Conclusion: Taking together, these preliminary findings suggest that CBD might prevent sleepiness in narcolepsy.
Background: Excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy are among the symptoms of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder caused by the loss of hypocretin/orexin (HCRT/OX) neurons placed into the Hypothalamus (LH). Several treatments for managing narcolepsy include diverse drugs to induce alertness, such as antidepressants, amphetamine, or modafinil, etc. Recent evidence has shown that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic derived from Cannabis sativa, shows positive therapeutic effects in neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson´s disease. Furthermore, CBD provokes alertness and enhances wake-related neurochemicals in laboratory animals. Thus, it is plausible to hypothesize that excessive somnolence observed in narcolepsy might be blocked by CBD.
Methods: To test this idea, the neurotoxin hypocretin-2-saporin (HCRT2/SAP) was bilaterally injected into the LH of rats to eliminate HCRT leading to the establishment of narcoleptic-like behavior. Since excessive somnolence in HCRT2/SAP lesioned rats has been observed during the lights-off period, CBD was administered at the beginning of the dark phase.
Results: Hourly analysis of sleep data showed that CBD blocked the sleepiness during the lights-off period across 7h post-injection in lesioned rats.
Objective: Here, we determined whether the systemic injection of CBD (5mg/kg, i.p.) would block the excessive sleepiness in a narcoleptic model.
Keywords: Cannabidiol; hypocretin-deficient rats; lateral hypothalamus; narcolepsy; neurodegenerative disorder; rapid eye movement sleep..
On the other hand, cannabis “indica” strains help me achieve deeper sleep. If I were to smoke an “indica” strain during the day, I would find myself napping too much. I use “indica” strains at night. These strains are also higher in CBD, which is a moderate sleep aid.
I grew up watching That 70s Show, where that the majority of cannabis users are depicted as young, dumb, and healthy. As a disabled adult, these expectations have since flown out the window. I’ve met a plethora of different people who utilize medical cannabis. Some of these people you might never have guessed, especially if you grew up in a post-‘war-on-drugs’-world, like me.
Like any medication, I have to be careful with my cannabis dosage. I use other medications in addition to my medical cannabis. Cannabis can interfere with one of these medications, so I try to watch my intake. Cannabis use can decrease the efficiency of certain antidepressants, which I take to control my cataplexy.
Cannabis also helps with my anxiety. I have severe anxiety that is treated with pharmaceuticals. By integrating medical cannabis into my treatment plan, I’ve been able to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals that I take to treat my anxiety. Since there are often worse side effects from pharmaceuticals than cannabis, I take that as a win.
Different strains affect me differently
Medical cannabis assists in my ability to achieve a deeper and more peaceful sleep state with my narcolepsy condition. I have a reduction in anxiety, which makes normally disturbing hallucinations just a temporary discomfort.
It is a starry Friday night, and I am sitting on my front patio twisting a funny-looking cigarette in my hands. The scent of the pine trees is distinct underneath the sweet, cloying smoke that fills the air. I pull a long drag of air from my cigarette and feel my body relax beneath its influence.
Sometimes if I use too much cannabis or simply the wrong strain, my cataplexy will be worsened for a number of hours. This was scary at first, but I’ve been able to avoid it from happening too much by utilizing a few different strategies. One of them is very simple – just don’t smoke too much!
How medical cannabis affects my narcolepsy symptoms
I have also found that the right levels of cannabis in my system can actually decrease the frequency and length of my hallucinations at night. I am unsure if this is because I am achieving a deeper sleep or another reason. All I know is that it works for me.
There is still a heavy stigma attached to the use of medical cannabis, despite it being legal in the U.S. in 36 states. 1
The impact of cannabinoids on insomnia and other conditions such as PTSD, which may stem at least partly from their anxiolytic effects, appears to be dose-dependent.
An earlier study of patients with fibromyalgia demonstrated the superiority of synthetic THC (nabilone) compared to amitriptyline on sleep in patients with fibromyalgia, although it is unknown whether this was attributable to the effect of nabilone on sleep quality or pain control. 1,4
Effect in PTSD and Sleep Apnea