Every year one in four Americans will develop acute insomnia (up to three months of symptoms) while 10-30% experience chronic insomnia. At least 36 states have medical marijuana programs, many of which list insomnia as a qualifying condition to become a patient. So how does cannabis help you sleep and why?
Every person has a sleep/wake cycle known as circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that “the endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of the circadian sleep-wake cycle, including the maintenance and promotion of sleep” (Bonn-Miller et al). When your sleep cycle is disrupted it throws the endocannabinoid system out of balance, which interferes with the normal operation of other systems. This can have an affect on mood, focus, and energy levels.
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There are a great deal of cannabinoids found in the trichomes of cannabis that have a variety of effects on the body. The most famous ones you’ve probably heard of: THC and CBD. Yet there are over a hundred different cannabinoids found in marihuana that have a whole variety of effects. Cannabinol (frequently abbreviated to CBN) was the first cannabinoid to be isolated from cannabis in 1940 and much like CBD it is considered to be non-psychoactive with many medicinal benefits.
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