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Just as cannabis’s sedative effects make it an effective pain-reliever, those same effects make it an excellent sleep aid.

Download "Why More Patients Are Turning to Cannabis for Pain Relief" e-book

If you’ve recently been authorized to use medical cannabis as a sleep aid, these five tips can help you use it correctly and safely. Using this advice, you can get more from this treatment option.


1. Make Sure You Have the Right Medical Cannabis Strain

The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure you’re using the right strain of cannabis to help you get to sleep. There are hundreds of different strains, and they have different effects.

Some strains will not help you get to sleep at all, so these are best avoided. Sativa strains are often noted for having uplifting effects, helping people feel more energized. That said, some sativas are good sleep aids. Most people prefer indica strains when they’re trying to get some shut-eye, however.

The method of consumption also matters. Vaporizing tends to help initiate sleep whereas oils or capsules can help maintain sleep.


2. You Should Still Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Medical marijuana shouldn’t be the only step in your treatment regime, however, so you should remember to keep up with good sleep hygiene practices.

Good sleep hygiene includes establishing a bedtime routine, going to sleep around the same time, and reducing your screen time before hitting the hay.


3. Do Not Mix Cannabis with Other Sleep Aids

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, you may be tempted to double up on your sleep aids. If you’ve been using sleep aids such as sleeping pills or opioid medications, you might decide to continue using them once you’ve been authorized medical cannabis.

This can be quite dangerous, and you should avoid using multiple chemical sleep aids as much as possible. If you are dependent on sleeping pills or opioids, use medical marijuana to help reduce or eliminate them from your routine.


4. Be Sure to Store Your Medication Properly

Storing your medical marijuana properly is important. One reason is that it keeps everyone in your household safe.

Another good reason to ensure you’re storing your medication properly is so that it continues to work properly. Cannabis that has been stored incorrectly may lose its potency, as cannabinoids like THC and CBD break down. In turn, you may find you need to take more or still have trouble sleeping.


5. Consult with Your Health Care Professionals

If you’re using medical marijuana as a sleep aid, but you’re still having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or getting quality rest, talk to your doctor or the experts at a medical cannabis clinic.

Be sure to check in with them to report your progress. They can help you make adjustments to your sleep hygiene or your medical cannabis authorization, and even help you by making recommendations to help you manage stress and anxiety.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be using medical cannabis to get to sleep safely in no time.


why-more-patients-are-turning-to-cannabis-for-pain-relief

Dr. Michael Verbora

Michael earned an MBA from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering a Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto. A member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Doctors for Responsible Access and the Canadian Pain Society, he has completed over 2,000 cannabinoid therapy consultations and has presented many talks in community and hospital settings while serving as student health physician at Seneca College and Medical Director, Canabo Medical Clinic.

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