Sleeping is as important as any human being’s breathing and eating. But sleep disorder also occurs which causes difficulty for some people. Learning what you need to know about cannabis and sleep apnea is thus very essential as they may have an important connection to each other.
Cannabis or marijuana is a sought-after plant for hundreds of years now due to its very useful effects for both recreational and medicinal functions. It contains THC and CBD as its main properties which are the bringers of delight and relief to patients and users. Each of them fulfills an important role in the lives of many people.
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the substance found in cannabis that helps with delivering a psychoactive effect to stoners. THC brings a mind-altering impact on the brain that makes someone feel euphoric, relaxed, motivated, and focused.
On the other hand, CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring substance in cannabis that helps as a treatment for certain illnesses. CBD does not cause mental sedation among users, and instead, brings a kind of physical effect that helps with pain relief, headaches, muscle pain, menstrual cramps, fatigue, and many more.
As such, marijuana is constantly being studied for more usefulness and benefits that help prevent and cure various medical conditions. And this time, cannabis is being connected to sleep apnea which is a disorder that is becoming rampant nowadays.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition wherein the term “apnea” is related to difficulty in breathing while sleeping. Since the discovery of this disorder, there are already millions of people who were diagnosed with it as well as with its other types.
Sleep apnea entails having pauses in your breathing while you are asleep that is dangerous and very risky because of your lack of oxygen within your body, especially your brain. At the same time, another big reason why it’s risky is the fact that you are not aware of what’s happening to you because you are asleep. All your consciousness and control and control over your body are far away in your sleep.
Such kind of breathing may take only a few seconds or minutes and sometimes, in worst cases, an hour or longer. The normal breathing of a patient goes back afterward but with choking or snorting sound.
There are three types of sleep apnea that most adults suffer from and it includes:
- OSA – medically known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is the most rampant and common type. This is the condition that involves the collapsing of one soft tissue located at the back of your throat which closes whenever you are sleeping.
- CSA – also called the Central Sleep Apnea; this type is all about blockage which occurs in the airway. Without oxygen, the brain stops sending messages and commands to the muscles inside one’s body that thus fail to breathe.
- MSA – or Mixed Sleep Apnea, is the worst condition of all three because it tends to combine the result of the other two types.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing yourself if you have this sleep disorder is easy and you can just consult the list below for the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. You must remember, however, that each effect may be different from one person to another.
- Reported frequent pauses in your breathing while you are asleep. This may be observed by another person who sleeps beside you or near you but not yourself.
- Waking up with your mouth feeling dry
- Snoring so loud
- Gasping for some breather while asleep
- Irritable feeling
- Headaches in the morning
- Hypersomnia or the frequent sleepy feeling
What you Need to Know about Cannabis and Sleep Apnea
Various types of cannabis are now available in the market for your consumption. For recreation or medical purposes, you can rely on cannabis to be safe and effective. However, being careful about choosing a bud variety for treating sleep apnea is greatly necessary as some strains bring energizing, uplifting, and euphoric highs which might hinder you also from getting sound sleep at night.
As mentioned earlier, THC is a substance that cannabis contains. That substance is the main ingredient from weeds that are used to treat sleep apnea. In a successful study in 2008, it was found that higher THC helps manage sleep by lowering the occurrence of REM sleep of a person. REM sleep stage is when your mind creates dreams and nightmares as well.
The idea behind that which experts found useful for treating sleep apnea is that, with less time for dreaming, patients are also saved from the deep sleep condition. Unfortunately, REM sleep is crucial to get full rest or relaxation for the body which you cannot enjoy if you have sleep apnea. It is a vital stage in one’s sleep that helps with cognitive and immune functions of the body.
Properties of Cannabis that Help With Sleep Apnea
Aside from the THC and CBD properties that cannabis contains, other elements are in it that are less popular compared to those two. Below is a breakdown of their names and their description which you must learn before deciding to use marijuana for your sleep apnea.
- CBN or cannabinol which appears in any aged or mature cannabis buds. After some time, cannabis mature and THC is naturally transformed into CBN.
- Terpenes – less popular than cannabinoids but functions just as effective and efficient, too. However, they also have vital uses to your body which includes its ability to influence your sleep routine. Terpenes are small and fragrant particles in cannabis. They give away a strong smell and a strong smell that relaxes your mind and body instantly. Some of its types are myrcene, limonene, terpineol, and linalool.
Side Effects of Cannabis to Sleep Apnea
You can find a lot more about cannabis and its uses including its side effects. Yes, there are side effects acquired in smoking or using weeds and some of them are on the list below.
- It makes you hungry. Users report about feeling hungry more often than when they are not taking cannabis which caused them to gain a lot of weight. With sleep apnea, it might be risky at some point. To avoid heavy gain weight, then turning to healthier snacks would be the answer.
- It makes your eyes red. Like what has been said about cannabis, this is true and real. But the good news is that you can just buy a not prescribed eye drop at a pharmacy.
- It gives you respiratory problems. Mostly, this is for those who smoke cannabis and inhale smoke. Patients do not have to smoke cannabis to be cured. You can try it some other way still with the help of cannabis such as edibles and tinctures.
- It makes you feel drowsy. A lot of cannabis has been reported to because of drowsiness in users particularly to those who take it during the day. As a solution to this, you can try changing the time of your consumption instead.
- It makes you feel thirsty and with a dry throat. Some cannabis strain also is like this which causes you to feel more thirsty than usual. By chewing xylitol-filled gums and drinking more water, you can be saved from this.
5 Cannabis Strains for Sleep Apnea
From the various strains of marijuana that you can buy from online and local dispensaries, only five strains were claimed to be great for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. The list below may help you identify them easier in case you find yourself suffering from this illness.
- OG Kush – a highly popular and bestselling cannabis strain in all aspects. This strain can solve several medical issues aside from sleep disorders. It’s got a good percentage of 90% indica genetics that made it a remarkable bud variety. Unwind and be calm for the long hours that this cannabis strain’s high will be with you.
- Blackberry Kush – a cannabis strain that contains a THC level that is as high as 20% which offers a speedy high in no time. An instant sleepy feeling will be felt and let you stay peaceful while lying down in your bed. Its rich trichomes promise a lot of benefits for users and growers alike, giving away a fruity sweet smell and the taste of grapes, berry, and other sweet flavors.
- Northern Lights – an amazing descendant of Afghani origin that’s been existing for many years now and has very rich flavors. A great and powerful effect of 19% THC shall be yours if you try this cannabis, causing you to be euphoric and relaxing. Aside from sleep apnea, you can also use this to cure chronic pain, anxiety, and depression for its very soothing effects.
- Grape Ape – it’s got a sweet grape taste and resembles also the violet color of such fruit. Its parents were the Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and the original Afghani strain. It has 90% indica genes, delivering a strong feeling of sleepiness and relief from conditions like migraines and arthritis, too. With that, this bud is considered as a powerful nighttime bud for getting a nice sleep at night.
- Critical Kush – combined with its soaring high THC level of 25%, this cannabis strain’s genetics proves its reputation as a cure to sleep disorders. Critical Kush will make you feel more relaxed and comforted with an earthy or spicy feeling. With just a few drops of this cannabis, you are sure to be free from pain, anxiety, depression, and some injuries, too.
The risk that sleep apnea brings should not be ignored nor taken for granted as it can lead to death if not treated sooner. Taking innovative medications like medical marijuana should be taken if it is what will make you feel better and forget about your fear of its addictive effect. The limitation is always the way to balance everything, your medication, and your indulgence. With the right dosage and timing, sleep apnea can be effectively resolved while also experiencing the delightful effects of weeds. What you need to know about cannabis and sleep apnea should teach you the trick of getting better sleep next time.