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How Cannabis Can Help Chronic Pain Relief and Sleep Improvement

Chronic pain can keep you tossing and turning all night, ruining any chance you might have of getting restful sleep. If you’re living with sleep disturbances, you might have already tried multiple treatments in hopes of finding rest and relief.

But have you tried medical cannabis?

This plant-based medicine has the potential to reduce inflammation and pain, allowing you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and get more restful sleep. If you’re looking for longer-term relief and sleep that will leave you feeling energized, medical cannabis could be the key.

Read on to learn more about sleep science, pain management, and the powerful potential of cannabis.

The Science of Good Sleep

Scientists suggest that most adults aged 18 to 60 need about 7 hours of sleep per night. And, to get the most restful sleep, you need balance in both phases of your sleep cycle:

  • Rapid eye movement (REM) – Your body enters REM sleep once per cycle. The first REM stage is short, but over the night, each REM stage gets longer.
  • Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) – You go into NREM sleep three times per cycle; the first is light (N1), the second is deep (N2), and the third is deeper (N3).

The average person will complete 90 to 110-minute cycles about 4 to 5 times per night. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, this might not be the case for you.

How Cannabis Affects Sleep Patterns

Cannabis has long been used as a sleep aid. Even though scientific data surrounding cannabis and sleep health are limited, anecdotal reports indicate that medical marijuana can make a profoundly positive impact on sleep balance.

Here’s a quick summary of what we currently understand about cannabis and sleep:

  • doctor hand hold and offer to patient medical marijuana and oil. Cannabis recipe for personal use, legal light drugs prescribe, alternative remedy or medication,medicine conceptCannabis can help people living with insomnia by suppressing the arousal response and increasing adenosine, which promotes sleep.
  • Marijuana can increase the time spent in deep phases of the sleep cycle, which can produce more restful sleep.
  • Cannabis can also shorten REM sleep, which can offer relief from unpleasant experiences that often occur in this phase. Nightmares, for instance, typically take place during REM sleep—this might be particularly important for people recovering from trauma.

These effects often depend on dose, cannabinoid concentration, and other factors.

Breaking Down Marijuana

There are over a hundred different cannabinoid components in marijuana, and the two major cannabinoids are:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – THC is popularly known for its psychoactive effects—THC produces a high. But it can also have sedative, relaxing effects.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) – Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive. Many medical cannabis patients use CBD for pain management, sleep support, and mood balance. It’s especially popular for patients looking to improve their quality of life without getting high.

If you choose to incorporate medical cannabis into your lifestyle, you might also stumble across terms like:

  • Cannabinoid concentration – Each medical marijuana product will be accurately labeled with a cannabinoid profile. These are expressed as percentages—“15% THC, 2% CBD,” for instance. These explain how much of each cannabinoid is present in a product by weight.
  • Hemp – Hemp is a type of marijuana—a flower product that contains 0.3% THC or less. Cannabis manufacturers make oils, tinctures, edibles, capsules, and other products out of hemp, and these formulas are typically high in CBD.
  • Strain – All marijuana is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, scientists and growers have developed many sub-types of the plant—hemp, for example. A strain is a sub-type of the Cannabis sativa plant specifically bred for a unique property (like low THC concentration, in the case of hemp).

Indica vs. Sativa

Strains of cannabis fall into two main categories: indica and sativa. While strains are unique, sub-types in each category typically produce similar effects.

Indica strains are well-known for:

  • Producing feelings of relaxation or sleepiness
  • Having a calming effect
  • Acting as a sedative

On the other hand, sativa strains boast the following effects:

  • Creative stimulation
  • Euphoria
  • Energy and mood enhancement

But marijuana produces different results for everyone; while some patients choose an indica strain for sleep support, others find more relief from sativas. Patients looking to combine the best of both might opt for a hybrid strain.

The best way to find out which category and strains work for you is to intentionally experiment with a variety of products.

The Ties Between Sleep and Pain Management

Typically, sleep support tips might not always work for people living with chronic pain. When you’re struggling to even get comfortable in bed, focusing on your breath and counting sheep don’t always cut through the noise.

This is why it’s so important to treat pain and sleep disturbances at the same time.

Cannabis can offer a two-in-one solution. It can aid in your progression through the sleep cycle and offer a number of pain reduction and management benefits, such as:

  • Inflammatory response management
  • Neuropathic pain control
  • Decreased nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Reduced musculoskeletal pain

Plus, TeleLeaf is making it easier than ever before to access medical cannabis treatments for sleep and pain management. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of medical marijuana, drop us a line—we’re here to help you navigate the process.

Incorporating Cannabis Into Your Nightly Routine

Maintaining a nightly routine is a great way to ease your body into a state of restfulness, and it’s easy to incorporate cannabis into your relaxing ritual. Edibles, topicals, and smoking could all fit into your nightly routine.

Edibles

how to recover from ediblesEdibles come in many forms, including tinctures, oils, gummies, baked goods, snacks, and more. How you consume your cannabis may change over time, but here are a few ideas for newcomers:

  • Soothing tea – Warm drinks are noteworthy for making people feel cozy, comfortable, and sleepy. You can make cannabis teas by adding a few drops of your favorite tincture or oil product to a piping-hot brew. If you’re not a fan of tea, you can add cannabis tinctures and oils to other favorite nighttime beverages (although you should avoid mixing with alcohol).
  • A bedtime snack – Popping an edible treat before bed can help you drift off with ease. Keep in mind that you’ll have to experiment to find the right timing—edibles typically take longer to produce effects than other methods.
  • Pre-bed vitamins – If you already have a nightly medication routine, try adding an edible to your regimen—you’ll never forget to use it if it’s already in your pill case or medicine cabinet.

Topical Treatments

Topical cannabis comes in the form of creams, lotions, salves, and other products that you apply to your body externally. It’s optimal for spot-treating painful areas.

Two ways to incorporate topicals into your nightly ritual include:

  • Adding it to your self-care routine – You likely already wash your face or brush your teeth before bed. Consider incorporating a topical cannabis cream into this routine to stay consistent.
  • Massage – Whether you try self-massage techniques or ask a loved one for help, massaging with a cannabis topical can promote relaxation and help you thoroughly work a product into your skin.

Topical treatments are an excellent choice for people with highly localized pain—specific joints and muscle groups.

Smoking

Smoking is perhaps the most common administration method for medical marijuana, and it’s easy to incorporate into a nightly routine. Here are some tips to make your nightly smoking ritual even more convenient and effective:

  • Pre-roll, pre-pack, or pre-charge – Whether you roll a joint, smoke with glassware, or use a vape pen, prepare your products in advance so that you can smoke conveniently before hitting the sack.
  • Combine smoking with meditation – Cannabis can help you clear your mind, and so can meditation. While you enjoy your bedtime smokable, consider working through some meditation exercises to prepare your brain for sleep.
  • Pair smoking with a cozy beverage – Soothing beverages and cannabis can be a powerful, sleep-supporting combination. Pair your nightly smokable with an herbal tea, a warm glass of milk, or another favorite beverage for maximum comfort.

Get a Good Night’s Rest With TeleLeaf

Healthy, restful sleep can often feel out of reach for people living with chronic pain. But medical cannabis can unlock revolutionary results for pain management and sleep support.

At TeleLeaf, you don’t have to start a new treatment regimen alone. We’re here to help you navigate every part of the process—from your first appointment with a medical marijuana doctor to experimentation with your dosing.

If you have questions about medical cannabis or you’re ready to discover the relief you deserve, reach out to our team to chat with an expert provider.


Sources:

Healthline. How Much Deep, Light, and REM Sleep Do You Need?
https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-deep-sleep-do-you-need

Sleep Foundation. Using Cannabis As a Sleep Aid.
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-aids/cannabis-and-sleep

Medical News Today. What’s the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/indica-vs-sativa

Johnson & Wales University. 7 Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis.
https://www.jwu.edu/news/2021/09/7-potential-health-benefits-of-cannabis.html

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