There are many fascinating benefits to using cannabis oil for narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a fascinating disorder we need to dissect and understand. People falling asleep during the day but battling to sleep at night? Cannabis oil is a natural healer for this sleep disorder. Cannabis oil comprises mainy cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or a THC : CBD blend.
These chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant have innate therapeutic powers which have been harnessed by humans for centuries. But in recent decades, THC became an illicit substance because people abused its psychoactive qualities. Some people became addicted to this feeling of euphoria. CBD, however, does not make the user high and is an increasingly recognised medical alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. It does have benefits for people with narcolepsy.
What Exactly is Narcolepsy?
The Stanford Medicine Center for Narcolepsy is the authority on this sleep disorder: Narcolepsy is a frequent disorder: it is the second leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness diagnosed by sleep centers after obstructive sleep apnea. Studies on the epidemiology of narcolepsy show an incidence of 0.2 to 1.6 per thousand in European countries, Japan and the United States, a frequency at least as large as that of Multiple Sclerosis. In many cases, however, diagnosis is not made until many years after the onset of symptoms. This is often due to the fact that patients consult a physician after many years of excessive sleepiness, assuming that sleepiness is not indicative of a disease.
People with narcolepsy experience intense sleepiness during the day and at night their sleep comprises unusual REM sleep. Doctors say that narcolepsy is a common, but not serious, condition. It allows researchers to look closer at what drives REM sleep and how people stay alert during the day. Imagine battling to regulate your own sleep cycles? Imagine feeling extremely fatigued during the day where you just fall asleep during a normal task?
Cataplexy is Related to Narcolepsy
During this short sleep episode, the patient can also experience cataplexy which is when they lose muscle strength and their jaw slackens, limbs get weak. Cataplexy can be induced by strong emotions like sadness or laughter. Cataplexy, a pathological equivalent of REM sleep atonia unique to narcolepsy, is a striking, sudden episode of muscle weakness triggered by emotions. Typically, the patient’s knees buckle and may give way upon laughing, elation, surprise or anger. In other typical cataplectic attacks the head may drop or the jaw may become slack. In severe cases, the patient might fall down and become completely paralyzed for a few seconds to several minutes. Reflexes are abolished during the attack.
No one really knows the causes of narcolepsy. Some doctors think it is genetic or it could be linked to conditions of sleep apnea, trauma, stress, depression, anemia, heart failure, alcohol abuse and lack of sleep.
Why Do We Need Quality Sleep?
When we sleep, our bodies and brains do a huge clean-out. We clear away emotions and old cells, negative thoughts and all the experiences that happened that day. It is also the time when the body heals and repairs its tissues and blood vessels, clearing out toxins. If you do not get enough sleep, you will suffer weight gain, high blood pressure therefore risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes and depression.
What are the Benefits of Using Cannabis Oil for Narcolepsy?
Cannabis oils can be made from the sativa cannabis strain or the indica cannabis strain. The sativa strain tends to be more energising and uplifting, while indica is more relaxing and a great pain killer. CBD has been found to have energising properties that keep the user alert – as long as the dose is correct. CBD is a non-psychotic cannabinoid that also relieves stress and anxiety, yet keeps the body and brain alert.
Taking CBD in the daytime, therefore, is one way to combat the need to constantly sleep, or narcolepsy. If a person with narcolepsy rather stays awake during the day, they should sleep better at night. What usually happens to these victims is that they battle to sleep at night, because they keep waking up and have vivid nightmares. Scientists say that people who have narcolepsy with cataplexy are lacking a chemical in the brain called hypocretin. This protein is supposed to alert special systems in the brain and keep the person waking and sleeping in the correct sleep cycle. One of the benefits of using cannabis oil for narcolepsy is that CBD can help to regulate the brain and body to stay alert during the day.
The Benefits of Cannabis Oil at Night for Narcolepsy
Studies reveal that the use of cannabis oil at night is highly beneficial for people with narcolepsy. Sleep comes in stages: understanding these and how cannabis works, helps to explain how we can improve sleep disorders using cannabis oil. The first stage of sleep lasts less than 10 minutes as one falls asleep – taking cannabis oil can lengthen this stage. The second stage of sleep is light sleep and one can be woken up pretty easily. Then, stages three and four are called slow wave sleep which is restorative sleep and this stage can be lengthened if one takes cannabis oil. A longer more quality sleep allows the brain to detox and strengthen overnight, preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. More research is needed to prove this.
Meanwhile, research has discovered that THC can help people sleep better. The cannabinoid reduces symptoms of sleep apnea and reduces the intensity of REM sleep (when we dream). The conclusion for people with narcolepsy is this: CBD-infused cannabis oil will help you during the day to stay alert. THC-infused cannabis oil will help you during the night to enjoy a deep sleep. So, yes, there are benefits in using cannabis oil to treat narcolepsy.