Waking Up with CBD

In the last two articles we discussed the role in which THC and the CB1 cannabinoid receptors present in your body can extend sleep and solve certain sleep disorders. You may have noticed that so far the discussion of CBD has been absent. That is because CBD is thought to have virtually the opposite effect of THC, in that it is thought to increase wakefulness. Although some conditions only require medication at night, many conditions benefit from dosing throughout the day, such as chronic pain and neurological imbalances. As a result, Cornerstone members often pose the question of which strain to medicate with in situations where they need to feel alert and awake. For this reason, discovering the exact effect of CBD is important to the future of medical cannabis. Unfortunately, at this point in time, the evidence is not quite as resounding as that of THC and sleep, and while the basic hypothesis that CBD increases wakefulness has been supported numerous times, the issue has not been fully proved from a scientific standpoint. Today, we’ll dive in to a series of reports on CBD in regards to sleep and wakefulness. These come courtesy of the University of Campeche and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which teamed with well-known Israeli cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam. In the first study, researchers began by implanting EEG monitors in the brains of rodents. These allowed them to use electrical signals to know what phases of sleep rodents were in, as well as make…

Getting to Sleep with Cannabis Part II: PTSD

Imagine having to re-live the worst moment of your life every time you sleep. Imagine that rather than being able to rest, you’re forced to experience that moment in slow motion over and over, feeling horribly trapped in a world you did not ask to be in. For some individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), this is literally the situation they face. In the last article about cannabis and sleep, one of the major points we hoped to communicate is that sleep disorders are caused by a variety of reasons, each with its own special set of circumstances. Individuals with sleep disorders resulting from PTSD comprise one of those sub-groups and can be one of the hardest groups to treat. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, PTSD can be thought of as the brain’s attempt to help itself or to protect the individual from further harm. After experiencing something deeply disturbing and traumatic, the brain becomes overly focused on the event, constantly re-hashing, re-living, and re-dicing the situation as if it were to glean some special knowledge or produce some behavior that will prevent the event from ever happening again. Unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. Sometimes terrible things happen for no reason at all. While fully processing serious events is important and necessary in the short term, true long-term healing means the ability to leave it in the past and to avoid letting it define one’s identity. Individuals with PTSD have difficulty doing this due to brain changes…

Getting to Sleep with Cannabis, Part I

I’ll declare bias early: I use cannabis to help me sleep. There is nothing more relaxing to me than medicating with a strong indica before bed, winding down, and feeling content over a hard day’s work. Many readers will be able to identify with that experience. In fact, trouble getting to sleep may be what led many of you to cannabis in the first place. Insomnia is listed as a qualifying pre-condition for prescription in many medical cannabis states. Cornerstone patients often specifically request strains that will help with this condition. So how, why, and what is cannabis doing? Why is this a phenomenon? The short answer is… there is no short answer. Insomnia can be caused by a lot of different factors. In some cases it can be genetic, with patients that are simply pre-disposed to more waking hours. In other cases, it can be environmental. As numerous blogs and movies seem to be pointing out, we live in a fast-paced, high stress society where one can’t truly “clock out” from work anymore. You might be reading emails and thinking about work literally right up until bedtime. In this case, insomnia is being caused by the inability to disengage with the struggles or challenges you are currently facing. On the other hand, insomnia may also be caused by chronic pain, whether from disease or injury. Patients may be woken up by sharp pains and may be unable to fall back to sleep. Likewise, PTSD patients may not be able…