Marijuana for Insomnia

I have dealt with debilitating insomnia (with attendant peaks and valleys) for over a decade. I've tried the gamut, even a couple of marijuana strains. No results, except increased agitation in one instance. My body is stubbornly resistant to many treatments, unfortunately. I am curious as to whether others in similar straits have had success with marijuana, whether specific strains have worked best, or if working with a medical marijuana practitioner has helped to guide selection and success. My husband found a woman on Solano who charges $200 (naturallyhealingmd.com) for an initial consult, but I am leery of spending that when I have already tried this modality. Counsel eagerly sought. Thank you.

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RE: Marijuana for Insomnia ()

Insomnia can be caused by many things. You may be allergic to something you are eating or drinking. Or even smelling. I suggest going fragrance-free. Mint toothpaste can wake you up when it is time to start becoming drowsy. Have you tried melatonin? Magnesium? Benedryl? CBD? THC? Smoking? Drops? Do you have room-darkening curtains? 

RE: Marijuana for Insomnia ()

Someone at Harborside recommended a tincture containing THC that is specifically formulated for sleep. I have not tried it, but my friend who bought it said it's doing great things for her insomnia. Before spending money for a consult, maybe go to Harborside and ask someone there about their magical sleep tincture :) Good luck!

RE: Marijuana for Insomnia ()

I'm sorry you are struggling with insomnia. My young adult son and I both struggle with insomnia and have tried different approaches (many more for me with decades of it coming and going). Before doing anything else, it is important to rule out sleep apnea, particularly if you snore. There are many sleep clinics around, Stanford's is particularly good.

My son is convinced marijuana helps him and gets his product from legitimate producers who test their products. However, I am dubious, as his sleep seems very erratic and he is often up in the middle of the night for long periods of time. This has been going on for many months since he started relying on pot to sleep. 

I researched both scientific and popular sources which I will briefly summarize here: Today's marijuana products are significantly higher in THC content, and significantly lower in CBD content, than in marijuana of the past. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana and has potential to become habit forming. Initially, it can help one relax to fall asleep. However, with continued use, it appears to have a rebound effect where sleep becomes increasingly short and disrupted. (To which my son has responded by increasing of frequency of use throughout the night to get back to sleep.) It also appears to ease anxiety initially, yet increase anxiety with continued use. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and does not appear to have potential to become habit forming. It shows promise of calming properties with potential for sustainable sleep support. So, if you'd like to go the cannabis route, I'd suggest going to a good independent market (such as Country Sun in Palo Alto) that carries high quality supplements and give a CBD capsule formulated for sleep properties a try.

For myself, what I have found helpful is working on improving my sleep hygiene, as well as taking a few supplements. I have ruled out sleep apnea. What works for me is taking calcium, L-Theanine, and Gaia Herbs "SleepThu" and hour or so before bed, consistently for several weeks, then weening off as sleep improves. Various sleep hygiene approaches can be found online (very popular concept these days). What I find particularly helpful is going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (if you have an iPhone, Bedtime mode is helpful with this), weekends included (as much as possible), finishing my last light meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed, and turning off all electronics and dimming lights an hour before bed. I keep my bedroom dark and cool. When I wake during the night, I do not look at the clock or turn on a light. I use the bathroom if necessary, then meditate until I either fall back asleep (typically) or keep myself resting until it's time to wake (on a really bad night). There are various meditation apps and classes available, find one that works for you.

This is all very difficult if you have small children or disruptive teens or non-supportive spouses in the house! 

Wishing you a good night's sleep.