Should You Use Medical Cannabis for Insomnia? (As heard on Episode 1)


Complications of Insomnia.

via Insomnia.net

This was one of the first videos that I listened to over two years ago when I first began to seriously consider using medical cannabis to treat my intractable insomnia. Traditional pharmaceuticals as I had mentioned earlier had failed to provide any tangible or consistent relief. Dr. Patel has a lot of excellent videos which I recommend you all look into on her YouTube channel.

 

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What Exactly is Insomnia

Info courtesy of Osmosis

Insomnia is often defined as the inability to fall or stay asleep. There are a number of reasons why one may develop sleeplessness, with the chief reasons (depending on the individual) being psychiatric illnesses, allergies, endocrine issues, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, or chronic pain.

Insomnia is said to be acute when it lasts about only one month or less but extends over to being a chronic condition when it lasts over one month. This condition can especially be harrowing because it prevents its victims from getting the recovery and restoration that sleep normally helps the body obtain.

insomnia

The main side effects of insomnia are usually daytime sleepiness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability and depression.  Many of these side effects can be very taxing on the individual and can lead to personal and professional challenges in day to day life. Insomnia can often occur without any underlying cause, and it can often aggravate pre-existing problems like psychiatric illnesses and pulmonary diseases.

Insomnia heightens the body’s levels of the hormone cortisol, which often plays a role in waking people up.

There are many ways in which people with insomnia can treat their condition. For example, sufferers can reduce their alcohol intake, and avoid daytime naps. They can also implement exercise, (though not too long before going to bed) and see a therapist to discuss and help manage stressors if applicable.

Incorporating great sleep hygiene can also do wonders. This means that insomnia sufferers should do things like having a consistent bedtime and wake time, and only using their beds for sleep.

Many folks can also use prescriptions like melatonin agonists, benzodiazepines, and non- benzodiazepines.

Bending the Knee of the Silent Majority on Cannabis

Cannabis

I just read an article about a municipality in my state that has opted to ban recreational cannabis stores within their limits. It wasn’t enough for the council members to override the mayor’s veto of this ban, but advocates for recreational marijuana in this town were shouted down and called “potheads.”

This really frustrates me. As you know about my story, I turned back to marijuana for the alleviation of my intractable insomnia. After mostly stopping marijuana usage after college for employment and professional reasons, I largely distanced myself from marijuana, until I had reached my limit with suffering from using ineffective insomnia drugs. (Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Benadryl, trazodone, Klonopin, otc sleep aids, alcohol, valerian root, sleepy time tea, ZMA)

A huge reason why I initially eschewed marijuana for medical purposes was because of this stigma as demonstrated above, and the perception of marijuana smokers in the eyes of my professional colleagues and a lot of Americans at large.

A huge reason why cannabis continues to be federally illegal isn’t because of vocal opponents like the ones mentioned above, but because the silent majority of people who want marijuana legal are mostly quiet about their support of medical and recreational marijuana.

It seems like a silent majority of Americans wants marijuana to be legal, but due to stigma, fear of losing status in the eyes of their community, colleagues, and children, many people aren’t more vocal of their support for legalization. I just wish we can light a fire under this silent majority’s butt.

Look, I get that many folks try (or not) cannabis in high school/college and later decide that it’s not for them (for career/reputation/family raising/and other common reasons people stop) personally. And I’m glad most of these people voted yes in many parts of the country for medical and recreational cannabis legalization despite no longer indulging. I wish many of these same folks would show more solidarity with us medical and recreational users and vocally fight on our side through showing up at city council meetings, writing to their congresspeople, or state government reps. There is strength in numbers, and it wouldn’t even occur to marijuana opponents to ban or hamper medical or recreational cannabis rollout.

This and health care are likely intertwined in order of importance to many MMJ patients, and I just wish the average jane/joe would continue this fight with us considering 60% & 90+ % percent want recreational and medical cannabis to be legal.