Written by Ljubica Kostovic for GrowWise Health.
Sleep has a significant impact on health. Good quality sleep helps the brain battle inflammation and the immune system ward off illness. A lack of sleep counteracts the body’s ability to cope with daily stressors in life and can pose additional challenges for patients living with chronic conditions. Patients who suffer from insomnia and other sleep conditions often report experiencing constant fatigue, difficulty focusing and memory problems. A lack of quality sleep can further exacerbate a patient’s medical condition and can make the management of symptoms extremely difficult. For patients living with chronic pain, it can make it difficult to break the cycle of chronic pain by exacerbating feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.
Although sleep deprivation is a global issue and 40% of Canadians suffer from insomnia, only 25% of patients seek medication to aid with sleep. Even fewer patients find symptom relief with minimal side-effects from traditional pharmaceutical options. With the many changes in the medical cannabis space in Canada, more and more patients are looking to cannabis as an effective solution for helping provide good quality sleep.
Cannabis is often used by patients to help them get to sleep and stay asleep. Studies show that high cannabinoid levels promote sleep, and that THC is highly sedative. In an interview with Leafly, Dr. Kymron de Cesare, the Chief Research Officer of Steep Hill Labs, notes that as cannabis ages, some of the THC degrades into cannabinol, or CBN, which is 5 times more sedating than THC.