How MMJ Can Help Treat Sleep Disorders

Medical marijuana has been approved in many states due to the growing amount of research on its effectiveness in the management of many chronic diseases. MMJ has been used successfully in the treatment of neurological disorders, chronic pain relief, gastrointestinal distress, and some mental health disorders.

The use of medical marijuana for sleep disorders has also been gaining attention. Recent studies have shown that it can improve a person’s sleep quality and duration, as well as restless leg syndrome. This is attributed to the effects that MMJ has on sleep cycles.

Read on for all you need to know about how MMJ can help treat sleep disorders.

What is a sleep disorder?

A sleep disorder is any health issue that causes problems with how long it takes someone to fall asleep, how well they stay asleep through the night, or the quality of sleep they get. Also referred to as sleep-wake disorders, these health issues can negatively affect day-to-day life for the many people who experience them. This is because without adequate sleep, the body does not rest, recharge, and rejuvenate as it should.

Sleep disorders often go hand in hand with other medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, or cognitive disorders. There are a few different types of sleep disorders, all of which present with different symptoms and generally require different treatment routes.

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Image by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash: Narcolepsy is a common sleep disorder that can lead to sleep attacks.

Some of the most common sleep disorders include:


Insomnia causes a person to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and can lead to chronic tiredness due to the inability to get adequate rest. People with insomnia may also experience irritability, depression, or anxiety, as well as difficulty with attention span, concentration, and memory.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea can be serious as it causes a person to stop and start breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping or choking that wakes a person up, morning headaches, and mood changes. 


Parasomnia is characterized as abnormal or unusual behavior while sleeping, which may include talking, moving around, or sleepwalking. Other types of parasomnias include night terrors or nightmares, bedwetting, and sleep-eating. People with parasomnias tend to wake up confused, not remember any incidents, and feel tired or fatigued throughout the day.


Narcolepsy occurs when a person experiences excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, or a partial or total loss of muscle control. In some cases, people will also experience sleep attacks, or involuntary sleep.

Although there are over 80 different sleep disorders, the above four are the most common.

MMJ and sleep disorders

The use of medical marijuana for sleep disorders is becoming increasingly popular in areas where medicinal use of MMJ is now legal. Medical marijuana has been shown to have a positive effect on sleep cycles; it also offers less side effects than other sleep aids, so has become a promising treatment option for many patients.

There is also evidence to suggest that the amount of marijuana used to help with a sleep disorder plays a vital role in how well it helps with the sleep disturbance, and that heavy use of cannabis can exacerbate or worsen an already existing sleep disorder, or bring about new sleep disturbances.

Can you use CBD for sleep?

The type of MMJ a person uses for a sleep disorder will determine how effective it is for their particular sleep issue. For those who don’t wish to experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana, a CBD product could be helpful. However, the best type of medical marijuana to use for sleep does contain THC. This is because THC is the potent ingredient responsible for inducing sleep.

In patients who suffer from nightmares or post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, higher THC strains can lessen the amount of REM sleep they achieve throughout the night. This could possibly give them more time in the deep-sleep state of the sleep cycle. It can also lessen the time spent dreaming, which leads to less middle-of-the-night wake-ups for people who experience frightening dreams that take them out of sleep.

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Image by Gras Grün on Unsplash: Cannabis indica is the best type of medical marijuana for sleep disorders.

What is the best indica strain for sleep?

Indica is a strain of medical marijuana that provides a person with a calming, relaxing, and soothing effect. Because of this, the strain is considered the most beneficial when it comes to treating sleep disorders. Sativa strains, on the other hand, generally encourage feelings of excitement or lead to more energy, which is the opposite of the desired effect when using MMJ for a sleep aid.

There are a few different strains of indica that are thought to help people with sleep disorders. They include:

Purple Kush

This strain has a high THC potency. It is among the most popular to be used for insomnia.


G-13 also has a high amount of THC, making it a good choice for those suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. Its strong sedative properties can benefit those trying to get restful sleep.

God’s Gift

This particular strain was created by combining two other strong strains of cannabis. Its THC levels can reach levels as high as 25%.

Although medical marijuana may not work as a sleep aid for everyone, it’s a worthy option for those looking to address their sleep disorder issues with natural medication.

Featured image by Megan te Boekhorst on Unsplash