Many people experience insomnia or some kind of sleep disorder at some point in their life. This can be incredibly frustrating because a poor night’s sleep can negatively impact one’s health. In this episode, I discuss the many different kinds of sleep disorders, how they’re currently treated, and how cannabis might be used to treat them.
Many doctors start the management of sleep disorders by advising patients to exercise, lose weight, avoid stimulants, maintain a regular sleep schedule, avoid eating in bed, or stop watching TV in bed. Treating the disorders with non-pharmacological means is a sensible approach that educates the patient about healthy sleep habits.
The next step in treatment is pharmacological, prescribing drugs like melatonin, Adderall, or Ambien. But many of these drugs have side effects, especially in the elderly population. Sometimes the side effects can be rebound insomnia. That’s crazy! You’re taking a medication that’s supposed to help you sleep, but it makes you less tired.
Once you’ve tried all other therapies, and you’re still not having relief, it might be time to try cannabis. As a result of the prohibition on clinical cannabis trials, scientists have had to rely on word-of-mouth stories, but the stories are promising.
I talk about the biphasic nature of THC and its potential impact on sleeplessness and wakefulness. I explore CBD and some promising results we might see from it. I also think that CBN, a form of cannabinoid found in old, dry cannabis, has some interesting properties in it. CBN is said to be low in psychoactivity, which means it doesn’t get people high. It’s also said to have up to 5 times the sedative properties as THC.
There has never been a documented report that anyone has ever been killed with a cannabis product, but we definitely need more research to be done to understand the effects of cannabis and how it could help people. There are many promising signs, but no solid research yet.
- How common types of sleep disorders are usually treated.
- Why medication side effects hit the elderly population particularly hard.
- What CBN is, and how it could be used to treat sleeplessness.
- The difference between acute and chronic insomnia, and how that impacts treatment.
- What is rebound insomnia?
- How targeted therapy could be the future of pharmacy.
Mentioned In This Episode:
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This show is for educational purpose and should not be taken as medical advice. Welcome to Let’s Talk About Medical Weed with Dr. O, a clinical pharmacist certified in medical cannabis. Every week you’ll learn about alternative ways to improve your health and wellbeing using the healing power of botanicals such as cannabinoids. Here’s your host, Lola Ohonba.
Welcome to another episode of Let’s Talk About Medical Weed with Dr. O. My name is Lola Ohonba. Thank you for joining me today. I am a clinical pharmacist, also certified in medical cannabis. This show is for you if you are looking for alternative means to replenish lost energy during the daily activities. This show is also for you if you are a health care professional looking for means of counseling your patients or clients on cannabis and cannabinoid product. And finally, this show is for you if you are a young professional looking for means of replenishing lost energy.
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On today’s show, I will be talking about something that almost all of us have experienced at one time or the other in our lives and that is sleep. We have experienced sleeplessness or what I call insomnia at one point in our lives. So, we’ll be talking about sleep today. Today’s episode is titled, Is Cannabis My Potential Ticket To Full Night’s Sleep?
We will be looking into insomnia and other sleep disorders. We will also be looking at the management of insomnia and we will look into non-pharmacological ways of managing a slept disorder and we’ll look into the pharmacological ways of managing sleeplessness. And finally, we, we’ll look into the role that cannabis or cannabinoid products might help with the treatment of sleep disorder or control sleep disorder. We all know how exhausting and frustrating it can be when we try to sleep and we are unable to have a restful sleep.
So, what is in a sleep? Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night is called insomnia. Insomnia is basically when you try to sleep, you’re unable to sleep or restfully fall asleep. That’s what insomnia is. Insomnia can be in a different form. It can be a chronic insomnia. That means the sleeplessness has gone on for a long time. That would be chronic in nature and it can also be acute insomnia.
In the case of acute insomnia is for a short period of time. It’s not for extended period of time. Many of us have experienced some forms of acute insomnia at one time or another in our lives. Sometimes it happens when people are worried or very worried about, upset at particular issues or situation going on. It could also be due to stress over bad news or events.
Acute insomnia is often resolved within a short time. Like I said earlier, it is a short time sleeplessness and people might not need to have medication for the treatment of the acute insomnia. Sometimes we can just change our sleeping habits and that will control the effects of it. So, the acute kind of insomnia can occur maybe up to three nights per week or something like that.
So, in the case of acute insomnia is for a short time period, but when we talk about chronic insomnia, it effects up to 15% of our U.S. population. I don’t have the data for other part of the world, but here in the United States we have a data that shows the up to 15% of the population is affected by chronic insomnia. That is a lot of people are dealing with this condition. Most of them is more frequent like four or five times a week. It could be up to that. Chronic insomnia, it happens in different form. It manifests itself in different forms. The first one we’ll look at is the sleep apnea.
In the sleep apnea people experienced a shallow or stop breathing for a few seconds or minutes while sleeping. Basically, somebody sleeping and they stopped breathing for a few seconds or few minutes. That could be a little scary or not even scary at all. The symptoms can occur up to thirty times per hour in people that are experiencing sleep apnea. The breath is stopping, can occur up to thirty times per hour. That is really, really scary because when this happened, the whole body stopped breathing for that time that the situation is going on and we all know our body needs oxygen, that our brain needs oxygen. So, one second of us not having oxygen in our body can be really, really huge. So, this is a serious condition.
The most common form of a sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, which is also known as OSA, obstructive sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the airways of the lung, it collapses or is blocked during sleep. Basically, the area of the lung, part of the lung, is blocked or collapses during sleeping. This is can be very, very, very scary.
Some people suffering from sleep apnea, they often snore heavily, but not all people that are snoring because you are snoring doesn’t mean, oh my gosh, I have sleep apnea. No, it doesn’t
necessarily go that way. But a lot of the people that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, they experience a snoring situation. Sleep apnea could also be due to overweight, history of small air waves or like tonsils or adenoids. So, these are some of the situations that can cause sleep apnea. Now when we are overweight or we have a history of small airways or we have an enlarged tonsil or adenoid, all this can cause sleep apnea.
Insomnia can also manifest itself in form of what we call Restless Legs Syndrome. RLS, Restless Legs Syndrome. This occurs when there is a constant urge to move one’s leg. So, like when we are sleeping, so when we are sleeping and just continuously moving the leg that is called Restless Legs Syndrome. It can manifest itself in form of tingling, burning, creeping or crawling sensation. This urge to move legs makes it hard for people to fall or stay asleep.
Basically, you can even imagine yourself trying to, like sometimes you try to tickle somebody while they are sleeping, they keep moving their leg, there’s no way they can sleep. So, in Restless Legs Syndrome you are trying to sleep but something keeps stinging, burning, creeping, crawling. You just keep moving your leg, that’s an uncomfortable position to be.
So, what is the main cause of Restless Legs Syndrome? The main causes aren’t known but they said it could be due to low blood counts, as in anemia condition in pregnancy. For pregnant women, they can experience it on some medication also cause it. Another because they’ve talked about are the stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco or alcohol can make this symptom worse. So, stimulants like alcohol can worsen this situation.
So, the next sleep disorder we will be looking to is called narcolepsy. I know that is a mouthful, but narcolepsy basically mean uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. Basically, you cannot stop sleeping during the day. That is what narcolepsy means. And the next one we looked into is called Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder. When we talk about circadian rhythm, it basically means body system. Our sleep pattern is disturbed. So, when our sleep pattern is disturbed then our whole-body system changes. This can be due to changing sleep pattern, it’s a shift work condition.
Basically what that means is that for people that work like graveyard shifts when they go to work in the night and come back during the day, during the day, they are supposed to be able to sleep but the way our body is made is for us to sleep at night and be awake during the day. But for people that do shift work, that goes to work at night and come back during the day, this circadian rhythm, our body’s pattern of doing things is changed in them so they can experience the kind of sleep disorder that is called circadian rhythm.
Apart from a shift type of work, another form of way that we see circadian rhythm could be due to jet lag. Like when you’re traveling, changing times zone that could cause a sleep, a circadian rhythm type of sleep disorder. I remember when I was traveling to England a couple of years ago and when we got there, I mean, the different times here in United States on the, in England is about five hours, six to seven hours’ time difference. So, when we got there, I mean everybody there, everybody, I’m fine. When everybody is sleeping, I am wide awake doing all kinds of stuff when everybody wakes up during the day and it’s time for activities, I find myself unable to stay awake.
It was tough because I mean, we were supposed to be on vacation but I could barely even concentrate for about two days or so until I my rhythm, my bod’s system, my circadian rhythm kind of normalized to the time zone out there before I was able to even function. So, time zone, jet lag, a shift work pattern. Those are some of the reasons why people have a circadian rhythm types of sleep disorder.
Insomnia can also manifest itself in what is called parasomnia. So, what do we mean by parasomnia? What is parasomnia? I mean they are there so many different terms. I know some of my listeners are like, I mean we are not scientists. Yeah, we have so many names for all these things but I will try to break it down to the best of my ability. So, when we talk about parasomnia, it’s a type of sleep disorder that manifests itself in form of nightmare, sleep walking, sleep talking, terror, bedwetting and teeth grinding.
I mean when I was doing research on this topic, I was kind of surprised to see that, I mean bedwetting could be due to us not having enough sleep. So basically, when we having like the nightmare when we say, Oh I’m having a nightmare or somebody is sleep walking, somebody is sleep talking… All these scenarios are under the parasomnia sleep disorder.
Other causes of insomnia could be due to a medical condition like say heart disease, a respiratory condition like COPD, asthma, chronic pain, pregnancy. I mean, it makes sense. All these conditions people are constantly going through pain, they are… Like in the case of heart disease or respiratory conditions like a COPD or asthma, the people could barely even breathe. So if you’re unable to breathe, you are not able to get oxygen into your lung, you are not able to get oxygen into your brain, you are not able to get oxygen to every part of your body that needs it to work, to function for you to relax and sleep.
So, it would make sense when we have this situation on. In the case of a pregnancy, I mean, you have a human being living in the inside of you eating and taking everything, you’ve got. You have to carry this person around; that can be very, very uncomfortable. So, for pregnant women they tend to have a more insomnia, apnea, during the pregnancy.
Sleep disorder that can also be due to psychiatric conditions like depression, bipolar disorder,manic episodes, various forms of anxiety disorders, all these are some of the psychiatric conditions that could lead to sleeplessness. I mean, if you want to look into our previous episode the role of cannabinoid and mental health, mental health and cannabis, the role of cannabis in mental health, we delve deeply into mental health like depression, bipolar disorder,manic episode, and the role, the way cannabis might be able to help and alleviate some of these conditions.
For me, when I have some things on my mind, if I’m going through situations in my life, sometimes I’m unable to sleep. I just toss and turn or maybe some bad things are happening at a particular time, just can’t sleep. Other causes of sleeplessness could be due to a substance
abuse, like opioid drugs, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or sedatives. When we talk about sedatives, we talk about even the drugs that we use to manage sleep. They can also cause a sleeplessness sometime, like I’ve heard a situation of people taking drugs like Ambien and sleep walking or not even able to sleep at all. So, sedatives can also cause sleeplessness sometimes.
Pharmacological causes could be due to anticonvulsants. So, drugs like an anticonvulsant, that means the seizure drugs, antidepressants, these antidepressants, the drugs that we use for depression like the Cymbalta, imatrixolene and drugs like steroid stimulant drugs like ADHD drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin, Vyvanse… all these are ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Those are the kind of drugs that can cause insomnia or sleeplessness sometimes.
So how do we manage sleep disorder, sleeplessness, inability to have a restful sleep? How are these managed? We can go through the nonpharmacological therapy. When we say non-pharmacological, it means we are not using any form of drug. This should always be the first line of treatment when we’re even, not just for sleep disorder, any other disorder going on, any disease state, we want to try to manage it without using medication first.
After we have tried that form and it’s not working, then we can consider other options that is available to us. A lot of these symptoms that we see in acute or short-term insomnia or sleep disorder can be managed using education. We can educate people on a better way or sleeping. Behavioral changes and lifestyle modification are some of the ways that we can non-pharmacologically manage acute conditions.
Exercise, weight loss, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding stimulants like caffeine or coffee close to bedtime and area, a sleep area should be as comfortable as possible. We need to avoid TV or eating in bed. That is, that could be very tough. The part of TV could be very, very tough for some of us. The TV fanatics. For me, I love my HGTV, I love my House Hunters, House Hunters International and don’t even try to take Property Brothers from me.
I cannot do it. The Property Brothers, House Hunters, House Hunters International… Those are ways that even after work I use to relax myself and just chill. So, for me sometimes when I know that I really do need to sleep, I don’t care even if it’s Property Brothers going on at that time, Drew and Jonathan, those are my men. Even though they are the one going on at that time, I just have to say, you know what? You need to sleep now. I talk to myself and I’ll turn off the TV so we need to try to change sleeping habits. Some people are, they’ve gone as far as taking TV out of their room, which I think would be a very, very good idea both for people like us that are TV junkies, that’s how we relax, this is tough. But we do have to control how much we consume because we do need sleep.
Another non-pharmacological way that people try to manage acute insomnia is meditation and muscle realization. Some people do yoga, some people do meditation. It works for some people, but it doesn’t work for some, but there’s no harm in trying. So, for people that are very flexible, they can try yoga. For people that are not as flexible, they can try meditation. For people that feel like, Hey, I can do both, I’m flexible and I can relax with meditation, whatever works will be a good idea.
So, next we’ll look into the pharmacological ways of managing a sleep disorder. When we talk about pharmacological way, we are talking about using medication to control or manage the disorder. Managing sleep disorder with pharmacological ways depends on the kind of sleep disorder that we are dealing with. We have different kinds, like we talked about it earlier.
So, for daytime sleepiness, some people like when during the day they are sleepy, those are in form of narcolepsy. Daytime sleepiness, stimulants might be best way to use for those kinds of treatment. So, for people that have trouble keeping awake during the day, they can use stimulants. What stimulants does is kind of just like in the name, it stimulates you, it helps you to keep awake.
Some of the stimulants that are used like Provigil, Nuvigil, Modafinil and Adderall or like an amphetamine kind of product, like Adderall. For our listener outside United States, I don’t know what names these medications are called but here in United States the Adderalls are the Modafinil, and the Nuvigils, those are the stimulants that we tend to use for the daytime type of sleeplessness. For the nighttime sleeplessness, meaning that you can’t have sleep, you can’t sleep at night, the common agents that we use are melatonin, benzodiazepine, those are like the Restoril and it’s also called Temazepam. These are short term drugs that I use.
Then we also have the non-benzodiazepine one. These are the non-benzo. So, some people have heard about benzo. They have a lot of side effects but the non-benzo type is the Ambien or also called Zolpidem. For Zolpidem, all these are prescription. Sometimes you can get the melatonin over the counter at the pharmacy or the grocery store. A lot of these pharmacological drugs they tend to have a major side effect, especially in the elderly population. So, sometimes it’s tough for people to use a pharmacological means of managing sleep because of these side effects.
So far, the non-benzo diazepam these are, like I said, the Ambien, the Zolpidem… Some of the side effect I would say in those kinds of drug dry mouth, urinary retention, like an example of those kinds of drugs that does that are the Ambien, the Benadryl, they give you dry mouth or urinary retention. What that means is when you go to the bathroom, you’re unable to fully empty your bladder. Especially, this can be challenging in men.
Some of the side effects that we see in the benzodiazepine type of medication. Example of benzo is the Temazepam. This one, they give us drowsiness, decrease in concentration or memory loss, rebound insomnia with high dose possible. When you talk about rebound insomnia, basically you are taking a medication to help you to sleep, but instead of this medication helping you to sleep it’s now helping now causing you to be awake.
So instead of you sleeping, now you are awake. That is kind of screwed up right there. It’s kind of weird. Okay, I’m trying to sleep, they say oh this medication is going to help me sleep and now I took this medication… Instead of me falling asleep, I’m awake. It would be like, that is so messed up! But some of this medication, I’ve had a situation with Ambien whereby you have a rebound insomnia with that medication and that is one of the most common medication that is used in insomnia.
Another reason why people sometimes don’t want to take the pharmacological products, the drugs, are because of all these side effects listed of drowsiness, urinary retention, especially in the elderly population. The elderly population, they are already going through a lot of these situations like urinary retention especially in men, decreased concentration, memory loss, all of these are some of the situations that the elderly populations are already going through. So, when you take a medication that is going to worsen that effect, that is very problematic. When you already have the risk of fall and you take another medication that is going to hasten you to fall, that can be a problem.
Another reason, when you talk about urinary retention, you have this drug, if you are causing urinary retention, a lot of man especially like I said in the elderly population, people they already having what we call BPH… that’s benign prostatic hyperplasia. I know that’s a mouthful, but basically what that is an enlarged prostate, the prostate is enlarged. When the prostrate is enlarged, it is squeezed into the urinary path. And basically, what that does is that people who are unable to empty, fully empty, their bladder… So, you, this is part of growing up as a man, part of aging as a man.
So, when people are already going through that, when you take some of this medication and it worsens it, it makes it really bad for, for people in that population. So, even if the doctor recommends this drug to help with sleep or help with other condition, they wouldn’t want to take the medicine. So, if you are not taking your medicine, then you are not going to get well. So, that brings me to cannabis and sleep disorder. How can cannabis help in sleep disorder? What can we use cannabis for? In what way, what mechanism is it using, even if it’s able to help in controlling sleeplessness. So, for people that have tried behavioral therapy, you have tried to do yoga, you have tried to meditate or even tried conventional therapy like the medication, the drugs, and were still not having relief, cannabis can be their ticket to this so-called elusive sleep.?
So, how is cannabis able to help? As a result of the prohibition and limited clinical trials, scientists have had to rely on word of mouth from people that are using cannabis to measure the effectiveness of the drug in a sleep disorder. And not just in sleep disorder, also in other condition because the drug is still not federally legal. Some States have legalized it but it’s still not federally legal. But hemp derived CBD product, hemp derived are hemp derived cannabis, those are federally legal, but the one with the highest THC, THC from 5% and above, those are not federally legal yet.
So, because of the legalization situation, people have had to rely on word of mouth from people that have used it. According to evidence collected from cannabis users, cannabis and cannabinoid products help with signs and symptoms of insomnia and helps improve sleep. Cannabis is also said to help with sleep apnea and other daytime sleeping disorders, such as shift work sleep disorder. Clinical studies have shown that cannabis positively affects sleep qualities and duration.
Evidence from cannabis users also shows that cannabinoid products helps people not just to fall asleep quickly but stay asleep longer and wake up well rested without the tiredness or grogginess often seen in traditional pharmaceuticals such as Ambien. I mean, like I said earlier, you take a medication like Zolpidem and people talked about waking up in the night and walking to the fridge without even knowing what they are doing. People have a complaint about rebound insomnia whereby you take the medicine and you are not even able to sleep. Instead of sleeping, you are awake all night long. People have even tried to try to drive while they didn’t even know they were driving. That could be dangerous, not just even for this person themselves alone, but those of us that are with them on the road. That is a scary thought.
So how is cannabis able to help improve sleep? What are the mechanisms that it uses? From our previous episode, episode three of this show, we talked about the endocannabinoid system. I call it the body’s super computer. The endocannabinoid system, that is the system in our body that the cannabis, the CBD, the THC, the CBG, they bind to that system. And that is how you see the effects of the plants when people use this plant.
So, the endocannabinoid system studies show that the ECS, endocannabinoid system, regulates our body’s homeostasis. Basically, what that does when we say homeostasis, this is everything going on in our body. This system is regulating it: sleep, waking up, whatever, sex, whatever you are doing in your life. And the endocannabinoid system, that is a system in our body that is what controls all that. And according to scientists, they found out this system also controls our sleep and wakefulness.
Chemicals found in the brain called serotonin helps to control sleep and wakefulness. So, the chemicals in our brain, our body produces this chemical that is called serotonin. Some people might have heard about it. This is what controls our sleep and our wakefulness. So, endocannabinoid system is said to produce this chemical. So, what we are saying is the serotonin that is needed for sleep is regulated in the endocannabinoid system that is found in our body. This serotonin is also used for a synthesis of melatonin.
Melatonin is made from serotonin. This is the hormones in our body that helps with sleep. Even when you go to the store, we buy melatonin over the counter here in the United States. Out there in Europe or in Africa or in Asia, I’m not sure if you are able to purchase some melatonin over the counter but here in the United States we can go to the pharmacist, say Walgreens, and grab a bottle of serotonin. And what do people use it for? We use it for sleep. Where is it manufactured? Melatonin is manufactured, produced from serotonin. Serotonin is regulated by the endocannabinoid system in our body. And this same endocannabinoid system is where cannabis, CBD, THC, CBG, they all bind to this system. So, you can see how this whole system is working. It’s like interwoven, hand-in-hand.
Studies have shown that sleep is reduced when there’s a decrease in serotonin activity or destruction of the part of the brain where serotonin is produced. So, the part of the brain that produces serotonin is called do dorsal raphe nucleus. In the dorsal raphe nucleus, serotonin is produced. So, when this part of the brain is destroyed or there is less production of this serotonin, there is a problem with our sleep and waking pattern.
It has also been said a high level of serotonin promotes wakefulness, while low levels promote sleep. So, if we have high levels of serotonin in our body, it keeps us awake. If we have low levels of serotonin in our body, it keeps or helps us to sleep. So, probably those people with narcolepsy like daytime sleepiness, they probably have low level of serotonin at that time of the day. So, depending on what types of sleep disorder we are going through, we can, the level of serotonin in the body can be controlled by the endocannabinoid system to meet our body’s requirement.
Another chemical that is produced in our body, in our brain, that helps with sleep disorder is called GABA. GABA is another chemical in the brain that helps in sleep disorder. It works by what they call an inhibitory function. Cannabis and cannabinoid are said to increase the inhibitory properties of GABA, which results in improvement of sleep. Basically GABA. Many people have used Gabapentin, Neurontin for neuropathic pain or diabetic neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy.
So, this same mechanism that you see in your Gabapentin or Neurontin, that is what we are seeing here. Cannabis and cannabinoids, they help increase the inhibitory properties of GABA. The way GABA works is it inhibits and causes improved sleep. So, cannabis helps in this process.
So, next we will look specifically into the cannabinoids. Earlier we just talked generally about the cannabis but right now I want to look into specific cannabinoids. So, the first one I’m going to look into is the role of THC in insomnia. High THC, high dose THC is said to cause hyper activities such as increased heart rate, palpitation and wakefulness. So, THC, I mean everybody know when you have high THC in your body, it’s like you’re having a high stimulant. THC is kind of a stimulant too.
So, what it does is increase your heart rate, it increases palpitations, it also keeps you awake. So, for people that want to be awake, that might be a targeted therapy for that specific situation, but a low dose THC, when THC is in a low dose, it is said to induce calmness and sleep. So, THC, high THC, will give you wakefulness to keep you awake. Low dose THC will help you to be calm and sleep. This is one of the game changers when it comes to cannabis and cannabinoids, management of a disease stage or any conditions at all.
The biophysics nature of cannabis is second to no other system, no other plant. No other drug is able to do that, that when you have it in high dose, you have a particular effect and when you have it in low dose, it can produce another type of effect that is totally opposite to the first one. This is really, really, really unique. I normally call cannabis a multi-tasker, the number one multi- tasker of mankind, that is ever known to mankind.
I have different names for cannabis. I call it two face; I call it multi-tasker because it’s a two face. One face it goes, it talks to this person. The next time it goes back and talks to, do a totally different thing. But this is the uniqueness of cannabis. There are no other botanicals, no other drugs, no other plants can do that. The ability to be able to do this, one thing at one time and go back and do something totally different is just amazing.
The next cannabinoid that we’ll look into is CBD. This is cannabidiol and the role in insomnia. In clinical studies, CBD is said to increase wakefulness in well-lit environment but not in the dark. So, when you have light during the day, CBD helps to keep you awake. That is another bio physic nature of cannabinoid. In the case of THC, high THC will keep you awake. Low THC will help you to sleep.
In the case of CBD, when there is light CBD helps you to be awake. When there is darkness, then CBD will help you to sleep. It has been proposed that CBD’s anti-anxiety properties can be employed for nighttime sleeplessness. So apart from helping you to be awake during the day when there is light, during the night CBD can be used to help with calmness because it has anti-anxiety properties. Because it can calm you down, calm people, have that calming properties, it can be used for sleeplessness during the night.
So, for people that have symptoms like narcolepsy, shift work, those people that work graveyard and trying to sleep during the day, they can use low dose THC to help with sleep. For people that want to be awake during the day, they can use CBD to help during the day and for the nighttime they can use the anti-anxiety properties of CBD to help with calmness and sleep.
This is the future of medicine. I keep saying it is targeted therapy. What targeted therapy means is that they target a particular agent or drug or whatever are using… it is going to be targeted to your specific situation. Eventually, it’s not going be a one size fits all and that is going to be because we are not all the same. Our bodies are not the same. We have made up of different genes, different compositions. So, why should we have medication or anything at all that we’re going to say, okay, take this… this is for everybody. So, the future of medicine, I can see it as being a patient centered, targeted dosing, targeted therapy, targeted dosing will be the future of medicine.
The next cannabinoid I will be looking into is the CBN and insomnia? CBN is a form of cannabinoid like CBD and THC. Actually, this one is not from the actual plant. This particular chemical is found in dry cannabis, old cannabis. That’s where you find mostly CBN. It can be seen in fresh cannabis but high quantity of CBN is found in old cannabis and is said to be low in psychoactivity. That means it does not get people high.
When you have high THC, that’s when people have the psychoactive part. But this particular CBN does not have high psychoactivity. So, what it does is it helps people to sleep. When I was doing research on this particular topic, I was like my goodness, even old cannabis that is old, ideally on the regular day, normally we will throw old stuff away, but in the case of CBD, THC, CBN, cannabis, that is totally opposite of the norms.
Instead of throwing your CBD, instead of throwing your THC away, we might have to keep hold of it now because now we are finding out that CBN is from old cannabis and it has a very high percentage of sleep agents in it. So, when we are looking at CBN, I was thinking, my goodness, normally the traditional therapeutics like our medication that we get from the pharmacy, we have the expiration date. Whenever it is expired, we advise people to throw it away. Don’t take an expired drug. But in the case of cannabis we are finding out that that is totally the opposite. So, instead of throwing old cannabis away we are finding out that it can also still help with sleep.
Cannabis is really what I call a medical rebel. It’s an outlier. It does not conform to the traditional norms. It is not going to be boxed up. It just does its own thing. It is amazing. It is just a game changer. CBN is said to have up to five times more sedative properties compared to THC and THC is already sedative enough. When you see people that smoke marijuana, you know that they are kind of groggy, they are kind of a little slow, that is the part of the calmness that THC brings to you.
So, THC is already sedative in nature, but we are finding out that CBN has five times the sedative properties that is seen in TAC. So, basically what that means is that this agent, we can harness these properties and package it into products that people can use to help them to sleep. It is just great to know that. Finally, we’ll be looking at the role of terpenes in sleep disorder. We talk about terpenes and we cannot even emphasize the uniqueness of terpenes enough.
Terpenes are found in fruit, in all botanicals, the smells that you find around you, they are as a result of terpenes. So, what are the roles of terpenes in sleep disorder? Terpenes such as linalool, myrcene fond in lavender and mango respectfully have been shown to enhance sedative properties of cannabis. So, terpenes are not, it’s not just part of the chemicals that is found in cannabis. It’s also found in other plants. The smell from ginger is your terpene. The smell from your orange smell is terpene.
So, what it does is it enhances the effect of cannabis or CBD or THC or whatever cannabinoid you are using, terpenes adds to its effects. That’s why single molecules like dronabinol, Marinol, they cannot be the whole plant extract. The whole plant extracts of cannabis or botanicals, they have terpenes, aromatic carbons, all these other chemicals. They also add to the effectiveness of this botanicals.
So, what we found out that linalool, it’s the smell from your lavender. When you smell your lavender, what you are smelling is linalool. When you have your mango, the smell of mango is from myrcene. Myrcene is the smell that you get from, from mango and these two are terpenes. They have been found to enhance the sedative properties of cannabis. Even some of our aromatic oils that we use in our homes, they are in lavender and what lavender does is it calms and relaxes you. When you are calm and relaxed you are able to sleep.
More study is necessary to validate the effectiveness of cannabis therapy. But with relatively low side effects compared to other pharmaceuticals, it is worth looking into… It is very smart. It will be a smart thing for cannabis to be looked into and try to harness the properties, the goodness that is seen in this plant to help with sleep.
Again, like I said in my previous episode, no official documentation of cannabis killing anybody. There has never been documented report that States that people overdose on cannabis or cannabinoid products. Compare it to other agents where people get take this medication and they overdose, people take other medication and they are sleepwalking… it just, it would be a great thing to have more research done on cannabis and cannabinoid products and be able to harness this amazing property that nature has given us. Hey, gang, that’s our show today. I would like to say thank you for you guys for listening in. I do appreciate you guys. For those of you that subscribe to the show, I’m very appreciative for those of you that are patreons, that are helping us with keeping the show going. We are very, very grateful. I’m very, very grateful.
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