CBD Oil Sleep Apnea


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Sleep healthy. Live happy With the rising popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) therapy, some sleep apnea patients are wondering if CBD could help them.

Can CBD Treat Sleep Apnea? An Expert Weighs In

It seems like CBD is everywhere. Lotions, creams, oils, and even lattes with CBD in them are all the rage. Some people are even turning to CBD to find relief from obstructive sleep apnea. But can it really help? In this article, a sleep medicine expert discusses what CBD is, whether it might be able to treat sleep apnea, and how you can find sure relief from your sleep problems.

What Is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant, which is also known as marijuana or hemp. CBD is not psychoactive, which means that it cannot get you high. A separate compound in the marijuana plant, THC, is what is responsible for the plant’s mind-altering properties.

CBD’s Uses

Research has established that CBD has a number of useful applications:

  • It can relieve pain
  • It may help relieve anxiety and depression
  • It may alleviate cancer-related symptoms
  • It could help to reduce acne
  • It might benefit heart health
  • And more

There is even some evidence to suggest that CBD can be used as a treatment for insomnia. And, as mentioned at the outset of this article, it has even been used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, any evidence that supports CBD as a therapy for sleep apnea is purely anecdotal. Some people may have found a degree of relief from it, but there have not been any extensive studies that delve into its use as a therapy for OSA.

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Should You Try It?

If you are currently using a CPAP machine to treat your OSA, and you find the machine to be uncomfortable, CBD might seem like an attractive alternative. Giving try will probably not harm you — and it may even help. However, there are some cautions that you should keep in mind:

  • CBD may have side effects. Diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, fatigue are all known possible side effects of CBD.
  • CBD can interact with certain medications. It may slow down the metabolism of certain drugs, particularly drugs with a “grapefruit” warning.
  • CBD could affect the liver. Some studies show a connection between CBD and liver toxicity (if the CBD is taken in extremely large doses).

Finding Real Relief from OSA

The best thing you can do to find real relief from sleep apnea is consult with a qualified doctor. You can ask them about whether you should try CBD, and you can discuss other, proven CPAP alternatives, such as oral appliance therapy or lifestyle changes. A better night’s sleep may be within your reach!

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth Mogell, a board-certified specialist in sleep medicine with over 10 years of experience treating sleep breathing disorders is the practice’s founder and primary practitioner. The practice has three South Florida locations: Melbourne, Vero Beach, and Boca Raton. To learn more about Florida Dental Sleep Disorders and Dr. Kenneth Mogell, contact our team at 844-294-7559. We accept Medicare, Tricare and most medical insurance!

How Does CBD Affect Sleep Apnea Patients?

Nearly 30 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a chronic sleep condition that causes involuntary lapses in breathing during sleep. Because of its severity, OSA patients must see a sleep specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. The most common and most effective treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, with the rising popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) therapy, some sleep apnea patients are turning to CBD for a little extra help.

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What is CBD?

Before we dig into how CBD can affect sleep apnea patients, let’s discuss the difference between CBD and cannabis or marijuana. The word “cannabis” refers to all products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, which contains about 540 chemical substances. Marijuana or “weed” is the part of, or products from, the plant that contain large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for euphoria and feelings of being “high.”

CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants. Although it is found in marijuana, CBD does not contain THC and is not psychoactive. As a result, CBD can be successful in mitigating symptoms of anxiety, stress, epilepsy, and even loss of appetite due to cancer treatments, or HIV/AIDS. However, research on the benefits and side effects of CBD is still in the early stages and very limited.

CBD and Sleep Apnea

A recent study on the therapeutic potential for CBD as a treatment for insomnia has made sleep apnea patients curious about its effects. The study was on a drug called dronabinol, based on a synthetic version of THC. According to results from the study, dronabinol could be effective in decreasing sleep latency (the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep at night) but could also impair sleep quality long-term. As for sleep apnea, it seems that OSA patients should stick with more traditional treatments.

Dronabinol has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat OSA, and medical cannabis and synthetic extracts other than dronabinol have not been studied in patients with OSA. Furthermore, according to a 2018 position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), “medical cannabis and synthetic marijuana extracts should not be used for the treatment of OSA.”

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The AASM also determined that OSA should be excluded from the list of chronic medical conditions for state medical cannabis programs. OSA patients should always discuss their treatment options with a licensed sleep specialist at an accredited sleep facility.

How We Can Help

Research on cannabis and sleep is still in its infancy, and until we have further evidence, CPAP therapy remains the most effective treatment for OSA. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, contact us today to speak with a certified sleep specialist and learn how we can help you get a better night’s sleep.

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