning, so uch better.
      Currently, my weight is 145 lbs, a significant drop from my healthy 165 lbs (20lbs is a fair drop in anyone), and with my lack of sleep I’m unable to gain and maintain weight due to my matablism constantly running because my body doesn’t take the time it needs at night to rest and store energy. So by smoking a little canabis before bed helps me with sleeping, though I still have to do so illegally, due to not being able to get it medicinally yet.

  12. There is a growing discussion on the effects of smoking marijuana in connection with getting a better night’s sleep. Aside from any research in this area (and its limited), there are many people that use marijuana (cannabis) to aid them in falling asleep. The majority of these people all say the same thing. That smoking weed before bed helps them get to sleep faster. There does, however, seem to be some connection with smoking marijuana and a lack of dreaming. People that smoke habitually tend to forget, or not have as vivid of dreams as non-users.
    Some studies have pointed to the fact that marijuana usage might inhibit REM sleep. If this is the case, then using marijuana to fall asleep may be akin to drinking alcohol before bed — it’ll get you to fall asleep faster but the quality of your sleep will suffer.
    Some people speculate, and its only speculation, that marijuana causes a dream-like state vivid with imagery while we are awake, and so it decreases our body’s need for REM sleep (and dreams) at night.

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