Excerpt from: CANNABIS FOR HEALTH: The Essential Guide to Using Cannabis for Total Wellness


(Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon)




Trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. Nearly 50 percent of adults in the United States deal with insomnia on a regular basis. And make no mistake, even occasional insomnia could be secretly doing more damage than leaving you tired or distracted. Lack of sleep affects growth and stress hormones, your immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health. On the other hand, research shows that the benefits are endless. Did you know that your cells actually regenerate and repair while you sleep? And brain function improves because sleep enhances the communication of brain nerve cells and supports the bodily process of breaking down and removing toxins your brain has build up during waking hours. In addition, sleep promotes healthy weight, lowered risk for serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease, reduced stress, and improved mood. And getting more sleep can create a massive transformation in your life. It is often the secret weapon to creating more energy, which allows you to perform at the top of your game.  


The choices are vast when it comes to the medical options related to insomnia. Many professionals treat insomnia with prescription medications, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepine, and antipsychotics. The problem with that approach is daytime sedation, what we call a hangover effect. Curing insomnia with medications can create a whole host of other problems consistent with dysfunction during waking hours as well as a very impressively long list of side effects. In some studies many medications have been shown to increase the risk of falls in the elderly and also increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents in people who take it chronically. Sadly, many other solutions are not without risk. Many sufferers self medicate using over-the-counter therapies, such as Melatonin, Valerian and Skullcap, which have some benefits, but most patients find them to be not as effective as the prescription therapies. And some OTC remedies commonly used can be even riskier. Benadryl and Zyrtec have been shown to increase the risk of dementia due to an their cumulative effect on the body’s production of Acetylcholine.


It appears that for those struggling with sleep, medical marijuana is a medicine that they reach for with good results. With the exception of those who suffer from psychosis, medical marijuana (and probably even CBD) have been shown in a multitude of studies to aid in the treatment of insomnia without the harsh side effects that prescription and non prescription drugs induce.


The endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors are distributed widely throughout the brain; however, they are absent in the cardio and respiratory centers found in the brain stem. That means that, while cannabis interacts with the brain receptors to help induce sleep and trigger other system repairs, it does not affect heart or pulmonary systems as other synthetic drugs have been found to do.


It appears that a cannabinoid product with higher levels of Indica seem to be better tolerated, but in a study that provided a questionnaire to some 100 California dispensary patients, patients who had been prescribed cannabis for insomnia and nightmares, high CBD Sativa strains seemed to be most effective. In the study, reported in 2014 in The Journal of Clinical Psychology, the synthetic product Nabilone, mimicking sativa, was effective in inducing sleep, lowering nightmares, and easing chronic pain. Before trying any strain for long-term use, test out various combinations to find the appropriate balance of Indica and Sativa for your personal biological needs. Sleep is often a self-directed journey—be educated! Also speak to your doctor or dispensary consultant to make sure you’re taking the best steps and getting enough support along the way.


SOURCES: Mary’s Videos; 100 Inmate Study: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2014, at
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4165471/; NCBI Pub Chem; Mary Clifton at CannabisCBD & Cannabis LibraryInsomnia, at https://cbdandcannabisinfo.com/sleep-and-cannabis/; LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet], https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Nabilone; LEAFLY AT https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/sativa-indica-and-hybrid-differences-between-cannabis-types

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