How beneficial is Cannabis for sleep apnea?

How beneficial is Cannabis for sleep apnea?

Sleep is essential for good health, promoting both physical and cognitive restoration. However, millions struggle with sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which disrupts breathing during sleep and can lead to serious health consequences. Traditional therapies exist to manage sleep apnea, but some individuals are exploring alternative approaches, including medical marijuana. While some studies suggest marijuana may have sleep-promoting effects, more research is needed to determine its efficacy and safety for managing sleep apnea.

In this article, we will focus on sleep apnea and its signs while discussing the role of medical cannabis in managing it.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which the inability to breathe stops and starts during sleep, causing the sufferer to wake up repeatedly. This condition is caused by the collapse of your airway during sleep, which creates an imbalance of airflow in and out of your lungs.

What Types 

According to research, there are two general types of sleep apnea: central (caused by blockage of the airway) and obstructive (caused by narrowing of the airway). Obstructive sleep apnea is typically accompanied by reduced blood flow through the brain and may lead to problems with thinking and memory. 

If you experience sleepiness during the day, you might have obstructive sleep apnea, which can cause daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea can become a challenging issue for individuals if it goes undiagnosed.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

Sleep apnea is a common condition that can cause serious health problems. Thus, it is necessary to carefully analyze its symptoms to rule out the cause and treatment.   Among the signs of Sleep apnea are:

  • loud snores 
  • loss of breath     
  • dry mouth after sleep 
  • morning sickness or
  • headaches   
  • insomnia
  • hypersomnia
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Irritability

If you notice any of these, speaking with a competent healthcare expert is essential. A doctor can rule out your condition and devise coping strategies for the health issue.

Sleep Study and Treatment Options

When you suffer from sleeping apnea, you may experience sleep paralysis, awakenings, and feelings of choking. The physician may conduct a sleep study to identify sleep issues. Treatment options like continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines, oral devices, weight loss and life style modifications are common but have their side effects. 

If these therapies do not work, surgery to fix the condition causing your sleep apnea may be advised. Sleep apnea can affect your ability to concentrate, take decisions, recall things etc. This disorder has also been related to significant health issues.

Sleep and mental health

Sleep allows your brain to function correctly. It helps to develop new pathways to assist you in learning and remembering things and carrying out daily chores. 

Research shows that a good night’s sleep boosts cognitive health and problem-solving abilities. It also improves one’s ability to focus, make decisions, and be creative. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation alters brain activity in some areas. 

Sleep-deprived individuals may have difficulty interacting with others. They may become irritable and impulsive, experience mood swings, or experience sadness.

However, treatment options, including sleep studies and therapy devices in some cases, may not be enough. Some patients require proper medication and even surgery. The medicines used for sleep apnea can cause side effects, making medicinal alternatives like medical marijuana an alternative option.

Want to know more? Let us explore how medical marijuana can be used for Sleep apnea.

Use of medical marijuana for Sleep Apnea

Many equipment and therapies, such as tongue-retaining devices and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, can help control sleep apnea symptoms and are in use. Nonetheless, they may not always be comfortable for some individuals.

In recent times, medical marijuana has gained significant interest as a potential option by researchers as a sleep promoting drug. While some studies indicate that marijuana can work as an effective sleep aid, additional high-quality study is needed to fully comprehend the effects of THC, CBD, and other marijuana chemical compounds.

When patients take medical marijuana, the drug affects the endocannabinoid system responsible for various activities such as sleep, mood and pain perception. Additionally, medical cannabis can help by lowering discomfort from any underlying issue that may impact sleep, allowing the patient to sleep soundly.

However, only a skilled physician can identify which marijuana strain and form is most suited for each instance. THC is more psychoactive and produces a “high sensation,” whereas CBD is less psychoactive and has the opposite effect. Also, THC compound in marijuana is known for inducing sleep. However, CBD can help with alertness during the day, especially if you are exhausted or tired.

Despite its calming effects on the mind and body, medical marijuana is not a first-line treatment for sleep apnea. As a result, if you wish to use medical marijuana in your sleep apnea therapy, you must consult with licensed healthcare professionals to receive personalized medical marijuana advice.

Conclusion

Sleep apnea is a worrisome disorder that can severely affect your health. However, you can improve your condition by using the right treatment approach. Medical cannabis use is a considerable option in this regard as it has shown promising results due to its chemical compounds. However, you must discuss your symptoms with an MMJ doctor before using medical cannabis for sleep apnea.

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