How can cannabis help me?
Listen to the professional:
While all medical cannabis patients can consult with their recommending physician for his or her advice on the most appropriate strains of cannabis for sleep and various other disorders, one of the best resources is a cannabis professional. But who is a “professional” in the cannabis industry? Well, that is for you to decide, but they should have both integrity and your well-being in mind, not just the sale of their personal products.
Luckily, if you live in the United States, States like Colorado, Oregon, and California enjoy safe access to cannabis medicine that involves free consultation with a professional. The cannabis industry is not novel to those states, and eco-tourism has turned this incredible plant into an agricultural tourism destination for places like the Colorado Rockies and the coastlines of California.
Those who have access to trained, professional are foolish to not leverage the wisdom and experience of these cannabis medicine experts. True industry experts are exposed to and gather feedback from literally hundreds of clients and patients per week, learning the strains of cannabis that produce particular results — and for whom.
One strain might be perfect for an octogenarian cancer patient simply trying to abate the nausea of chemotherapy in an effort to get some sleep, but not the best solution for a 25-year-old single mother of two suffering from menstrual cramps who desperately needs relief from acute pain, inflammation and perhaps a nap.
With an estimated 5,000+ strains of cannabis worldwide, the efficacy of the plant for sleep and particular conditions such as insomnia is highly variable, but undeniably present. Different strains can produce markedly different reactions from humans, and understanding how the plant’s effects on your body is for you and you alone to determine. Listen to your body, and trust me when I say that, it knows what is best for you. At Becalmed CBD we suggest to all of our clients to start with a lower dosage, and let your body react accordingly. Know the difference between ∆9-THC and CBD, understand the difference between a Full-Spectrum Oil profile and Isolate. The cannabis plant can help you with various ailments, from chronic and acute pain management and inflammation, to cell proliferation and regeneration, not to mention insomnia and anxiety.
By definition a cannabis oil concentrate is a collection of specific cannabinoids with the non-desired compounds removed [hopefully], while a richly enhanced sativa, such as Durban Poison, offers an energizing and cerebral experience for those who consume it, an indica like Afghani may deliver the polar opposite effect and result in lethargy, grogginess, and even sleep. Each of these sets of side effects is of great medical value, although to very different patient populations and involving important variables, such as the time of day or the nature of one’s work responsibilities. So make sure that you understand what your body is telling you when you consume an herbal remedy, insulate yourself from daily activities such as driving or handling children, until you have a better understanding of the chemicals that are interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system [ECS].
Cannabis for Insomnia and Sleeping Disorders
Sleep disorders are conditions that cause a person to have difficulty sleeping or that significantly and negatively impact the quality of sleep. Disorders include many types of disturbances, such as sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or not enough. They can also involve symptoms that occur during sleep that do not necessarily affect the amount of sleep that a person experiences, such as somnambulism (sleep walking).
Sleep disorders involve a wide range of conditions that, in some manner, cause a person to experience difficulty with falling asleep, staying asleep, or in terms of the quality of their slumber. Often, other activities are involved, such as the grinding of one’s teeth (bruxism).
You must first understand your body’s symptoms in order to properly treat your sleep issues, discovering the root cause is absolutely important. For example, many patients experiencing depression also suffer sleep disturbances, especially insomnia or too much sleep (sometimes a symptom of avoidance behavior and procrastination).
PTSD and Sleeping Disorders
Many trauma patients and veterans suffer from stress-related nightmares that are the result of PTSD. Because cannabis is so effective for anxiety, cannabis is often a valuable treatment for PTSD and other trauma related disorders that can cause sleep issues.
Pharmaceutical drugs and Sleeping Disorders
Pharmaceutical drugs often lead to disturbances in sleep patterns, this is a common side effect of numerous pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, the medical profession has been well aware of the sleep problems caused or exacerbated by both alcohol and prescription drugs for many decades.
Cannabis: Proven Sleep Aid
Cannabis is known to help patients fall asleep faster, remain in asleep, and spend more time in “deep sleep” (Stage 3) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM; Stage 4). Although patients report a wide range of reactions to all strains of cannabis, indica varieties are known to induce and maintain sleep better than sativa-dom or pure sativa types.
Cannabis Studies involved with Sleep Disorders
Several studies and a wealth of anecdotal testimonies reveal that cannabis is an excellent sleep aid, improving both ease of onset, duration, and quality. Some studies, indicate that heavy consumers of cannabis, such as patients with debilitating diseases who suffer from chronic pain, nausea, or severe anxiety, often experience sleep disturbances when they suddenly abstain from the cannabis – thus finding a brand that you trust is of equal importance. A simple disruption within a supply chain can have negative effects on your person.
A 1973 study revealed that the infamous cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, or ∆9-THC, helped patients suffering from insomnia to fall asleep about an hour earlier than they would have otherwise. However, researchers noted that a potent dose could actually be detrimental and stave off the onset of sleep. This study also identified a cannabis “hangover.” Anecdotal reports indicate that this hangover effect is greatly reduced and typically absent in patients who consume cannabis on a regular basis. A controlled dosage of ∆9-THC, especially in regulated forms such as full-spectrum profiles [profiles that have numerous cannabinoids included ∆9-THC] are ideal for people who suffer from chronic and debilitating sleep disorders, as well as pain management and inflammation
Cannabis for sleep
A 2008 study found that CBD + ∆9-THC does in fact increases the amount of deep sleep, also known as “slow-wave” or REM sleep. The study concluded: “Acute administration of cannabinoids appear to facilitate falling asleep and to increase Stage 4 [REM] sleep.” – the key finding was “acute administration” of cannabinoids, which can be regulated through experience based dosing. Knowing your body’s limitations and comforts is essential, and the wonderful thing about cannabinoids is that a little bit can go a long way when using cannabinoids that have been sourced via technology instead of harmful chemicals such as hydrocarbons and ethanol.
In terms of hard research regarding the ease with which patients are able to fall asleep and stay asleep, a study published in 2013 in the American Journal on Addictions revealed that CBD + ∆9-THC not only helps people fall asleep, but that it occurs faster than in those who do not consume. Concluded the study, which was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health:
More Research is Needed
Until the federal government and Congress allow more robust research to be conducted in the United States, including human trials, patients and medical cannabis advocates will remain ignorant of many aspects of how the herb can alleviate the symptoms of a wealth of diseases and conditions, including sleep disorders such as insomnia and apnea. This is why it is vital to better educate yourself on how cannabis can help you or a loved one. At FS-Origins, we have found that Google Scholar is a great resource for numerous cannabis based studies, as well as theoretical papers. In the cannabis industry we cannot use words like “cures” or “alleviates”, we cannot make claims about CBD and “cell proliferation” regarding to cancer, or “manages pain” regarding chronic diseases like arthritis. We have essentially been gagged by the US government when speaking about Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, arthritis pain, autism, autoimmune disorders, bipolar disorders, cancer, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
But here are a few “conditions” that CBD can be used for?
Here’s a look at what a handful of scientific studies have found in recent years concerning CBD's medical usefulness, including some diseases and ailments for which the FDA has approved CBD products.
Pain When CBD reaches a family of receptors, or cells that receive stimuli, called vanilloid receptors, the interaction results in lower inflammation and levels and pain perception, according to a study published in Current Neuropharmacology. And a study published in July 2016 in the European Journal of Pain found that CBD could help people with arthritis manage their pain. The animal study looked at whether using a CBD gel transdermally (on the skin) would reduce inflammation and signs of pain, and researchers concluded that the topical product did offer relief from pain-related behaviors without evidence of side effects.
Anxiety and depression Hundreds of studies have looked at how cannabidiol might be used to treat various neuropsychiatric disorders. One of the most recent, published in October 2015 in Neurotherapeutics, concluded that topical CBD has “considerable potential as treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.” What’s more, a study review published in September 2015 in the Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics found that “preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders,” including PTSD, generalized anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
Epilepsy Anecdotal reports about CBD’s use as a treatment for epilepsy have been around for decades, and a handful of rigorous scientific studies seem to support these claims. One, published in May 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed CBD to be effective at reducing the number of seizures in people with a form of epilepsy called Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS). And in 2018, the FDA approved an oral CBD formulation for LGS and another type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Symptoms related to cancer treatment The focus on CBD for cancer treatment has been for its use in reducing the nausea and vomiting that often accompany chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Two cannabinoid drugs have been approved by the FDA to combat those side effects: Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone). More recently, researchers have discovered CBD may slow the growth of cancer cells, according to the American Cancer Society.
Acne and other skin issues A study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggested topical CBD can be a potent antiacne agent, likely because of its anti-inflammatory properties. And a study published in July 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found CBD (and THC) useful for reducing the itch and inflammation associated with eczema and psoriasis.
High blood pressure Researchers in England studied the effects of CBD on a small group of healthy men ages 19 to 29 — all nonsmokers who had never used cannabis — and discovered a single dose of CBD reduced resting blood pressure by 6 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), which may ultimately also reduce the risk of stroke. The study, published in July 2017 in JCI Insight, concluded that the response may be due to CBD’s anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and analgesic (pain-reducing) effects.
Addiction As ironic as it sounds, CBD — which technically is classified as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration and as such is currently illegal in nearly half the United States — has shown a lot of promise in fighting addiction to everything from opioids and cocaine to alcohol and tobacco. In addition, a number of preclinical studies, including a study published in June 2017 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, suggest CBD might be useful as a pain therapy in place of opioids.
Diabetes A number of studies, including one published in February 2012 in the American Journal of Pathology, have suggested that CBD could play a role in improving outcomes for people with diabetes. Observational studies have shown that people who use marijuana have lower fasting insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance.
So how do you know if CBD & ∆9-THC is Right for You?
If you’re suffering from any of the ailments or diseases that have been listed in this article and you are curious to see if CBD can help, then you are on the right path. Homeopathic remedies work, and cannabis does help, but it takes time. Stick to a regiment, and monitor your successes, as well as your failures. If you have suffered from chronic pain, has the pain abated? If you have documented tumors, have they shrunk in size? Has your sleep been better or worse? Sleep disorders can be overnight, while cell proliferation and pain management may take time. Stick to a regiment, but first educate yourself on what might be needed in order to help you the most. The internet is a great tool, but so is calling up a team and determining for yourself if cannabis products are the right fit.