The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Tremendous Success using Marijuana as Sleep Aid

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Rich D, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Rich D

    Rich D

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    I have what I would characterize as the typical sleep disorder associated with CFS - difficulty falling asleep, wired but tired, and up and down all night long. I was on Ambien for two years before I quit because of side effects and the inherent risk in long term use.

    After being off sleep meds for a number of months, I decided to try marijuana as a sleep aid. I don't enjoy the feeling of being under its influence, but as a sleep aid I am finding it tremendously effective. I take just a couple of hits right before I am ready to go to sleep (I use a vaporizor). I then easily drift off to sleep, and most nights, stay asleep uninterrupted for about 5-6 hours, followed by interrupted sleep for another 2-3 hours. Sometimes sleep quality is better than others, but I am astounded by how well it works for me. I have only had one or two nights of poor sleep in months. It has even been more effective than Ambien, and I experience no adverse side effects.

    I believe that marijuana has anti inflammatory properties. I suspect that these properties help reduce problems in our CFS brains. Or perhaps there are other mechanisms at work.

    I am having such success that I wanted to share this with the group, particularly since it has become much more widely and legally available recently. Marijuana may not be for everyone, but if you have access to it, it may be worth a try. I'd be curious if others have had success with it, and if anyone has tried a low thc variety.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    Hi @Rich D I'm glad your sleep has improved! I tried it for sleep but I was still wide awake at 3 a.m. My sleep has improved through other means but I'm very interested in finding out more about the benefits of marijuana. It's legal for medicinal purposes where I live and I will be buying some at the dispensary tomorrow.

    I'll be using it mainly to help with my chlamydia pneumonia treatment as marijuana is supposed to both diminish die-off symptoms and is strongly antibacterial. So it also causes die-off very quickly apparently if you have bacterial infections, but they are quicker to dissipate and less unpleasant.

    There has been some discussion on the c.pneumonia forum (Cpnhelp.org) about it's helpfulness in those ways which is why I'm going to try it.

    All five cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN) are apparently strongly antibacterial. They're even supposedly effective against bacteria that are known to be abx resistant, like MRSA. CBD and CBG are nonpsychotropic so I'm going to go with those.

    This may be how it modulates die-off symptoms: Phytocannabinoids have the ability to suppress the inflammatory cytokine cascade by inhibiting glial cell production of the cytokines interferon or interleukin.

    Sounds good doesn't it?
     
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  3. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I used it as a sleep aide for years, along with a variety of other things, mainly herbal, but also low dose Klonopin, and several bodymind techniques. I felt it was less about actually putting me to sleep than calming the anxiety as I lay there wired and exhausted. Early on, when I could hear my nervous system chugging along like an old sewing machine, I started using GABA, which was a great benefit for my CNS, but sleep continued to be a problem. Once I got stabilized on B12/folate, my insomnia evaporated. I'd had a life-long tendency toward insomnia, with episodic acute phases, and since ME, unremitting. For the past year I've had the bliss of falling asleep easily, staying asleep, and if I awaken to go to toilet, almost always returning to sleep easily and quickly.

    I also felt it to help with mast cell issues, maybe some other inflammatory properties. I searched for links to these several times, found a few references. I'm happy that I no longer need or use it. One less out-of-pocket expense.

    ETA: Actually, I think it was more than getting my B12/folate right. I actually no longer needed marijuana after I had a massive elimination from my adrenals, 9 months ago. I'd reached my optimal B12/folate dose around the same time, but feel that this adrenal clearing was also instrumental. From that time on my lifelong irritability, agitation, low threshold for frustration shifted. Now when I experience those things I know my adrenals need help. Before, this triad seemed to be my temperament.

    Also, when I could no longer tolerate Klonopin I began using pituitary glandular, which was very helpful. I used this for 2 years, until the adrenal clearing. Hard to remember all the many things I used for sleep, now that I need nothing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
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  4. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    Glad to hear it's worked well for you. I honestly believe it's quite difficult to find a better sleep aid that is as safe for regular use.

    MJ's effectiveness as a sleep aid varies significantly with the strain, and with individual response. If you live in a legal state, ask the provider which strains are recommended for this use, and if not, be aware that the effects are likely to vary from batch to batch. Some people have better results using it in the early evening, others find that an edible preparation suits them best. (Be careful with edibles: dosages can be harder to predict, composition is dependent on the preparation method, and absorption rates vary quite a bit).

    Most folks agree that users can easily build a tolerance to MJ, and that keeping the dosage as low as possible within the effective range will minimize this effect. Taking the occasional one-week break can eliminate the tolerance issue completely.

    Daily users sometimes report that they stop dreaming during sleep, and that their dreams return and are quite vivid for a while after the drug is withdrawn. This suggest to me that occasional breaks are probably a good idea.

    In my opinion, MJ is a front-line CFS intervention for those who benefit from it.
     
  5. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    As I have said in other threads about medical cannabis, it has helped my sleep tremendously. I can get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, unlike anything I've experienced in my 33 years of ME.

    I grow my own strains and process them into a tincture, using grain alcohol as the solvent, a method I learned from reading Stephan Bruhner's medical herbalism books. (I grow Med GOM 1.0 and CBD Kush) (Harlequin is one I am going to try.)

    And as others have said, it is an anti-inflammatory and helps me, at least, with brain fog and hip joint pain. It helps so much with pain that it would be worth it if it helped with nothing else.

    Here's the latest youtube video I have encountered about medical cannabis.



    Warning: it has horrible music at the beginning so turn down the sound before it gets to the informative part.
     
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  6. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

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    Just as another data point, I tried medical marijuana several years ago for sleep and despite many tries, many "dosages", and many different varieties over the coarse of a year, I found it to be absolutely useless. I have weapons grade insomnia, and had tried nearly everything, so it was a no-brainer for me to try it. Given that you never know exactly what you're getting, unless you would have it tested, my experience may have been because I just don't respond well to it, or it may have been whatever it was I was buying...it's kind of the wild west dressed up to be "legitimate". I would say it's always worth a try if you have access to it, but it certainly did nothing for me.
     
  7. danceintherain

    danceintherain

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    How did you clear your adrenals? Was it just from the right b12/folate? Or were there other things you did? Also, are there certain types/forms/brands of b12 and folate that are best? Can you tell a bit more why you used pituitary glandular?
     
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  8. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    @danceintherain I didn't set out to clear my adrenals. I was engaged in a conservative, gentle detox regimen, using a variety of things, including chlorella, clay, diatomaceous earth, humic/fulvic, oregano oil...At some point it became clear I was experiencing adrenal stress: my face was puffy, eyes leaking, then low back pain...I traced it to excess folate. (You can see my realization and the ensuing experience in the "high methylfolate users" thread. One day I'll consolidate a blog post.)When I stopped eating the green vegetables which were creating the adrenal stress, my detox was kicked into high gear. After I had ridden the process out, a number of symptoms, things which I'd call part of my basic temperament, had shifted: irritability, agitation, low threshold for frustration. I'm not the most patient person, but now, when I experience those symptoms, I know it means my adrenals are stressed.

    Sorry, I can't recap my whole story in the moment. It was about stoppint the wrong folate. It became clear that for me the folinic form of folate found in vegetables was blocking the methylfolate, causing me to continue raising my dose to overcome deficiency symptoms. I've tried small amounts of green veg since gthen, but it just doesn't work for me, sadly. You'll probably find info re brands in the first Freddd's Protocol link in my signature. I think most things labelled Methylfolate are the correct form. Certainly, Thorne, Solgar, Life Extension. Enzymatic Therapies 1mg B12 still seems to be the top-rated. I was using Country LIfe 5000mcg (5mg) MB12. Then I switched to B12 transdermal oil. There's another thread about this, entitled "Transdermal B12...". I've gone from using a commercial transdermal oil to DIY, and it's working great. Also, when I switched from swallowing folate to putting it along my gum, like with the B12, I reduced my dosage to 1/3 of what I'd been using.:)

    Pituitary: One of the first things I understood about my illness was it involved the HPA axis. I knew my hypothalamus was a mess, my thermostat was totally out of whack for one. And my adrenals. And then there's pituitary. Once I could no longer tolerate Klonopin I was desperate to find something to help. I'd already begun using adrenal and hypothalamus glandulars by then. Within hours of taking the first hypothalamus, I no longer hyperventilated when I went into the heat or heard a leaf blower. So I decided to try pituitary to aid with sleep. And it worked. Once the adrenal detox happened, two years later, there was no need any longer. Weird. Excellent. Something massive had shifted. As to my detox regimen itself, based around coffee enemas. Link in my signature. cheers.:balanced:
     
  9. danceintherain

    danceintherain

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    I have a Grave's disease and take meds to suppress my thyroid. Do you know if pituitary would be okay to take? And where do you get it? I guess I dont really know if I need an adrenal supplement. My labs were normal but higher than in the past, so I wonder if they are getting over-worked and a supplement would take some stress off, or just confuse the situation...I guess it would be the same for pituitary and hypothalamus. But maybe it would help with the thyroid issue? Don't know.
    Green veggies: all green veggies? Broccoli, spinach, kale, bell pepper, cucumber (although that is only free skin), etc? That is interesting. I would never have guessed that could happen.
    I am glad to hear about your success! That is wonderful!
    **I apologize for going OT in this thread. I know this is about marijuana. I wish it was legal in my state, but even the few medical uses where it is legal are difficult because there is no place to fill an Rx. Making it legal would help (I hope) to get unadulterated cannabis and not be worried you are getting junk or something dangerous mixed in. If I could move to another state, I probably would.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Rich D
    Since you said you don't enjoy the feeling of being under the influence of Cannabis, you may be interested in this thread about cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of the two main psychoactive components of Cannabis, the other component being THC.

    CBD oil helped some people with sleep, and CBD does not have the mind altering effects of Cannabis, which mainly come from THC component.
     
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  11. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    CBD is not psychoactive at all. Only THC and some of it's derivatives that come about during THC break down and are very low in percentage of compounds in the herb, are psychoactive.
     
  12. consuegra

    consuegra Senior Member

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    This might be a good time to remind people about another non-psycho-active cannabinoid compound - THCa. THCa exists in the pre-heated or pre-aged plant and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and other properties, although the science is weak. There are videos on making cold processed THCa tinctures as well as juicing the straight pre-heated plants. It is possible that THCa might help with sleep.

    Chris
     
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  13. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    I wouldn't discourage anyone else from trying it raw but I did it for awhile and didn't get the good results I got from heating my extract to change the THCa to THC and the CBDa to CBD. If I could only grow more plants legally, I would do both but until Prohibition is lifted, I am constrained from growing enough plants to use some of them raw.

    In the last week or so two bills have been introduced in Congress, one to reschedule marijuana to Schedule 2, and one to remove it entirely from the criminal statutes and treat it like alcohol and tobacco. Of course, I hope for the latter, but I guess the rescheduling would be better than nothing. At least researchers in the US would be able to do the research we need to find out what compounds in the herb are responsible for which affects.
     
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  14. danceintherain

    danceintherain

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    Would the bill still allow states to make their own laws concerning its use/legality, or would it override the states?
     
  15. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Certainly if you were to define "psychoactive" as precipitating some degree of psychedelic trip, then yes CBD is not psychoactive. In fact the CBD in Cannabis directly counters and reduces the psychedelic effects of THC.

    This is why the "skunk" form of Cannabis plant, which has been bred to increase the THC content but lower the CBD content, is associated with precipitating episodes of psychosis, because pure THC is a psychosis inducer, whereas CBD has potent anti-psychosis effects.

    In natural Cannabis, these pro- and anti-psychosis effects balance each other out, but in skunk, the pro-psychosis effects dominate, because there is more THC and less CBD.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  16. redviper

    redviper Senior Member

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    I have been taking "CBD" pills 1-4 times a week depending on symptoms flares for about a year now. I also smoke and have tried all the different variants of CBD/THC levels.

    I would say I notice a slight improvement in the quality of sleep I get when I take a CBD pill. I don't sleep for longer periods of time, but I do feel like it's somehow helping me get into a deeper stage of sleep and I wake with slightly less pain and feeling more refreshed. Unfortunately I seem to build up a tolerance to the CBD for sleep pretty quickly, after taking the pills consistently for a couple days I notice much less of an effect. So I try and space them out and save them for nights when I could use the extra little bump.

    For what it's worth, I have also found Hash to be effective when mixed with THC marijuana at night time to help rest my mind, ease my aches and help me drift off to sleep.
     
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  17. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Wow @ahmo, that's quite the testimonial. I'm not sure what you mean by "elimination from my adrenals". Would you be willing to elaborate? If I could improve on my decades-long low threshold for irritability, agitation, and frustration, it would truly be a miracle. -- Thanks!

    P.S. You wouldn't believe how the littlest of things can set off feelings of frustration and despair. I can't believe it myself most of the time. :):angel:
     
  18. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Oh yes I would!;) See my response #8 above. Adrenals had not been a target for me, but had become a primary symptom. Until this point I was unaware of how dependent adrenals are on liver function. I'd been using coffee enemas, which are an excellent liver detoxifier. Suddenly I understood the relationship. Another thing which ceased during this period of elimination was my tinnitus, which can be an adrenal symptom. Following this, I found that the tinnitus returns, starting from a small hiss, when my adrenals are stressed. I was able to stop adrenal and pituitary glandulars I'd relied on for 2 years after this clearing. I've posted about CE's, see link in my sig. I don't know if this answers your question...o_O
     
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  19. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    @danceintherain That is a point of law that is currently being tested in several venues. It seems to me that state's laws would prevail, but I'm not a judge or lawyer. I've read both sides' arguments and I think "states rights" will win, but only time will tell. If the bill to take it out of DEA scheduling altogether passed, then state law would prevail. Keep in mind that different states and other jurisdictions have differing laws re: alcohol as well. There are "dry" counties, for instance, and people who live in them just go elsewhere to get their booze. There are counties and towns in Colorado, too, that have passed ordinances prohibiting certain aspects of cannabis production and sale.

    Changing the Federal law would shift power and the ability to make money off the "offenders", so there is a lot of push back coming from the prison industry, from DEA and some parts of law enforcement, which has the ability to rip off just about anyone for no reason at all, confiscating property and money in a "guilty until proven innocent" mind set.

    Here in Colorado one group of sheriffs has a lawsuit claiming they are in a Catch-22 position, that they have to break federal law if they allow Colorado law to control. Another group of sheriffs is saying the first group just wants to maintain their privileges of making money off those "offenders" and it's not really about marijuana at all.

    Attorney's General in neighboring Nebraska and Oklahoma are trying to get the Supreme Court to accept their suit saying the herb is being transported into their states and it's overburdening their police forces, which have been accused of "license plate profiling." At the same time, some of their own state Senators have introduced bills to decriminalize it, in various ways.

    I live near the borders with Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. On weekends the dispensary that is about 7 miles away has a line of customers out the door and to the street. The licenses of the cars parked in front are predominantly from out of state. This only tells me that citizens of those states are going to get it one way or another -- Prohibition has never worked when citizens are determined -- and these visitors would rather get it legitimately than on the black market. They are legal unless/until they cross the state line. That this happens on weekends also tells me that it is working people who are driving this demand, not a bunch of lazy, unemployed "potheads", the stereotype the anti-legalization crowd always promotes.

    I'd say there is a very good chance one of these bills will be made into law, someday. When is the big question. And one of the bill's sponsors is Rand Paul, Republican presidential candidate. There is support from both parties now, for one reason or another.
     
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  20. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    Yes, THC is the compound that induces psychosis, IF psychosis happens. It doesn't affect most users that way. And yes, CBD does balance out the affect of THC. But there are dozens of other cannabinoids that we don't really know the affects of, that probably balance it, too.

    Skunk varieties, and there are at least 20 of them according to Wikipedia, are not the only varieties where breeding has increased the THC levels while not increasing the CBD levels. Just about all varieties grown for the "stoner" market have increased THC while ignoring the other cannabinoids. There is debate going on presently on how high THC can go. Some varieties are now claiming 25%. There hasn't been, IMO, any attempt to lower the CBD -- it just hasn't been taken into account, until lately. By lately, I mean the last 4-5 years.

    The original Skunk is a sativa, thought to originate in the US, but most varieties containing it today are hybrids of sativa and indica strains.

    If you are relying on the Times article claiming "skunk" varieties cause a lot of "psychosis", I'll point out that they are quoting something from a King's College, UK, study, not found to be a reliable source of information for ME patients and not very accurate on this subject. The article says that hashish is a "milder form" of cannabis. It's just the opposite!

    Bottom line, though, as stated by that study's spokeswoman, is that it depends on the potency of the particular variety and the amount used.
     
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