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Cannabis & Sleep Insomnia

In this video, discover Rebekkah’s story and how cannabis helped her fighting sleep insomnia. 

My name is Rebekkah, I live in Los Angeles.

Which health issue do you suffer from?

As a result of some injuries and illnesses over the years, I don’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well in 15 years. About 15 years I had a virus that rendered me deaf of one ear and also left me with very very noisy tinnitus. At the time, I already wasn’t sleeping well because of the illness itself and while I was under care for this particular, I pointed out to my doctor that I was having trouble sleeping, so he was aware of it and helped me and tried to prescribe some sleep aids, prescription narcotics and those sort of things, which helped but left me kind of brainless. It affected my though processes and it wasn’t comfortable to do. But since that time, and because the tinnitus is so loud, I’ve not slept particularly well and then after a while, I bought a fit pit and used a sleep monitor and became aware that I was only getting between 2 and 3 hours of sleep a night. Even if I were in bed for 10 hours, I was only sleeping for a couple of hours when I would turn or I was restless or I would be wide awake so it’s been an ongoing issue.

How did you find your way to cannabis as a treatment?

When I was first diagnosed with an illness that took off my ear, I was leaving in a state that didn’t support the use of cannabis medically; I was relying on the medical system for a number of years. When I moved back to California, a friend of mine recommended to me that I tried it in place of pharmaceuticals. After one or two tries, I found that it made a huge difference, she suffers from chronic pain and have been using it for years, it was actually one of the reasons that she moved to California. And so she made the recommendation to me and I explored the possibilities when I tried for myself, the sleep loss went from a lot to a lot less. Before I started taking cannabis, I was relying on medical, pharmaceuticals, I was getting between 2 and 3 hours of sleep a night. Afterwards, because I was tracking everything with a monitor, I have found that I was getting between 5 and 6 hours of sleep a night. It was a significant difference.

What was the most surprising to you when you started using it?

The thing that was most surprising to me when I started using it was, first of all the fact that I was within the first two or three days, getting twice or three times as much sleep as I had been without it, even when I was using pharmaceuticals. I mean I was relying on things like prescription medications, Ambien, valium and all of those sorts of things and then when I ran out of that or decided I didn’t want to use it anymore, I started taking cough medicine so that I could sleep. And I didn’t like what it did to my brain. And 2, it didn’t have the effect on my thinking processes the next day, the way pharmaceuticals did. I still had my brain, which I didn’t when I was taking prescription medications.

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How did cannabis help you with your sleep quality?

My sleep quality went up as well. It was not only that I was getting more hours of sleep a night, but I felt more rested, I felt far more rested I had been feeling from years. I was a little scrambled because I have been going without sleep for so long and once I started using cannabis to help with sleep. Not only did the number of hours of sleep go up but also I felt more rested next morning and I was able to work full time again and get back to a highly technical profession, which I really had been unable to do when I was taking all the medications. 

How are you consuming cannabis?

I was an opera singer for thirty years so smoking was out of the question for me. I learned very early on that consuming it as an edible was actually much more effective for a number of reasons. First it didn’t damage my throat or my lungs but also, because it was a slower burn so to speak. So, I played around with the typical brownie thing that was very popular back in the 70s and 80s. That was sort of how it was introduced to me. I am not a fan of sweets though, so, the brownies while they did the trick, weren’t very satisfying for me, I preferred something with a lot less sugar in it. So, I started experimenting with my own recipes using savories would create my own butter, I would add it to pesto, curry, chai, anything that had a nice strong flavor on the savory side which made it a whole lot more palatable for me and the flavors worked quite well together in culinary fashion. So that was kind of a discovery for me that really made it a lot easier to use and then, of course the advantage too is that when you smoke it, it last for 20 minutes to an hour maybe then you’re done. But if you eat it, although it takes longer to take effect, it also lasts longer; it lasts from 6 to 8 hours, which was great for me because then I could actually sleep.

What would you say to people who are skeptical about cannabis’ benefits?

I am living proof that it works, I get regular now and my sleep quality has gone up significantly when I take cannabis to help me sleep as opposed to taking either over the counter sleep medication or prescription medications. If you’re skeptical, do the research, look around, ask questions, ask your friends, look online, there are some great studies about how it works and how well it works and the evidence is stacking up everywhere that it works, it’s a natural solution to a natural problem.

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Do you have any advice for people like you?

My advice to you if you’re trying it for the first time is first of all, do you research, make sure you know what you’re getting into, understand the strains, the differences between THC and CBD, start small with your dosage. I made the mistake the first time of taking entirely too much. And it’s a bit like having a hungover the next day. It was not a comfortable experience. So, start with small dosage and work your way up to what’s comfortable for you.