Chronic insomnia is the worst. I know because I’ve dealt with it on and off for the past 10 years.
When I’m going through a serious spell of sleeplessness, I’ll spend hours scouring the internet in search of something that will help me get a little sleep. Maybe you’ve done the same.
But when my insomnia is at its height, nothing seems to help.
Melatonin only works when my insomnia is mild. Prescription sleeping pills make me feel weird and come with too many side effects. Herbs like valerian and hops make me feel relaxed, but not relaxed enough to fall asleep. Tips like staying away from screens at night may help in the long term, but do they help me get any shut eye tonight? Heck no.
So what’s a desperate insomniac to do?
Well, if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you could head to your local dispensary.
I know, I know… marijuana is still controversial. Not everyone’s open to it. But if you’re only getting a few hours of restless sleep a night due to insomnia, it might be something to consider. (Full disclosure… I tried it myself when my insomnia was at its worst, and it was a life saver.)
Research shows that marijuana can be incredibly effective for people with insomnia. It also shows that marijuana is helpful for a condition that often accompanies insomnia — chronic pain.
If you have chronic pain and insomnia, I give you a lot of credit. Insomnia is bad enough on its own. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to be up all night in serious pain.
Right now, all your doctor has to offer you for both of these health problems are sleeping pills or painkillers. Both of these come with serious side effects, including a high risk for addiction.
I know marijuana has side effects too. But I firmly believe (as do many researchers) that it’s far safer than the prescription alternatives. So listen up for a second while I tell you what medical marijuana could do for your sleep and pain problems…
The power of marijuana for pain and sleep
A recent review of the medical research on marijuana published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine looked at two studies on marijuana’s effectiveness for issues like pain and insomnia.
The first study came from Israeli researchers. It included 2,970 people with cancer. These people had trouble with pain and insomnia due to cancer and its treatment. They tried marijuana, and it was super effective. It improved pain and sleep problems in 95.9 percent of people who tried it.
Another study conducted by the same group of researchers found that marijuana was safe and effective for elderly people who had pain and insomnia. These researchers also mentioned that marijuana could help lower the amount of prescription drugs older people take, including those oh-so dangerous and addictive opioids. You might be surprised to learn that a growing number of people at risk of addiction are seniors.
So does that mean you should try marijuana for your sleep and pain problems?
Well, that depends on a few factors, including how much scientific evidence you need to feel safe. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a flood of studies on marijuana’s medicinal potential since 2012 or so. But not much before that. And many of these studies don’t take place in the U.S.
Because the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance. That means the feds refuse to admit that it has medical potential, even if many studies — and people’s experiences — show otherwise. But here’s how I see it…
Whether there’s hoards of scientific research on marijuana or not, people have been using marijuana for pain and sleep issues for centuries. So if you’ve exhausted your other options, and you’re desperate for relief, give it some serious thought. It may be able to help you.
Marijuana tips and alternatives
If you live in a state where you have legal access to marijuana, trying it once or twice to see if it helps is pretty risk-free.
When you go to the marijuana dispensary, you’ll see that marijuana comes in so many forms and varieties nowadays that it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry. There are experts there to help you. Just tell them what issue you’re trying to resolve (insomnia, pain, etc.) and they’ll show you what type will help you most.
If you live in a state where marijuana is still illegal, you’re out of luck. But more and more states are making medical and even recreational marijuana legal every election. So if it’s not available to you now, that doesn’t mean it won’t be soon.
Until marijuana is legalized nationwide, a lot of people with pain disorders and chronic insomnia are stuck struggling to find a reasonably safe and effective way to deal with these problems. If you’re one of them, you can try another proven natural remedy for pain and insomnia — acupuncture.
It may not provide instant relief for either of these issues, but after a few treatments, it does help. I’ve tried it myself for insomnia, and eventually, I started sleeping again. Many studies show that acupuncture is more effective than prescription sleep medications. Decades of research has also shown that acupuncture improves various kinds of pain.
So if you’re in pain or struggling to sleep, try acupuncture or medical marijuana. If you can, try both. I’m confident these two natural solutions can help you find rest and relief