The benefits of using cannabis oil for narcolepsy are many and fascinating. And narcolepsy is a disorder that is fascinating to dissect and understand. People falling asleep during the day but battling to sleep at night? The fact is that cannabis oil is a natural healer and usually its main constituents are cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – or a mixture of the two cannabinoids. 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 – and 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?
Narcolepsy is an ongoing neurological disorder where the patient battles to regulate his/her own sleep cycles. They feel extremely fatigued during the day and can just fall asleep during a normal task – for a few minutes to several minutes. During this short sleep episode, the patient also experiences 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. Some people with narcolepsy may get hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up. People with narcolepsy do get the same number of hours of sleep as “normal” sleepers, but this sleep is broken up during the day and night. The quality is very poor so their health suffers terribly.
No one really knows the causes of narcolepsy but it is thought to be genetic or because the person also suffers 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 cleanout – of 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, and clears 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 that is narcolepsy. If a person with narcolepsy gets to rather stay 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. The benefits of using cannabis oil for narcolepsy include the fact 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 are revealing that the use of cannabis oil at night is highly beneficial for people with narcolepsy. Sleep comes in stages and 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 as the cannabinoid reduces symptoms of sleep apnea and reduces the intensity of REM sleep which is when we dream. The conclusion for people with narcolepsy is this: CBD infused cannabis oil will help you during the day to stay alert and 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.