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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Are you not getting enough rest at night? Do you feel tired after a full nights sleep? Does your spouse want a divorce because of the non-stop snoring? Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea.

It is estimated that there are 18 million sleep apnea patients in the United States and the condition is considered to be under-diagnosed. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your breathing to decline or have momentary pauses while sleeping. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Signs or symptoms of sleep apnea can be snoring, restless sleep and tiredness during the day. This restless sleep can affect your mood, cause headaches and even lead to forgetful spells and a lack of concentration.

Long term, this condition can lead to a host of problems like cardiovascular issues, diabetes, cancer and impaired motor skills.

Current treatments consist of reducing weight if obese, or a medical device called Constant Positive Airway Pressure (or CPAP) which is the only approved treatment available for sleep apnea. CPAP devices typically consist of a mask which covers the nose and mouth that is connected to an air pump. While a CPAP mask can be effective in reducing sleep apnea, for a variety of reasons, about half of patients initially prescribed its use, fail to continue to use the device.

Currently, there are no available pharmaceutical treatments.

Recently studies have been done on the effectiveness of using cannabis medications to treat sleep apnea. In 2002, researchers at the University of Illinois studied the effects of using chemicals from the cannabis plant on the treatment of sleep apnea in rats. The results showed a 40% decrease in sleep apnea conditions.

The lead doctor in this study then did his first human trial using the cannabinoid derived drug Dronabinol. The results stated that Dronabinol treatment is safe and well-tolerated and significantly reduces Apnea Hypopnea in the short-term.

Phase 2 of this study conducted by Dr. David Carley and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University finished in December 2016. They found that Dronabinol once a day at night significantly reduces the Apnea Hypopnea Index and also significantly improved daytime sleepiness.

Dronabinol is already approved in the United States by the FDA for anorexia associated with AIDS and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. It is awaiting approval by the FDA to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a sleeping disorder speak with your medical practitioner or dispensary technician to see which cannabis treatment option is best to combat your symptoms.

Visit our website for more medical marijuana information.