Medical Marijuana for Patients with Insomnia in Louisiana

For people thinking about exploring medical marijuana for insomnia, Louisiana has a few viable options that can help them get the sleep their bodies need.

Medical marijuana is a safe and effective alternative medicine for insomnia patients. Its use was associated with fewer problems with waking up at night compared with non-medical cannabis users.

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Medical Marijuana’s Connection with Insomnia

Why is there a move toward using medical marijuana for insomnia in Louisiana? Its main attraction is how effectively it treats various conditions, including the pain or anxiety that may keep you up at night.

During a 2021 study published by the Australasian Sleep Association, medical researchers decided to test the effects of medical marijuana on patients suffering from chronic insomnia.

The goal was to analyze the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana treatment in 24 participants with chronic or long-term insomnia. After two weeks of administering cannabinoid extract, or ZTL-101, the test subjects reported improved quality of sleep and reduced symptoms.

It produced positive results reflecting the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis on insomniacs, and there are many similar research efforts that support these claims worldwide.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help Patients with Insomnia?

Medical marijuana may help patients with chronic or short-term insomnia find longer and more restful sleep. Cannabis plants consist of over 100 cannabinoids, which bind with brain receptors to increase adenosine levels, promoting sleep.

Cannabinoids also ease the brain’s arousal system, which is the mechanism that typically prevents patients from getting the sleep they need.

Essentially, the cannabinoids in medical marijuana stimulate the brain’s natural receptors to tell your body that it’s time to rest.

Active cannabinoids in marijuana include THC, a sedative, and CBD, a sleep aid at higher doses. Both these cannabinoids also address chronic pain effectively.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia prevents people from falling or staying asleep, and it is a common disorder in the United States. Many insomniacs have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep.

Causes vary but include hormonal imbalances, sleeping habits, pain, mental health issues, and various neurological problems.

Two primary forms of insomnia: short-term and long-term.

  • Short-term insomnia is often the result of a traumatic event or extreme stress. Patients typically experience sleepless nights for only a few days or weeks.

  • Long-term insomnia is a chronic condition that can last well over a month. For some, this condition is related to medication or a medical condition. Others experience insomnia as their main problem and suffer from many other consequences of prolonged sleep interruption.

Efficacy of Medical Marijuana on Insomnia

Surprisingly, about half of the population in the United States suffer from varying forms of insomnia over their lifetimes, whether through age-related changes or medical conditions. Insomniac patients often express dissatisfaction with the effectiveness and risks relating to pharmaceutical drugs, but there are other ways to find relief.

Short-term medical cannabis often increases the time in Stage 3 (deep sleep), which allows insomniacs to wake up feeling refreshed.

The cannabinoid sometimes decreases the REM sleep stage, which is where dreaming takes place. As such, medical marijuana is a valuable treatment for those suffering from PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Effects of Insomnia on a Person

These effects can be devastating, which is why so many patients are exploring the possibility of using medical marijuana for insomnia in Louisiana.

Marijuana legalization throughout various states is allowing patients to explore alternative treatment options.

Former NFL player, Steve Gleason, now acts as an advocate for medical marijuana use. In 2011, doctors diagnosed Gleason with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS impacts motor functions with a long list of symptoms, including fatigue and muscle stiffness.

The disease is incurable, but Gleason says that medical marijuana has greatly improved his quality of life despite the debilitating illness. He was able to forgo pharmaceutical drugs, decrease his anxiety, and feel more energetic.

Traditional Insomnia Treatments

Common traditional treatments for insomnia include prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including sleeping pills. These pills aim to help patients fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer, but the potentially addictive properties of the drug need careful consideration.

Mild hormonal therapy and supplements like melatonin are less risky and may improve the length of sleep in some patients.

Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Treatment for Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the qualifying conditions in Louisiana. And it so happens that most residents who get medical marijuana are suffering from insomnia.

When using marijuana as a sleep aid, the effects you feel may depend on the type of cannabis you are using.

Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Treatment

Although there are many conventional medications to address symptoms, they often come with undesirable side effects. Thankfully, patients with insomnia can qualify for medical marijuana.


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