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The Impact of Medical Marijuana on Sleep for Chronic Pain Patients

    • Cannabis has deep historical roots as a medical tool and is currently embraced by the chronic pain community to combat pain and insomnia.

 

    • If you suffer from either, you can try different strains of marijuana—like high CBD or mixed THC and CBD varieties—and different consumption methods to find the best fit for you.

 

    • By adding marijuana to a healthy bedtime routine, you may have an easier time drifting off and getting a good night’s rest.

 


Chronic pain and insomnia are like dance partners: always hand-in-hand, each step of one affecting the other. When your body is sore and aching, you’re guaranteed to toss and turn the night away. Since poor sleep inevitably leads to other health problems, it’s important to dismantle the hurdles standing between you and a good night’s rest.

You’ve likely tried many remedies for good sleep on your health journey so far. But if you haven’t tried medical marijuana for chronic pain yet, this may be your sign.

Medical marijuana is a largely misunderstood but historically meaningful healing tool. Let’s take a journey through its history, examine the ties between chronic pain and insomnia, look at how medical marijuana helps with both, and dive into the process of getting your medical marijuana card.

A Brief History of Marijuana as a Medical Tool

Medical marijuana plant in hands, top. Harvest cannabis farming for medicine labCannabis struggles under a deluge of negative press, so if you’ve had mixed opinions, you aren’t alone. The federal prohibition of cannabis starting in 1937 made it nearly impossible to run clinical studies and investigate the healing components of marijuana. For years, people only had anti-drug campaigns based on misconceptions in mind.

But before that, marijuana had a rich history dating back thousands of years to 2700 B.C.E. In fact, communities around the globe have used marijuana in a medical context to treat everything from labor pains to migraines to bowel irregularities.

This support lasted into the 20th century, with European and American medical journals publishing more than 100 articles on the benefits of marijuana between 1840 and 1900. It could be guessed, then, that the shift in public opinion happened because of a pushed agenda, rather than because of marijuana itself.

Studies so far claim that the benefits of marijuana can include:

  • Reduction of pain in chronic pain patients
  • Antiemetic effects in chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting
  • Fewer spasticity symptoms in MS patients
  • Relief from some epileptic symptoms

Because of these reported effects, chronic pain patients began a revival of marijuana as a medical tool. As restrictions loosen and marijuana becomes more acceptable and accessible, this opens up the possibility for studies in the future.

Cannabis and the Body

To understand how cannabis interacts with your body, you need to know more about the plant itself and the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabis contains hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes. Together, they create the effects that marijuana users want, like cerebral highs or body relaxation. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most well-studied cannabinoids.

  • THC – This is the psychoactive component of marijuana responsible for cerebral highs. It gives you energy, boosts your mood, and inspires creativity.
  • CBD – This component is non-psychoactive and well-known for its relaxing effects on the body, mind, and emotions.

So how do these components affect you? Each person has an endocannabinoid system that processes the cannabinoids in marijuana, as well as the natural cannabinoids your body produces.

When cannabinoids and terpenes interact with your endocannabinoid system, you can experience pain reduction, energy boosts, and sleep aids.

Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Let’s break down the analgesic effect of cannabis. According to client testimonials, many in the chronic pain community find relief from their chronic pain through marijuana, but how?

First, you have the pain-reducing effects of cannabinoids. When introduced to the body, they can:

  • Lower inflammation
  • Block or “turn off” pain receptors
  • Increase blood flow throughout the body and improve circulation

Marijuana is particularly useful for people with nerve-related damage and pain, like trigeminal neuralgia, because of its ability to block pain signals directly.

Research shows promise in the use of medical marijuana to fight the swelling associated with some neurodegenerative diseases, too. It may also help arthritic patients with joint soreness, and one formula already has government approval for use as an anti-seizure medicine.

Cannabis and Insomnia

A depressed young man suffering from insomnia lying in bedSome people use cannabis for chronic pain, others use cannabis for insomnia, and then there are those who use it for both.

This is because marijuana has been shown to help with:

  • Reduction of anxiety
  • Full body relaxation
  • Lowered physical and mental tensions
  • A sense of calm and reduced stress

When combined with the analgesic properties that soothe away aches and pains, many people find that they sleep longer, deeper, and with fewer interruptions when they use marijuana before bed.

CBD, THC, and Dialing In Your Dose

CBD is prized for its relaxation effects on the body and mind. Because it’s non-psychoactive, it’s promoted as a great alternative to THC-heavy strains. However, you may find that using CBD and THC together helps you sleep better.

Ultimately, marijuana is a highly personalized tool. Just as no two plants are exactly alike, no two endocannabinoid systems are, either.

So, do a little experimenting to find out what strain, dosage, method of consumption, and time of day work best for your goals. It’s recommended that, if you want pain relief and better sleep, you should try CBD-heavy strains closer to bedtime.

Getting Your Medical Marijuana Card

In most states, you’ll need a medical marijuana card to start on this healing journey. This is where TeleLeaf comes in—a company connecting you to the medical professionals you need.

Our open-minded, cannabis-informed providers can:

  • Talk through your health concerns
  • Determine the potential role of medical cannabis in your life
  • Provide a recommendation for medical cannabis
  • Help you complete any applications required for medical access in your state
  • Create a personalized treatment plan

With TeleLeaf, getting your medical card is easier than ever.

Adding Marijuana to Your Bedtime Routine

Once you’ve picked a product to try, it’s time to figure out how to incorporate it into your nightly routine. There are a few ways you could go about this.

Create a Safe Environment

Your experience with marijuana is often correlated with stimuli in your environment. To that end, make sure that:

  • You’re in a comfortable space
  • You feel safe and can go to sleep without any concerns
  • You don’t use marijuana for the first time if you’re stressed or in an unfamiliar place

Dial In Your Dose

Experimenting with your dosage and product is an important step to curating the best experience. For instance, if you try something with an equal mix of THC and CBD and it doesn’t work, try something CBD-heavy instead.

How you administer your marijuana can impact how you sleep, too. You may find it most relaxing to add a few drops of tincture to a hot beverage like tea or warm milk, or you might prefer hitting a vape before you drift off. Play around with different methods to find what works best, and don’t be afraid to mix up your routine now and then.

Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene

Marijuana can only do so much of the work. It’s equally important to practice good sleep hygiene, like:

  • Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature
  • Sleeping with the lights blocked out, or with an eye mask
  • Going to bed at roughly the same time every night
  • Limiting your screen time before bed

Creating a bedtime ritual can also help your body and brain realize it’s time to start winding down. You could take a hot bath and start reading a few hours before bed to get into sleep mode or work another relaxing activity into your pre-bed routine.

Get Cozy

Do you like big, fluffy blankets? Fairy lights and pillows? Or do you prefer open windows with a beautiful view? Pick your favorite room set-up and the most comfortable items you can think of to help you settle into a cozy state of mind and body.

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care tactics and quality sleep often go hand-in-hand. Throughout the day, prepare for a solid night’s sleep by:

  • Staying hydrated – Drink the recommended amount of water per day—hydration is critical to overall health and wellness.
  • Eating nutritious meals – If you’re not sure that you’re getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your food, consider adding a multivitamin to your routine.
  • Getting exercise – Even light exercise can improve your quality of life and help you burn off pre-sleep jitters.

Sleep Soundly With TeleLeaf

Medical marijuana for chronic pain takes center stage in modern holistic pain relief. With a rich history of medical use and scientific backing for its success, it’s a tried and true choice.

Whether you’re looking into cannabis for insomnia, pain relief, or both, there are easy ways to incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle. The first step? Getting your medical marijuana card.

Fortunately, TeleLeaf connects you with doctors who can provide medical marijuana recommendations for qualifying patients. We’ve been in your shoes before, and we know that fair treatment from open-minded providers is critical to a successful healing journey. After all, you deserve a helpful, guiding hand on your path to all-natural pain and insomnia relief.

If you’re ready to experience medical marijuana for yourself, contact TeleLeaf today.


Sources:

Americans for Safe Access. Patient’s History of Medical Cannabis.
https://www.safeaccessnow.org/patients_history_of_medical_cannabis

National Library of Medicine. Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/

National Library of Medicine. Medical Cannabis for Treatment of Chronic Pain.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK574562/

National Library of Medicine. Use of Cannabis to Relieve Pain and Promote Sleep by Customers at an Adult Use Dispensary.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823130/

Canabo. Comparison of CBD vs THC for Treating Sleep Issues.
https://www.cmclinic.ca/blog/comparison-of-cbd-vs-thc-for-treating-sleep-issues/

Dockside Cannabis. 5 Ways to Incorporate Cannabis Into Your Bedtime Routine.
https://www.docksidecannabis.com/dockside-blog/5-ways-to-incorporate-cannabis-into-your-bedtime-routine/

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