There I said it… I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time, but not sure how many will read and accept it. Even though the public acceptance for marijuana is growing, each person has their own opinion and there’s definitely still big stigma out there. Personally I don’t see what the big deal is. Cannabis has proven itself medically over and over. Below is my opinion and experience – I hope it will help some other survivor out there considering it.
It is extremely common post-stroke to develop chronic sleep disorders, and this has affected me personally. I usually have no trouble going to sleep, but I often wake up around two to three o’clock in the morning and then often lay there for hours at a time. Over the months, I have tried many things to try to help it including over-the-counter natural herbal supplements such as: Valerian, melatonin, hops, tried various “sleepy teas”(which really just make one pee all night long). The only thing that somewhat helped his acupuncture, but it doesn’t seem to last but two or three days.
I even went to a sleep doctor where they conducted a full overnight sleep study which didn’t show any sleep apnea events that they were overly concerned about. I also fully understand that so much of this is behavioral, and I’ve been told to get up out of bed when this occurs as a change of scenery to break the habit, but honestly haven’t been too successful with that.
Certainly I’m not about to start taking yet another prescription drug, such as Ambien!
Over a nearly a year ago, I was having so much shoulder and back pain that I looked into obtaining a medical marijuana card and went to one of the many local dispensaries where I experimented with both vaporizing it and even some edible varietals, which met with mixed results. Then recently when the sleep issues charred rear their ugly head again, I got rather desperate and found this great article. Back to my local dispensary I went in search of a strain specifically with a ratio of a lot of CBD’s to little THC landing on one called AC/DC & Purple Kush. Now I’m very adverse to smoking as I find it burns my lungs and makes me cough. Plus smoking it is so 1970s… All the cool kids are ‘vaporizing’ today. Vaporizing for the most part does away with all the negatives of smoking. I found a sweet little very portable easy to use small vaporizer called the magic-flight, that I just love. And so far the AC/DC strain is perfect for me. The last couple nights were the first nights in many weeks I slept all the way through the night, and feel so much better the next day! I don’t think this means I’m going to become some big pothead, but if I do have a long string of sleepless nights, I know it’s there to give me great relief.
If you are lucky to live in one of the 23 states now that have finally wised up, insomnia as a reason to obtain medical cannabis card is pretty surefire. It does take a special visit to a cannabis friendly doctor, but then once you have that, it’s off to the dispensaries. Just be very sure you ask a lot of questions and do research on all the hundreds of different strains out there (starts to almost look like a periodic table of elements!) since they are very specific in their effects and what they treat. Find a dispensary that has good reviews and make sure to ask a lot of questions!
If you want to read a very interesting article (or better yet, podcast) as it goes into a lot of very fascinating politics and history of cannabis! Like did you know that there was a time in our country’s history where one was required to grow hemp? I find it fascinating how much is much of the politics of it have come down to racial justice and inequality-Nancy Reagan’s “war on drugs” has done far more damage than good to our society.
UPDATE: I did end up checking with my Neurologist on the use and below is what she had to say…
I think the literature is very mixed regarding the benefits of medical marijuana for sleep. Anecdotal evidence suggests a benefit, but larger studies suggest it might actually worsen sleep. Having said that, I think it is fine for you to try it and see how you do.