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Medical Marijuana For Insomnia (Anxiety)


Insomniac
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Hello,

 

I'm new to medical marijuana. I became legal a week ago, I'm approved because of leg pain (the result of chronic insomnia) but what I really wanted to do was treat insomia. Sleep has has always been a very challenging issue for me.

 

I used to use ambien, the sleep quality was awful on ambien but it worked because it made it easier for me to shut my mind down & stop thinking. The problem with ambien is that doctors won't prescribe it. Research has shown a link to sudden death with ambien, naturally, doctors don't want to be sued, (even if the studies were some-what flawed)

 

Now I'm using the indica strain and I find it to be unpredictable at best. I've tried it 4 times so far, I can see where it would help (a lot) if not for the anxiety. It's actually a rather unpleasant experience for me. I actually like the fact that it doesn't make me feel euphoric, but the panic/anxiety thing doesn't exactly help with sleep.

 

My beliefs about pot have mostly been that it's OK for other people to use it, but not me.  (same with alcohol.. I don't drink) Prior to this I hadn't used the stuff since 1985. I've seen drugs really mess up peoples lives. (but then, I've personally lost multiple jobs & missed opportunities not from pot, but from insomnia..)

 

Will the anxiety go away over time as I become comfortable with it?

 

What I like about indica is the way it makes me not want to move and, if not for the anxiety & odd sensations in my chest/vertigo/etc.. it would make it easier to visualize things on my way off to sleep. (even if it doesn't shut my mind down, it does seem to change the "mode" from intellect to imagination and that helps)

Any advice on preventing|dealing with marijuana induced anxiety?

 

Thanks!

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I'm wondering why you aren't experiencing a euphoric effect........

 

You should be.  

 

Your anxiety could be the result of the new experience.  In other words, just the fact that you are using MMJ for the first time to treat your insomnia could be causing the anxiety since your body isn't sure how to react.

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The anxiety is very likely being caused , at least in large part, due to the over activation of CB1 receptors by THC. This triggers the "fight or flight" mechanisms in the brain and results in an excitatory response. This is very common.

 

If you tough it out, it will get better as your body reduces the number of CB1 receptors, and you build a tolerance. If it's possible, you might want to find a strain with less THC (or a higher ratio of CBD) during this transition period.     

 

Oral or sublingual delivery methods would be another approach to maintaining more consistent levels of cannabinoids in your system without such intense peaks that one experiences from smoking. Without proper guidance, oral delivery could result in a similar, or more intense experience.   

 

There are some additional options in terms of limiting CB1 activation that would require independent natural sources of cannabinoids other than cannabis. If you're interested in these options just let me know. 

 

You may also want to consider topical applications for actual treatment of the pain in your leg. Local activation of cannabinoid receptors is an effective way of dealing with some types of pain.

Edited by in vivo
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If it's possible, you might want to find a strain with less THC (or a higher ratio of CBD) during this transition period.     

 

Oral or sublingual delivery methods would be another approach to maintaining more consistent levels of cannabinoids in your system without such intense peaks that one experiences from smoking. Without proper guidance, oral delivery could result in a similar, or more intense experience.  

 

Definitely try different strains. The one that works for me might not work for you. Normally Sativa dominant strains cause anxiety so Indicas are probably the best choice for you.

 

Going with medibles is more than likely your best bet too. It takes longer to feel the effects but they are longer lasting.

 

Sublinguals like tinctures have been ruled illegal by our Court of Appeals so keep that in mind before you try those.

 

Try a couple Firecrackers about an hour and a half before bedtime and see how that works for you. They're easy to make and you can make one or two at a time and won't be wasting an ounce of meds if you don't like the effect.

 

When you start to feel the effects go to bed and you should be asleep before you have time to get nervous.

 

 

 

Firecrackers

 

An old favorite,easy to make and should even work with the new 'usable marihuana' ruling. The extra butter helps carry the essential oils and the addition of the cinnamon does wonders in masking the 'grassy' taste.

 

2 grams ground, decarboxylated cannabis

4 teaspoons peanut butter

2 teaspoons butter

8 crackers

pinch of cinnamon

 

Combine butter and peanut butter in a small dish, microwave for a few seconds until butter is melted. Add the powdered cannabis and cinnamon, stir to combine.

 

Spread the mixture on four of the crackers, dividing evenly. Place the remaining crackers on top making sandwiches.

 

Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour or until filling is set. Let cool and enjoy.

Leary Biscuits are essentially the same thing but you use cheese instead of peanut butter.

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The anxiety is very likely being caused , at least in large part, due to the over activation of CB1 receptors by THC. This triggers the "fight or flight" mechanisms in the brain and results in an excitatory response. This is very common.

 

If you tough it out, it will get better as your body reduces the number of CB1 receptors, and you build a tolerance. If it's possible, you might want to find a strain with less THC (or a higher ratio of CBD) during this transition period.     

 

Oral or sublingual delivery methods would be another approach to maintaining more consistent levels of cannabinoids in your system without such intense peaks that one experiences from smoking. Without proper guidance, oral delivery could result in a similar, or more intense experience.   

 

There are some additional options in terms of limiting CB1 activation that would require independent natural sources of cannabinoids other than cannabis. If you're interested in these options just let me know. 

 

You may also want to consider topical applications for actual treatment of the pain in your leg. Local activation of cannabinoid receptors is an effective way of dealing with some types of pain.

 

The pain in my legs is a non-issue (I kind of like it because it tells me something is "wrong") it's funny, the leg pain actually showed up on the biofeedback analysis they did. Baffled me! (I'd regarded biofeedback as a silly idea)

 

Next time I'm in the dispensary I'll ask about higher CBD, thanks for the tip!

 

I hadn't smoked pot since I was 15. Back in 1985, I did experience euphoria. (possibly too much euphoria..) ended up getting into trouble so I quit and hadn't looked back. Just the thought of using marijunana is disturbing. Two reasons I mention this:

 

#1 - edibles.

 

The first thing I noticed was how little it takes compared to 1985. I asked about dosage and was told to just smoke it until I forgot what I was doing and I'll fall asleep. This I tried and ended up taking way too much. I unplugged all the lights (was scared of starting an "electrical fire") and almost dialed 9-11 I was so panicked. Edibles seem really dangerous to me because I can imagine it'd be easy to take too much.

 

Since I don't have anyone to guide me, eating the stuff just seems too risky right now.

 

#2 - psychological(?)

 

I've read about tolerance. I've also read that if you DO become acclimated to it, going a night without marijuana is very, very difficult even for someone w/out insomnia. We've probably all heard about how pot ruins your cognative abilities (and witnessed this burnout effect in pot smokers..) This really concerns me. I don't want to end up losing another job not for lack of sleep but because of the treatment.

 

Aside from the CBD receptors, how much of it is psychological? I can rationally say that insomnia has damaged my life far more than pot has, I've lost jobs because of it and insomnia has destroyed the quality of life, I've almost killed people from falling asleep at the wheel. (basically, replace "alcoholism" with "sleep" in the 12-step program, step #1 and thats me..) yet, even knowing this rationally, I have a lifetime of programming telling me that pot is really, really, really bad. I've actually thrown away painkillers and opted to endure dental pain because drugs are scary. I think my family would shoot me if they knew I was using marijuana for insomnia.

 

Yet... killing someone in a car because you fell asleep while driving (again) is clearly insane, selfish and destructive.

 

Is there a period of time it takes to become psychologically comfortable with it? Any tricks to undo a lifetime of "weed is evil" programming?

 

Thanks for the tip about the CB1 receptors, I'll ask about this next time. I would be interested in hearing more, if it helps with insomnia. Ultimately, I just want some decent sleep :-) (and hang on to my job for awhile... I love my current job and really don't want to lose it)

 

 

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i am curious how insomnia made your leg have pain.

 

otherwise, you should ask your caregiver about organic marijuana.

could be the synthetic nutes/pesticides messing with your body.

 

you get that much anxiety huh? did you try mixing two different strains together ?

how are you using the medical marijuana ? smoking ? vaping?

 

'the indica strain' ? whats the name of it?

indica and sativa are the two main kinds of marijuana. (ruderails being the third, lesser known)

but theres thousands of strains, and most are a hybrid of indica/sativa.

different plants can even have different genetics with more sativa than indica.

even different buds from the same plant can have different effects!

harvesting at different times can also give different effects in the same strain.

its maddening trying to get a equal dose every time.

 

do you get any exercise? what do you do after using mmj?

you may want to try eating a cookie, then going for a walk, then come back to sleep.

people metabolise mmj differently and it can take some time for effects to kick in.

 

marijuana induced anxiety huh?

got any friends/family that will 'talk you down' ?

meditation? good comedy films to watch?

playing with a pet can release seratonin and dopamine.

or theres always 'power posing' which releases dopamine into your brain.

 

i assume you've tried l-tryptophan and melatonin for sleep?

 

anxiety is caused by higher thc. a strain with a higher amount of CBD should knock the anxiety off.

cbd is also useful for sleep.

it may be difficult to get a strain with more cbd.

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Disregard the receptors for now. Let's just talk about delivery methods and cannabinoids. If you have access to tested cannabis from your source, you will likely have a greater probability of successful cannabis treatment for your insomnia, without intensifying your anxiety. If not, you'll have to simply tread lightly with what you can find.

 

Since I don't have anyone to guide me, eating the stuff just seems too risky right now.

 

You could potentially find the guidance you need here, especially if you have access to cannabis with known percentages of cannabinoids. The trick would be to consume minimal amounts, and to work your way up incrementally. Since you're not interested in treating pain, oral consumption might not be best for you, especially considering your concerns about lingering cognitive inhibition.

 

I've read about tolerance. I've also read that if you DO become acclimated to it, going a night without marijuana is very, very difficult even for someone w/out insomnia. We've probably all heard about how pot ruins your cognative abilities (and witnessed this burnout effect in pot smokers..) This really concerns me. I don't want to end up losing another job not for lack of sleep but because of the treatment.

 

It might be possible that an insomniac would find it more difficult to sleep if they were to suspend their sleep aid treatment, but I would assume this to be the case with any sleep aid. 

 

In terms of cognition and memory, calamus root has been used to counter the negative effects of cannabis. Incorporating that into your routine, or a similar AChE inhibitor, might be of interest to you. DHA, a natural omega-3 fatty acid, is a clinically proven memory enhancer, that can be purchased at any pharmacy. DHA might also increase natural cannabinoids in your body. Overall, I feel that if you're using cannabis sparingly that you'll see little to no change in your cognitive ability, especially if you incorporate one, or both, of these into your routine.

 

There are other sources of natural cannabinoids that might be better suited to your needs, or might work well in combination. One is magnolia officinalis extracts. It's used in natural sleep aid products, but it can also be purchased on Amazon for $25. I feel that it helps with my sleep. 

 

If you have access to cannabis with known cannabinoid content, or that's high in CBD, we can discuss other options.

Edited by in vivo
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Is there a period of time it takes to become psychologically comfortable with it? Any tricks to undo a lifetime of "weed is evil" programming?

 

To put your mind at ease, the key is learning the truth about cannabis.  After you educate yourself as to the potential benefits, the transition for anyone with an open mind is easy.  

 

The next phase will be the frustration you will feel when you have finally found an effective treatment with very few side effects but almost no one wants you to use it!  You will be judged to be a lazy drug addict just wanting to get high, by the less informed. 

 

The frustration will grow into anger when you learn that many doctors will classify you as a drug abuser if you admit to cannabis use, even in a medical cannabis state like Michigan and in spite of clear evidence that it is helping you.  They will try to switch you to pharmaceutical alternatives or they may drop you altogether.

 

Personal acceptance of cannabis as medicine is not difficult.  Once you find it works better than the alternatives, you embrace it.  What is difficult is learning to hide your medicine from most everyone and learning to live as a lower class citizen

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Wow, there is a lot to learn! :-)

 

Actually, reading the intelligent responses on this board lead me to 2 conclusions. A.) No one here actually uses marijuana. B.) Some how, marijuana has NOT diminished your cognitive abilities. :-)

Luckily, I did manage to learn enough to know you can't overdose on pot. Reminding myself of that fact is probably what prevented me from actually dialing 9-11 my first time I tried to use it as a sleep aid. Knowing a thing rationally is one thing, but it can be challenging in a panic.

 

Personally, I'd prefer ambien in spite of risk of sudden death. (I'd rather die than smash into someone) but, the last time I spoke to a doctor, she wouldn't prescribe it citing the recent studies. Of course, people who don't sleep are also at risk of cardiac arrest and they're more impaired behind the wheel than someone who is legally drunk.. but.. you can't sue a doctor for not treating you, so, of COURSE they don't want to do anything.

 

Admitting you smoke marijuana to a doctor, I suspect, puts them at risk if they ever end up in court: "You KNEW the patient was a pot-head and you still X,Y,Z?"

 

I've emailed myself the notes on DHA and Calamus Root so that I (hopefully..) will have access to it on my android next time I'm out and about.

 

Yes, I've tried melatonin (I currently use melatonin with marijuana) triptophan, trazodone, lunesta, ambien, warm milk and pretty much every single over the counter sleep aid I could find. Ambien "sort of" worked. It was like losing consciousness for 8 hours until the alarm snaps you out of it... no recollection of sleeping and you feel like crap the next day but it's better than nothing. Ambien sleep feels a bit like artificial sleep.

 

Meditation actually works the best for me... sometimes ... but it depends on having had some good novelty excercise. If I go for a walk or do something fun & unusual that day, meditation works really well. But, I can only do that sort of thing on my days off due to time constraints. I was hoping marijuana would help me with the visualization aspects of that. (to shut the mind down)


Thanks again everyone.
 

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To put your mind at ease, the key is learning the truth about cannabis.  After you educate yourself as to the potential benefits, the transition for anyone with an open mind is easy.  

 

The next phase will be the frustration you will feel when you have finally found an effective treatment with very few side effects but almost no one wants you to use it!  You will be judged to be a lazy drug addict just wanting to get high, by the less informed. 

 

The frustration will grow into anger when you learn that many doctors will classify you as a drug abuser if you admit to cannabis use, even in a medical cannabis state like Michigan and in spite of clear evidence that it is helping you.  They will try to switch you to pharmaceutical alternatives or they may drop you altogether.

 

Personal acceptance of cannabis as medicine is not difficult.  Once you find it works better than the alternatives, you embrace it.  What is difficult is learning to hide your medicine from most everyone and learning to live as a lower class citizen.

You've nailed it. Well said. 

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I agree totally also, well said! Learn about how the weed became perceived as evil, like Egyptian cotton farm subsidies in effect, and shadow governments brainwashing the public with false claims and outright lies, funding for private prison industry, the rates of incarceration for US citizens, funding for the drug (cannabis) testing, funding for congress, etc, etc, etc. When you learn what is really scary, you may still not sleep, but you won't be scared of a plant! 

To put your mind at ease, the key is learning the truth about cannabis.  After you educate yourself as to the potential benefits, the transition for anyone with an open mind is easy.  

 

The next phase will be the frustration you will feel when you have finally found an effective treatment with very few side effects but almost no one wants you to use it!  You will be judged to be a lazy drug addict just wanting to get high, by the less informed. 

 

The frustration will grow into anger when you learn that many doctors will classify you as a drug abuser if you admit to cannabis use, even in a medical cannabis state like Michigan and in spite of clear evidence that it is helping you.  They will try to switch you to pharmaceutical alternatives or they may drop you altogether.

 

Personal acceptance of cannabis as medicine is not difficult.  Once you find it works better than the alternatives, you embrace it.  What is difficult is learning to hide your medicine from most everyone and learning to live as a lower class citizen

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Last night, I tried cannatonic and a tiny amount of grand daddy purple. There was some minor anxiety, no euphoria but I can see where this could be helpful. It's frustrating because I don't know how much THC was in the tiny amount of grand daddy purple there was, so mixing the same amount next time probably won't produce the same effect.

 

The night before, I tried just plain cannatonic, 50/50 CBD/THC I was pretty exhausted, so it's difficult to tell if it helped or not. There was no intoxicated feeling at all. (in fact, the only thing I felt was slight cotton mouth)

 

I've been told that cannatonic is normally used for pain and is NOT recommended for insomnia.  I guess if I were to use cannatonic for pain, I'd be a little concerned about not knowing when it's "over". (for example, if you were never high to begin with, how would you know it's safe to drive again?)

Luckily for sleep, it shouldn't matter. If you're trying to get your Zzzz's you shouldn't be driving anyway! :-)

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Find cannatonic #4 it's ratio is 10:1 (cbd:thc). I've used kava kava capsules poured into warm tea as a sleeping aid. I also believe exercise is an integral part of deeper sleep for me.

 

Nobody has ever overdosed from mmj. keep in mind that the 'edge' will wear off most light buzzes within 15- 20 minutes. Also you may want to find indica nugs that have been grown longer to where the resin glands have some amber color to them. good luck

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To put your mind at ease, the key is learning the truth about cannabis.  After you educate yourself as to the potential benefits, the transition for anyone with an open mind is easy.  

 

The next phase will be the frustration you will feel when you have finally found an effective treatment with very few side effects but almost no one wants you to use it!  You will be judged to be a lazy drug addict just wanting to get high, by the less informed. 

 

The frustration will grow into anger when you learn that many doctors will classify you as a drug abuser if you admit to cannabis use, even in a medical cannabis state like Michigan and in spite of clear evidence that it is helping you.  They will try to switch you to pharmaceutical alternatives or they may drop you altogether.

 

Personal acceptance of cannabis as medicine is not difficult.  Once you find it works better than the alternatives, you embrace it.  What is difficult is learning to hide your medicine from most everyone and learning to live as a lower class citizen

Thank you

 

i to deal with anxiety on a day to day bases and Cannabis could help me a lot but the fear of growing and using Cannabis is more Anxiety then i can deal with

 

and having PTSD makes it  even worse when i was in court for almost 5 years i would sleep in my clothing at night because i never knew when they ( Leo ) where coming back i knew they would just not when

 

And yes they came back alright a few times knocking and looking around even came in the back yard and i was watching them move around from my windows i could see them but they counld not see me ( i have windows you can see out but can't see in)  but i didn't open the door

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