Marijuana Is Good For Insomnia, Bad For Dreams

Sleep. It is the act of putting one’s mind out of its misery for a few hours each night so they can face the day ahead with hopefully fewer glimpses of darkness and despair than the day before. This is always the goal. But sadly, while catching 40 winks is one of the most natural aspects of existing on this planet as a living, breathing organism, it is not always as easy to achieve for some of the more restless of the breed.

Statistics from the American Sleep Association show that in upwards of 70 million adults in the United States alone suffer from some form of sleep disorder. The group goes on to say that 30 percent of the population is doomed to endure a vicious case of insomnia at some point before, ironically, drifting into the great unknown — the eternal sleep — death.

Sure, we will all sleep when we’re dead. But we are exhausted right now, and how many hours of Netflix can we possible binge watch — none of it is worth a d*mn anyway — and, sweet Jesus, what dog known to man is capable of barking all night long and, dear god, there’s only an hour left before its time to get up for work and there isn’t enough coffee in the world that can resurrect our half-dead shells in a way to make us as productive as the boss is counting on us to be. Have mercy on the poor souls that dare greet us with “good morning,” following a frustrating night like that.

So it is essential for humans to get substantial sack time. Cannabis is said to be the ticket to such slumber. But there are a lot of conflicting reports regarding this phenomenon. Some researchers claim that weed is good for sleep, while others say it is more likely to disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to further exhaustion. So, for the sake of this article, we are going to disregard 90 percent of the studies published on this topic.

We are, however, going to shine some light on a massive collective study conducted last year by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine — a group consisting of the leading scientific minds in the country. This research shows there is enough evidence to conclude that marijuana is an effective remedy for insomnia. Still, it is important to point out that the results are not absolute, as everyone is different.

The real science behind cannabis and sleep lies in the type of pot a person consumes and the dosage.

As a rule, indicas are recommended for people with insomnia, since these strains are designed to provide the user with a more relaxed, sleepy state than sativas, which are known to produce an uplifting, introspective buzz that can help solve all of the world’s problems. There is even some evidence that suggests older cannabis brings on sleepier effects than raw marijuana. This is because it has a higher level of cannabinol (CBN).

It is also recommended that insomniacs avoid high-THC strains before bed. These breeds have a tendency to invoke more anxiety, which can make it more difficult for the user to settle into the sack. But don’t avoid THC altogether, just find a delicate balance between the THC and CBD compounds. Not matter which strain ultimately becomes the go-to, maintaining a proper dose is critical. Too much weed before bed can lead to a bit of a hangover in the morning — an almost worse side effect than sleeplessness.

But for those dream warriors out there, those who relish in delusions and nightmares that come to them in their unconscious state, cannabis consumption may not be the best method for inducing sleep. Cannabis has been shown to disrupt the final stage of the sleep cycle known as REM (rapid eye movement). Incidentally, this is where dreams happen. This is the reason people suffering from PTSD often gravitate toward cannabis — fewer flashbacks and nightly haunts. But the good news is, cannabis users can always get their dreams back on track. The only caveat is that they must take a break for getting high.

“People who use marijuana, they tend to suppress REM sleep, they have less REM sleep,” Dr. Samoon Ahmad, a practicing psychopharmacologist and psychiatrist, told Business Insider. “And when they have less REM sleep you’re going to have fewer dreams because dreams only happen during REM sleep. So, for a long time people didn’t recognize this, but once people stop smoking, suddenly there’s a rebound phenomenon where people can have quite vivid dreams.”

So, while cannabis can literally crush your dreams, it is beneficial in helping insomniacs to rise above this dreadful condition. And don’t worry about missing those mental vagaries of the night. There is always plenty of time for fantasizing while you’re sitting in your cubicle, driving around on a fork truck or whatever it is you do for a living. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck in a situation for which there is no escape. And we’re sorry to report, no amount of marijuana is going to help pull you out of mediocrity.

TELL US, do you use cannabis as a sleep aid?

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The Top Strains to Help with Insomnia

Whether you have trouble getting to sleep or simply staying in the depths of your slumber until morning, consistently missing out in your Z’s can become quite unpleasant when it continues night after night. Having insomnia or trouble getting to sleep can be caused by a number of factors from direct discomfort due to physical pain to psychological ailments like stress, anxiety or depression.

Big Wreck

Trainwreck and Big Bud, two strains known for being true to their indica lineage, come together make an uplifting yet calming high perfect for mentally easing away from the hectic demands of the day. Big Wreck is great for watching movies, drawing, writing or other creative activities before happily drifting off to sleep.

Northern Lights

Let this classic strain settle into your body and mind with its mellow cerebral high and body stone. Feelings of sleeplessness will transform into a dreamy haze after a session with these trichome-covered nugs.

Blackberry Kush

Flavors in this intense indica alternate between strong hash and sweet berries, making it a tasty, balanced smoke that goes straight to where the discomfort is. If chronic pain keeps you from really resting, Blackberry Kush can help you sail away on a cloud of relief after a full day.

Afghani

Like the name suggests, this strain is named after the area it originated in. It provides a heavy sedative high paired with feelings of euphoria and peace. If you need help putting the events of the day behind you, Afghani can give you some mental and physical relief.

Romulan

Go all in with a full-body stone that’s blissfully intoxicating with its rich, woody flavor. Made from a cross of North American and White Rhino, this strain will have you ready to hit the sack before you know it.

Granddaddy Purple

With beautiful, deep purple buds, GDP is a Cali classic worth getting to know personally. It’s highly psychoactive and works to relax muscles, often leading to what many lovingly refer to as “couchlock.”

Platinum OG

Choose this strain right before bed, as it brings on a heavy stone that will set the stage for a night of deep rest. Bright green and crawling with little orange hairs, these aesthetically-pleasing buds will have you feeling peaceful, pleasant and prepared for a night of rejuvenating sleep after a few puffs.

Critical Kush

Earthy and spicy, this strain is an effective mix of THC and CBD for a potent smoke that calms both the body and the mind. Critical Kush to helps you get to sleep by taking care of some of the factors that keep you from resting like stress, anxiety and sore muscles. relaxing evening

Monster Cookies

Lovers of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain can take a break from the usual by trying their favorite strain mixed with Granddaddy Purple. Covered in beautiful crystals, Monster Cookies stays true to its roots with a grape flavor profile and deeply calming effects. It’s a creeper strain that slowly builds in intensity, which helps if you have trouble staying asleep during the night.

Gooberry

This heavy strain has short, dense buds that pack a powerful punch against pain and insomnia. Made from a combination of Afgoo and Blueberry, Gooberry is known for making you giggly and hungry before ushering you off to sleep for a good night’s rest. Well-cultivated flowers can have up to 20 percent THC.

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Access To Recreational Cannabis Associated With Decline In OTC Sleep Meds

It’s not the first time that marijuana has proven effective in taking the place of pharmaceutical drugs, but it is another encouraging sign that it can replace certain side effects-plagued prescription drugs. A newly released study shows that sales of over-the-counter sleep aids dropped immediately after the legalization of cannabis in Colorado.

The investigation was conducted by the University of New Mexico and California Polytechnic State University. It studied grocery store scanner data in tracking the numbers of sleep aids that were bought between December, 2013 and December, 2014. Cannabis was legalized in the state in November, 2012 by state amendment 64, and dispensaries started opening across the state soon after.

According to the new study’s results, access to marijuana caused state residents to buy less diphenhydramine, an active ingredient in Benadryl, and doxylamine-based sleep aids like Unisom. The difference became more pronounced as more dispensaries opened in particular counties.

“The negative association between cannabis access and sleep aid sales suggests a consumer preference for cannabis,” concludes the summary of the investigation, which is available online.

Cannabis As Sleep Aid

Cannabis has long been used as an aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Though studies have shown that THC can result in a loss of REM, which can cause a lack of dreams, it has also been suggested to cause longer and more uninterrupted rest as compared to melatonin sleep aids.

Last year, an investigation was published that suggested that Dronabinol, a synthetic cannabinoid that has been approved by the FDA, can be helpful in treating sleep apnea. Patients in the study who took Dronabinol reported that they felt less fatigue and had fewer troubling symptoms related to their condition.

According to the latest Colorado study, cannabis consumers have become aware that they can swap out their over-the-counter sleep aids. That would not be the only instance in which cannabis has been shown to curb the use of other drugs. One 30-month study found that many patients were able to cut down on their use of illegal opioids to treat their chronic pain once they started using medicinal marijuana. In fact, the drop in illicit opioid use was somewhat dramatic — individuals proved 50 percent less likely to use illegal opioids every day when they had a daily cannabis habit.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made mention of just this phenomenon during the Democratic Party presidential debates in October, after relating an anecdote about a vet who had entered into danger of becoming addicted to opioids.

“Now imagine that veteran, instead of being prescribed an opioid, had been prescribed marijuana, because we made that legal in America [and] ensured the VA could prescribe it,” the politician said, earning an audible kudos from his opponent Andrew Yang.

Opioids claim the lives of two out of three people who die from a drug overdose in the United States, and casualties related to the drugs have increased by a factor of six since 1999, according to the National Center for Health.

The sleep aids that saw a drop in popularity after Colorado’s legalization were mainly antihistamines, part of a global industry that was valued at nearly $60 billion in 2018.

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