Know Your Herbs

Facts About Cannabis and Sleep

Cannabis is widely used for a variety of ailments and symptoms. One of the most popular uses of cannabis is to fight insomnia and help individuals fall asleep, and stay asleep. Even individuals with the most stubborn insomnia can usually find relief with a nice sedating Indica strain. However, there is a lot more to cannabis and sleep than just that!

Get the facts on cannabis and sleep today and learn how this powerful plant can help YOU.

CBD Works Differently Than THC

Most cannabis users are well versed on the variety of options available, from Indica to Sativa strains as well as high THC to high CBD options. Sleep studies going as far back as 1970 have focused on THC and found it to be an effective sleep aid, particularly when taken at levels of 20% or less THC. On the other hand, research into CBD and sleep actually concluded that this cannabinoid is best used for excessive daytime sleepiness or somnolence as opposed to insomnia as the effects are more alerting than drowsy.

Most recently, a 2015 review of cannabis research found that, for best results, hybrid strains or tinctures with equal parts THC and CBD are ideal for treating sleep disorders.

Cannabis and Sleep

Indica Still Reigns Supreme

If you are unable to find a balanced THC:CBD strain or oil, the next best option to help fight insomnia and ease you into dreamland are pure Indica or Indica-dominant hybrid strains. Indica strains are bred to induce more physical effects, as opposed to cerebral, and tend to result in heavier body relaxation and sedation versus Sativa strains. While it is unclear exactly why Indica strains are more sedating than Sativa ones, it is theorized that it has to do with the terpene content of these strains. Terpenes are found throughout nature and serve many purposes – they give lavender their scent and calming effectives, provide eucalyptus the relaxing and healing factors and are found in countless other flowers and plants, including cannabis. When it comes to cannabis, terpenes work in conjunction with the various cannabinoids to produce desired strain effects.

Cannabis and Sleep

Benefits of Aged Flower

One particular fact about cannabis and sleep that you might not know about is that aged cannabis actually makes you sleepier! Over time THC will degrade and is converted to a different cannabinoid known as cannabinol (or CBN). CBN has been found to be five times more sedating than THC, but takes a long time to form – in fact, cannabis buds that contain 20% THC andare is left to age for 3 years will typically produces 3-5% CBN.

Due to the long process to produce CBN, it can be hard to find on the traditional cannabis market but as research surfaces on this powerful cannabinoid, you may see it becoming increasingly common!

Cannabis and Sleep

Cannabis Helps Your Fall Asleep Faster

One of the major perks for cannabis use against insomnia is that cannabis has been proven to help individuals fall asleep faster, which is a dream come true for many insomnia patients. Even doses as low as 15 mg of THC were associated with reduced sleep latency (time to fall asleep) and increased sleepiness. When using cannabis for sleep, it is best to keep your doses to a moderate level by choosing strains with 20% or less, or dosing 10-15 mg of THC in the evening.

If you dose too much at night, you may find yourself with a weed “hangover” in the morning, resulting in dehydration, dry eyes, lethargy or mild brain fog. As each individual is different, it may require trial and error to find your perfect sleep strain.

Cannabis and Sleep

Cannabis and Dreams

Another interesting fact surrounding cannabis and sleep is that cannabis use can inhibit REM sleep and reduce or eliminate dreams. While this may be a downside to some individuals, this is particularly beneficial to individuals who cannot sleep due to PTSD. While cannabis use reduces REM sleep, it has been found to facilitate falling asleep faster (as mentioned above) as well as increasing Stage 4 sleep. Stage 4 sleep occurs right before REM sleep and is a state of very deep sleep whereby the brain almost exclusively produces slow brain waves known as delta waves; when woken from this sleep stage people often feel disoriented. So, while cannabis reduces REM sleep it does not alter an individual’s ability to sleep soundly and deeply.

Cannabis and Sleep

Promotes Better Breathing

Some individuals may find their insomnia to be caused by sleep apnea. While these individuals can fall asleep easily, this condition affects their ability to stay asleep, which is vital for proper rest. Individuals with sleep apnea are often woken many times throughout the night due to being unable to breathe properly. Fortunately, cannabis may be able to assist with this as explored in a 2002 study that found THC can restore respiratory signaling as well as in a 2013 study that concluded sleep apnea was improved by a drug that mimics THC.

Cannabis and Sleep

Use With Natural Remedies for Best Results

Lastly, while cannabis can do wonders for assisting with insomnia caused by PTSD, anxiety and pain, pairing cannabis with other natural remedies can further maximize its effects. As mentioned earlier, cannabinoids work with terpenes in bud for full-spectrum effects. Pairing your THC with essential oils (ie: terpenes), such as taking a bath in lavender epsom salts or using eucalyptus essential oils or just sitting down with a cup of chamomile tea, can improve success and help you put your insomnia to rest.

Cannabis and Sleep

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5 Marijuana Strains To Get You Totally Relaxed

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

To some extent, marijuana commercial enterprises are blasting as marijuana can be a bendy kind of relaxation medication. Various studies have determined that marijuana may be able to help with a selection of ailments, including stress and epilepsy. In any event, like all recreational or medicinal use of marijuana can tell you, not all marijuana is equal. Distinctive marijuana strains produce exceptional effects and may, therefore, be used for different motives and special care is taken of the marijuana packaging on which it is categorized. In fact, you may have observed the words “Indica”, “Sativa”, and “Hybrid” on marijuana packaging from medical marijuana companies. For the most part, those three classifications consist of a big variety of marijuana.

The strain you select depends on your favored effect. As noted, marijuana facilitates intellectual and physical rest, yet particular strains are more popular over others due to their effects on specific conditions.

In this article, we are highlighting the top five best marijuana strains to help you get totally relaxed.

Willy’s Wonder

Willy’s Wonder is a truly mellow marijuana strain despite its lower cannabinoid content, which consists of 10% THC and 5% CBD. However, this strain clearly has excellent benefits and, even in mild amounts, provides heady effects and body relaxation.

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

Strawberry Cough

An exceptionally relaxing marijuana strain, Strawberry Cough is an 80% Sativa-dominant option. Renowned for its solid aroma and strawberry taste, this strain has high THC content reaching up to 26% and higher levels of CBN. In addition to the flavor, this strain gets its name from the thick smoke it generates that can leave even the most experienced tokers coughing. This strain is fast acting and provides relaxing benefits and a boost in energy upon the inhale. Strawberry Cough will keep any user quite satisfied and relaxed. Dehydration and dry mouth are the principle side-effects of this strain.

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

Master Kush

The Indica nature and high THC level around 24%, along with the added CBD and CBN, Master Kush produces enjoyable and deeply relaxing effects. However, due to the potent nature of this strain it is not recommended for beginners. A few puffs of this strain will produce all the desired relaxation and is ideal for use before bed as the effects are long-lasting and can help with anxiety and stress related insomnia, as well as manage chronic pain.

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

Mr. Nice

Mr. Nice usually contains as much as 19% THC with 1% CBD and 1% CBN. It’s an interesting and uncommon strain that surprises the users with strong effects that are progressively relaxing. The fruity odor has been depicted as the type of aroma that one might recognize when they walked through a plantation, and it offers you a fruity and sweet flavor this is prescribed for night use. In addition to battling chronic pain, Mr. Nice can help manage stress and anxiety. Perfect for lighting up after a tough day of work, Mr. Nice will provide you all the stress relief and perspective your day needs.

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

Skunk #1

Skunk #1 starts off with a heady buzz this is unexpected for an Indica-dominant strain. As this high builds, your entire body will become relaxed and any pain is reduced. This strain is ideal for managing insomnia, anxiety and stress and is the perfect nightcap after a long week. Common side-effects of Skunk #1 include dry eyes and dry mouth, so be cautious and make a point of staying hydrated when smoking this strain.

Marijuana Strains for Relaxation

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How Medical Marijuana Can Help Manage HIV/AIDS

Medical Marijuana and HIV/AIDS

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus which can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if not treated. HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system, the CD4 (T-Cells) in particular, which are responsible for helping fight off infections. When left untreated, HIV depletes the body’s CD4 (T-Cells), lowering the individuals immune system and making them more likely to contract other infections or even cancers.

There are three stages of HIV:

  • Acute HIV Infection Stage – This stage occurs within 2 to 4 weeks of contracting HIV and appears as “flu-like symptoms” such as fever, swollen glands, rash, muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches, sore throat. During this stage, large amounts of virus are being produced in the body as the virus is able to replicate using CD4 cells before destroying them.
  • Clinical Latency StageOnce the infection has stabilized, it becomes latent and symptoms are reduced or can disappear entirely. During this stage, the virus continues to reproduce at low levels and is highly infectious. The risk of transmission is reduced by HIV treatments, which also help to prolong this stage and prevent the final stage: AIDS. The clinical latency stage lasts an average of 10 years when left untreated, but with treatment individuals can live their entire life without progressing. However, they are still at risk of transmitting the disease.
  • AIDS – The final stage of HIV is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This stage occurs when the immune system is damaged beyond repair, leaving the body vulnerable to opportunistic infections or cancers. Without treatment, the life expectancy of AIDS is 1-3 years. However, most individuals in developed countries never progress to this stage thanks to medication.

Current Treatment for HIV/AIDS

The most common treatment for HIV/AIDS is Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), which uses a regime of medications to help individuals suffering from HIV to live healthier and longer with their condition, than those not on antiretroviral protocols. The use of ART can also reduce the risk of transmission, however it cannot cure the infection.

Medical Marijuana and HIV/AIDS

How Cannabis Can Help

There are a number of ways that cannabis can help with managing the symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Cannabis Stimulates Appetite

Individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS are often prone to weight loss. Cannabis has been well known for causing a phenomenon known as “the munchies”, resulting in a surge of hunger hormones. While this can be a frustrating side-effect for some, it is a welcome affect for many HIV/AIDS patients. In fact, a 2005 study determined that, of the individuals who used cannabis to manage their symptoms (27%), a total of 97% of patients found cannabis improved their appetite.

Cannabis Reduces Anxiety and Improves Mood

A condition such as HIV/AIDS can often lead to mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and even anger due to the pressure of coping with such an infection – as well as the social stigma connected to it. This is another area where cannabis can help HIV/AIDS patients as proven by a 2007 study, which concluded that cannabis was able to improve patients mood by increasing feelings of euphoria and boosting confidence.

Cannabis Can Alleviate Nausea

Nausea is a very common symptom of HIV and it can become increasingly volatile as symptoms progress. A study found that HIV-positive patients who experienced nausea were more likely to stick with their antiretroviral therapy if they used cannabis, compared to those who didn’t.

Cannabis Provides Chronic Pain Relief

HIV/AIDS can cause a multitude of joint, nerve and muscle pain. A one-year study found that patients who consumed standardized amounts of cannabis (12.5% THC) reported reduced pain and increased quality of life. The cannabis also resulted in reduced anxiety and depression and it improved feelings of fatigue.

Cannabis Decreases Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

In addition to chronic physical pain, HIV/AIDS can also cause peripheral neuropathic pain that results from damage to sensory, motor and autonomic nerves. A 2010 study found that treatments of 25mg of 9.4% THC three times per day, for five days, reduced pain and improved sleep. An additional study from 2015 found that the use of cannabinoids (such as THC) can reduce pain levels in relation to cancer and neuropathy.

Medical Marijuana and HIV/AIDS

Best Cannabis Strains for HIV/AIDS

While not intended to ever replace Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), there are some cannabis strains that are suited to helping manage the symptoms of HIV/AIDS as mentioned above. Depending on your most severe symptoms, Indica strains are best for appetite loss and physical pain while Sativa strains are ideal for helping with mood and anxiety.

Some of the best cannabis strains to consider for HIV/AIDS include:

Blue Dream

A blend of Blueberry and an unknown Sativa, Blue Dream is a near-perfect blend resulting in an electrifying and energetic cerebral high that reduces fatigue and boosts mood. This is accompanied by a calming physical relaxation that leaves you pain free. Blue Dream is a great daytime option for HIV/AIDS patients looking to manage depression, chronic pain and insomnia.

Cannabis Strains for Beginners

Girl Scout Cookies

A favourite hybrid, Girl Scout Cookies is a well-loved strain that offers its users balanced effects. Many users experience a boost in mood, including happiness and euphoria, as well as potent physical effects. This strain is highly effective at managing both neuropathic or chronic pain and also produces the munchies, which is beneficial to many HIV/AIDS patients. This strain is also well suited to managing depression, stress and insomnia.

Finding The Perfect Marijuana Strain

Mango Kush

Mango Kush is an Indica-dominant strain with a 65:35 Indica/Sativa ratio. This strain packs a fruity punch and is widely used for managing insomnia, depression and pain. Providing a happy and uplifted cerebral high along with powerful physical effects, Mango Kush is a potent option for HIV/AIDS patients looking to promote mental and physical relaxation.

medical marijuana and HIV/AIDS

Skywalker OG

Despite being a predominantly Indica strain with an 85:15 Indica/Sativa ratio, Skywalker OG is a favourite thanks to its pleasurable effects. This strain produces a unique body high that is ideal for managing various types of chronic pain (including neuropathic) as well as depression, nausea and insomnia. Not only will Skywalker OG leave you relaxed and lethargic (with a mean case of the munchies), but the euphoric cerebral component will help take you to a galaxy far, far away.

medical marijuana and HIV/AIDS

White Widow

White Widow is a 60:40 Sativa-dominant strain out of a South Indian Indica and South American Sativa. This strain produces a cerebrally driven euphoria that is combined with relaxing physical effects. HIV/AIDS patients will benefit from the relaxation that White Widow provides, as well as the euphoric and happy mental boost.

medical marijuana and HIV/AIDS

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