Given the long list of side effects linked to sleeping pills, it’s not surprising that so many people are exploring the use of medical marijuana as a sleeping aid. There’s a growing body of research that indicates both THC and CBD – two of the most medically beneficial chemical compounds found in marijuana – can be used to decrease sleep latency, improve sleep apnea, reduce mid-slumber awakenings and more.
The REM Cycle
While marijuana can help people fall asleep, it also reduces REM sleep at the same time. Many people who reported using marijuana for sleep said they were more well rested. A recent study using young adult male volunteers and dosed one group with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and another with a synthetic compound similar to THC, called synhexl. Each subject then had their brainwaves measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG) while they slept. Researchers found that varying levels of THC as well as synhexl increased Stage 4 sleep (deep sleep), but decreased REM sleep. Decreasing REM sleep for those with insomnia or PTSD can help the patient fall asleep faster and stay asleep without interruption.
Marijuana and Sleep Apnea
Though still in its infancy, new research shows some promising results when it comes to cannabinoids’ effect on sleep apnea. A study published this year confirms that a synthetic cannabinoid can lessen the sometimes-dangerous symptoms of sleep apnea. While research in this area has been severely limited due to federal regulations.
Medical Marijuana Health Benefits
Here at Medical Marijuana Education and Clinical Resources, we make it our mission to bring you reliable and up to date information. As the Medical marijuana industry grows, we will be here to bring you the latest data.