Sleep Apnea and Marijuana Information: Treat Sleep Apnea With Cannabis

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone whosnores has sleep apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.

OSA and CSA cause similar symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • A feeling that sleep is not restful
  • Disorientation upon waking
  • Poor judgment
  • Personality changes

For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems.

Clinical Information Related to Sleep Apnea and Medical Marijuana

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