CBD for Sleep Apnea? Does Medical Cannabis Help?
Sleep apnea can be a serious deterrent to people. Even if we completely disregard medical consequences, this condition can have a very negative impact on your personal and professional life.
Every 10th US citizen is struggling with this problem. This is why we’re so interested in exploring potential treatments such as CBD for sleep apnea.
Given that this substance has shown a lot of promise for various sleep-related conditions, it only makes sense that the experts would consider cannabidiol’s potential use for sleep apnea.
Our knowledge of medical cannabis as a treatment for sleep-related conditions is still limited. Luckily, through numerous studies and empiric evidence, we've discovered that there is a link between using CBD and better sleep.
We are still not sure how the substance works or how it would impact our bodies after prolonged usage. Nevertheless, it has shown a lot of promise so far.
In this article, we will talk more about CBD and sleep apnea. Check it out!
What is CBD?
CBD, cannabidiol, or medical cannabis is a product that has become very popular in the last few years. So much so that many countries are doing their best to legalize it as soon as possible.
The main reason for this CBD wave lies in its potential medical uses. It seems that the substance can be a potential treatment for various ailments.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue with CBD is our lack of research. While the empiric data is very positive, we know very little about the potential long-term consequences and other side effects. We also know very little about the underlying mechanisms that make us feel better.
Why is our knowledge so limited despite numerous cannabidiol studies performed on a daily basis?
CBD belongs to a group of substances called cannabinoids. Hemp and cannabis have more than 100 cannabinoids, each with a specific set of traits. Because of that, it is very hard to distinguish which specific substance causes which specific reaction.
One of these things that we learned, though, is that CBD is probably the most impactful of these chemical compounds. This is why these products are usually marketed as "CBD items," although they have numerous other, potentially beneficial substances.
When we use CBD products, cannabidiol comes into contact with endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies. By stimulating these receptors, we are potentially able to regulate various bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, pain, etc. This is why scientists believe that CBD is the drug of the future. If we combine that with the fact that most companies grow their hemp organically and without adding volatile chemicals to their products, we quickly get a winning combination.
Before we explain the relationship between CBD and sleep apnea, let’s first say a word or two about this condition.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical issue that can cause all sorts of trouble. In fact, some people may have apnea for a while without even realizing it. Those who are struggling with this disorder will not be able to breathe normally during the night.
The issue is caused by having blocked airways or a reduction of air inflow. Some patients will even stop breathing for a bit, which would completely interrupt their sleep.
Depending on sleep apnea type and individual case, you might not even notice it. There are a lot of those who notice there's an issue after suffering from bad sleep for prolonged periods of time.
Some patients wake up having a headache or feeling groggy. If you've experienced some of these symptoms, you might want to check yourself for sleep apnea:
- Noisy snoring
- Gasping for air
- Suddenly waking up without realizing
- Trouble breathing during sleep
- Strong headaches in the morning
- Lethargy or grogginess in the morning
Oftentimes, our partners will notice some of these symptoms. If you’ve noticed one of these issues, make sure to relay it to your partner.
Sleep apnea and the endocannabinoid system
As already mentioned, the endocannabinoid system regulates numerous things, such as sleep. Based on everything we've learned about it, the system is crucial for putting a person into homeostasis. Its cells are able to communicate with each other, which ensures that everything's working as it's supposed to.
In other words, the endocannabinoid system regulates numerous aspects of sleeping, such as falling asleep, staying asleep, and properly waking up after a sleeping cycle. Given that the system is important for other functions as well, when you're unable to get enough sleep due to apnea, a patient will experience disruption of the endocannabinoid system as well.
This is why people who are suffering from poor sleep often suffer from other issues at the same time.
Using hemp oil for sleep and sleep apnea
Given that CBD has a direct impact on regulating the endocannabinoid system, it makes sense that hemp oil would have some impact on improving your sleep patterns. However, its mechanisms are quite curious.
For example, it doesn't have the same impact as other sleep medications that would make you drowsy. Instead, it might regulate other aspects of your sleep.
Interestingly enough, most experts say that hemp doesn't have a direct impact on sleep, per se. Instead, it might affect your anxiety and stress levels, and with them, you might get sleepy when taking CBD oil as well. Certain scientists claim that you might have a more structured sleep when using the product.
During the night, our body goes through 3 different REM stages. Each phase takes about a minute and a half. If you wish to sleep properly, you need to go through all these stages uninterrupted.
According to a different theory, CBD may prove to be useful due to its impact on the muscles.
You might’ve heard that a lot of people are using cannabidiol for various muscle-related issues. The studies are ongoing, but there are some indications that the substance can be used to treat degenerate muscle conditions and seizures. This is why it might potentially work for sleep apnea as well.
During a sleep apnea episode, a patient’s airwaves will become obstructed as the muscles become tense and start clinching. In theory, cannabidiol might work by relaxing these muscles, thus preventing obstruction.
Of course, it is just one of the theories, and we need more studies to be certain, but the initial results are promising.
There are also some indications that THC may play a role in treating sleep apnea, but that is a completely different story. Although THC might have some relaxing properties, it might also increase your anxiety levels, which is completely opposite to what you're trying to accomplish.
The substance might especially be bad if taken in larger quantities. This is why, if you wish to try CBD for sleep, we suggest you take products with lower THC concentration.
Different types of CBD for sleep apnea
Even if CBD might have a positive impact on sleep apnea and related sleeping conditions, it is very important to make the right decision when purchasing a product. Cannabidiol products are different in terms of administration method, dosage, product quality, and many other features.
If you wish to try such a product, we suggest that you go with substances that are specifically marketed for sleep disorders. Always make sure to buy from reputable sources as this will reduce the chance of disappointment.
No matter what, you should consult with your medical provider beforehand. There are a lot of things you need to know about these items, so it is much better if you take the necessary precautions.