In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the important connections between medical cannabis and sleepiness. Involving major areas of brain and nervous system science, particularly the endocannabinoid system in the body, sleepiness is much more than just a stigma associated with medical marijuana – it may be a desired effect in many cases, or could be an unwanted side effect in others.
At Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD, we’re proud to discuss the sleep-related impacts any of our medical cannabis products will have, from dried flower marijuana to edible cannabis, concentrates and many other options. In today’s part two, we’ll detail how ECS receptors work and connect to sleep quality, plus offer some general advice on important themes to consider if you’re using medical cannabis to treat specific sleep issues.
As we noted in part one, the human body actually contains cannabinoid receptors and even makes its own cannabinoids. These are called endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, and are processed by endocannabinoid receptors, or ECS receptors.
The two primary ECS receptors are known as CB1 and CB2. The former is mostly found in the central nervous system, while the latter is generally in the immune system (though it also has small traces in the nervous system as well). Our next section will go over the connection between these receptors and sleep.
CB1, to be particular, is the receptor known to regulate sleep. When cannabinoids interact with CB1 within the body, the receptor responds by inducing drowsiness and sleepiness. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in medical cannabis, resembles natural cannabinoids and can actually mimic the way they interact with CB1 – this is why medical cannabis can create sleepiness in many people.
CBD (cannabidiol), on the other hand, can promote sleep in different ways. CBD influences receptors as well, though scientists aren’t quite sure how just yet. They do know that it limits anxiety and promotes relaxation, generally through limiting activation in parts of the brain that regular fear and anxiety.
It’s important to note that, if you’re hoping to treat sleep issues with medical cannabis, you can’t simply choose any product willy-nilly. Some strains have higher concentrations of THC or CBD, and since these impact the body differently, you must be diligent about your choice. Speak to our professionals about the factors that play a role here, from the person in question and their experience with medical cannabis to the route of administration desired and other important elements.
For more on the connection between medical cannabis and sleep, or to learn about any of our pain management or medical marijuana services, speak to the staff at Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD today.