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Did you know it’s estimated that one in four Canadians struggles with insomnia? This means around 8 million adults have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep on a regular basis. This figure doesn’t include the people who live with other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.

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

Although scientists can easily show why sleep is important for human health, they’ve had a more difficult time developing effective treatments to help people get to sleep. Sleeping pills and opioid treatments are some options, but they’re not always the best.

Can medical cannabis help you improve your sleep?

So far, research studies seem to say yes. There are a few ways medical marijuana could help you improve your sleep. As research piles up, more Canadians are choosing cannabis to help them get a good night’s rest.

Medical Cannabis Is Effective

Many patients report cannabis helps them get to sleep sooner and stay asleep longer. While some strains are designed to keep you awake and energetic, others will help you feel drowsy and relaxed.

There are a few reasons medical marijuana appears to be effective in treating sleep disorders. The first is that it reduces pain. Chronic pain is a common reason for insomnia. Both THC and CBD appear to have painkilling qualities.

THC is also renowned for its ability to put people to sleep. Scientists are still studying the exact pathways for the action, and other cannabinoids may play a role in helping you achieve a better sleep schedule.

Cannabis Is Safer

Another reason Canadians are turning to medical marijuana to assist with sleep disorders is that it’s a safer option than many of the other treatments out there.

If you’ve been thinking about sleeping pills or opioid treatments to help you get to sleep at night, you should know both options come with side effects. They’ve also been proven to be highly addictive. Their use can result in overdose and accidental death. There’s also evidence that using sleeping pills regularly leads to an increased risk of death.

Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has been shown to be much less addictive. It’s also very difficult, if not impossible, to overdose on cannabis. If you plan to use something as a sleep aid over the long term, cannabis is a better choice.

It Can Improve Your Sleep

Some studies have pointed out that THC in particular seems to act on the sleep cycle. It seems to reduce the number of rapid-eye movement (REM) stages while increasing phases 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle where deep sleep is often achieved. This translates to longer periods of deeper, more restful sleep.

People who use cannabis may find it helps them improve their sleep. If you’ve been sleeping, but are waking up feeling distinctly unrested, medical cannabis might be the right solution for you.

Sleep Is Important for Your Health

Getting a good night’s sleep is important, but just how important is it really? You may feel a little groggy or sluggish, but you’ll get through the day.

Chronic sleep deprivation, even in small amounts, has been linked to other health issues. People who sleep less than six hours a day have a higher risk of obesity. A lack of sleep can also increase your risk of heart disease. In addition, it lowers your creativity and your productivity.

If you think medical cannabis could be right for you, talk to your doctor or schedule an appointment at a medical cannabis clinic. Better sleep could be near at hand.


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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