Medical Cannabis and sleep Apnea 

Obstructive sleep apnea isn’t snoring, since snoring is due to the movement of tissues within the throat as a person lets out and takes in air. While it’s annoying, it’s not a huge health risk. OSA however, is when you stop breathing, which causes the soft tissues within the throat to fall down and blocks the airway. When that stops, your oxygen levels will go down. Whenever your SCNS detects this, it’ll activate those fight or flight systems, releasing hormones such as adrenaline to help you wake up and you may start to gasp trying to get air. Because this reaction happens in seconds, you may not notice it, but you may have very interrupted sleep. 

Usually, this is diagnosed with what’s called a sleep study, where they look at the oxygen, breathing, and different variables. Usually, the results are reported on a system of numbers, and from there, they figure out what to do with you. It’s beyond just feeling tired, it can actually contribute to heart disease, hypertension, gaining weight, damage to the brain, even metabolic syndrome. This, of course, is prevalent and may happen due to not being diagnosed in most cases. 

Current Treatments? 

Usually, at this point the treatments are a CPAP machine, which pumps air with a face mask over the face to offer a flow of air that is steady to stop the airways from collapsing as well. A lot of people don’t like this though due to how it sits, and usually, they discontinue use. Another form of therapy has come forward though, and that is where they put oral appliances on the jaw, in a forward motion to keep the airway open, and it works, but the problem is it can cause TMJ. 

There are some studies however that are reporting that there is a chance that marijuana can be used to help, since it reduces anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress. There is also some studies which say that CBD may help those who can’t sleep with a CPAP machine and other kinds of therapies. There is also evidence which is limited but it’s been found that cannabinoids that are within marijuana may also discover that there is a way to reduce the frequency and instance of sleep apnea. 

One of them was done in rats and bulldogs, where they administered different kinds of THC, monitored it for sleep apnea, and it was found that the frequency was a whole lot less during REM and non-REM cycles too. There was also a study that showed that synthetic THC also may have some promise of suppressing your immune system, and there was another study that was done where there were adults with moderate to severe sleep apnea and were given synthetic THC before they fell asleep. Since then, they found that there were reductions in their scores too over time, and it can be significant in some cases for those who have mild to moderate sleep apnea. 

With that being said, there is still a lot of studies which need to be done to help you with getting the right medical marijuana to help you. While it may not be a valid study, there is something that may showcase that THC may aid with the increase of serotonin, and of course, this can play in serotonin regulation levels, which also plays a role in how they are affected by apnea moments too, and right now, there is still some work to be done on and it could possibly be what people are looking for when they’re looking to get the sleep aid that they need. 

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