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Marijuana to help with sleep

mamlicsw's picture
mamlicsw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2019

A friend with situation anxiety told me she's been smoking a very small amount of marijuana to get to sleep.  She says it's very helpful and has no side effects on the next day.  She doesn't use it daily.  I'm having trouble falling asleep so  started taking an Ativan.  I still lie awake for 2-3 hours but at least it's peaceful and and not anxious.  I'm very tired the next today.  I live in a state where marijuana is legal.  Are there people using marijuana to help with sleep rather than pain?  I plan to talk to my oncologist about this before I try anything.  Any other suggestions for getting to sleep?  Mary Ann

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 184
Joined: Jan 2019

Are you eating or drinking something with caffeine in it?  Or some other food that is stimulating like chocolate?   Using your computer right before you go to bed makes it difficult to sleep also.

You can become habituated to Ativan.  It can't be taken every night or it stops working.  I use a Dephenhydramine every night.  It is like Benedryl but doesn't leave me sleepy the next day.   And I changed the place I sleep for awhile.   Some meories (anxiety) are location paired.  If you change the location the memories fade.   

 I can't comment on the marijuana, no experience.  

mamlicsw's picture
mamlicsw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2019

I have a little caffeineated coffee in the morning so I can get moving after a night of not very good sleep.  I avoid all caffeine the rest of the day so I don't think that's the problem.  I've been thinking about buying new pillows and getting a new mattress since what we have is quite old.  I've tried a meditation sleep app but that didn't help.  Maybe I'll have to keep trying relaxation techniques and hope they catch on.  I find myself becoming anxious when I feel they're not helpiing.  Thanks for responding.  Mary Ann

MAbound
Posts: 859
Joined: Jun 2016

You may find this helpful: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/cbd-addiction/#gref

If you do go down this route, besides talking to your oncologist (who may not have much expertise about it) keep doing your research. You need to understand if it interacts with anything that you are currently taking or is contradicted for people with certain diagnoses. What helps for one person can get another in trouble, so you need to be careful with any kind of OTC drug or supplement you are taking or considering.

If you haven't read this post you may want to check it out:

https://csn.cancer.org/node/319913

Anyone thinking of taking CBD oil may want to get a subscription to consumerlab.com. first. They have CBD oil on their list of things they have tested and would have up-to-date information on current research, what it's useful for, which brands are best or safe to take as well as which ones are questionable. They cover things like safe dosages, drug interactions, and potential side effects. I'd go and check out what they say further, but I let my subscription lapse. They are like Consumer Reports for OTC supplements and are supported only by subscriptions so that their information is unbiased. It's worth the cost for at least a year to check out the OTCs you are taking or thinking of taking so that you understand what you are putting in your body before you get into any complications from doing so.

Here's a link that at least shows which brands consumerlab.com checked out:

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/cbd-oil-hemp-review/cbd-oil/?j=886421&sfmc_sub=18124180&l=529_HTML&u=14448863&mid=7276525&jb=202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exacttarget&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_term=&utm_content=yogurt_expired_de_send#interactions

You won't be able to see anything beyond this page without a subscription, but I thought the list of brands they checked out might be of interest to some.

I agree with Forherself about some of the things that might be a factor in your issues with sleep. It's so easy to jump to a pharmaceutical first to get relief, but it can be worth it to look into and try other ways to aid sleep that wouldn't have the risks and potentially negative consequences of ingesting or smoking something. That said, sleep deprivation is no joke and sometimes you just have to take something. Just be careful not to trade one problem for a different one. Here's another link that discusses pharmaceutical and wholistic means for helping with sleep.

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/ambien-addiction/alternatives/#gref

Good night and good luck!

mamlicsw's picture
mamlicsw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2019

Thanks MAbound,

I'll be seeing both my PCP and my oncology NP this week so I can follow up further and in general see what they might  offer about my sleep problem.  The Ativan hasn't really been much help with sleep but it did help me relax.  I'm concerned about drug interactions with my chemo and other medications so definitely would not try it without knowing more and getting an approval from my medical team.  I can't imagine using it on a daily basis.  I've only taken Ativan 3 times and only after I tried to fall asleep on my own first.  I've tried some relaxation techniques and should probably keep pushing that strategy.  I appreciate the validation about sleep deprivation!  Mary Ann

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 294
Joined: Feb 2018

I've been taking Ambien for quite a few years.  I've had sleep issues for many years, and it  works great for me.  My doctor and oncologist agreed that restorative sleep is so helpful for healing.  I've been reading some concerns about it lately, and plan to try to find a better alternative, but my mind absolutely races if I try to sleep without it.  Wishing you the best.

mamlicsw's picture
mamlicsw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2019

Thanks for responding.  Have you had any concerns about becoming dependent?  That's one of my concerns for any sedative type of treatment.  Yet I'm also feeling miserable watching time passing by at night.  I see a few different medical providers over the next couple of weeks and will ask all of them what they think.  Mary Ann

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 294
Joined: Feb 2018

I'd have to read the patient information sheet again, but  I don't think it causes physical dependency.  I guess since I had cancer and the accompanying anxiety, I wasn't worried about becoming dependent, since I felt like there were so many other fish to fry, so to speak.  That may be why none of my doctors have expressed concern about me staying on it.  I do think there are probably better solutions, but I'm just not motivated to find them.  I sure do understand how you feel at night, though.  It is miserable.

AttilaDBun's picture
AttilaDBun
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2019

I live in Oregon where weed is legal.  I've been using a strain called "harley-tsu".  It has one of the highest cbd to thc ratios.  This causes deep relaxation without the psychoactive effects of higher thc strains.  The sensation is very much like Ativan without the possibility of addiction.  I am still functional in the day time, yet fall into a very relaxing sleep at night with no morning hangover.  I take 2 little hits and I'm good!

MAbound
Posts: 859
Joined: Jun 2016

Your screen name is a hoot!

mamlicsw's picture
mamlicsw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2019

That's exactly what my friend with situation anxiety describes.  Just a coupld of quick hits.  I live in Massachusetts so it's legal here as well.  Thanks.

Steelkiwi686's picture
Steelkiwi686
Posts: 49
Joined: May 2019

I’m popping in from the colon cancer group just to say that Mmj is worth trying especially if legal In your state. I use it for sleep, cramping, nausea, neuropathy, and appetite stimulation. It helped me gain back the pounds I had lost when I started having no appetite and it was so difficult to eat. Many people use it for anxiety etc as it is very calming and relaxing based on the strain you choose. 

I think of the different strains as Day or Night appropriate. I also have Harley Tsu strain in my arsenal  it was the first one I tried and ageee it offers significant relief and can be taken during the day. 

I sometimes vape and I’m also a fan of the drops or tinctures. A small amount under the tongue and you will most likely fall into a deep relaxing sleep. If used under the tongue you feel effects in about ten or fifteen minutes. If you choose to simplify swallow the drops, it can take up to one or two hours to feel it’s effects. 

Anyhow if trying mmj you start low and slow. With a bit of experimentation you could find the best strain for your needs.

and hey if you don’t like it  you haven’t lost anything by investigating....

If you’re interested in discussing any further feel free to contact me.   Incidentally I don’t take any other medicine at this point besides Claritin for Neulasta pain prevention. 

SK

55, female, stage 4 colon cancer

 

 

 

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