With the rising popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) therapy, some sleep apnea patients are wondering if CBD could help them. There is a lot of controversy surrounding cannabidiol (CBD oil) and other cannabis-derived products, so Aeroflow Sleep went to the experts.
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.
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.”
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.
Can CBD Oil Really Help Sleep Apnea Patients Like You (Even on CPAP Machines?)
There is a lot of controversy surrounding cannabidiol (CBD oil) and other cannabis-derived products, so Aeroflow Sleep went to the experts. THC Design, a leading cannabis cultivator in California, partnered with us to educate sleep apnea patients like you on how CBD oil can really help (even on CPAP machines,) and our Sleep Science Advisor, Dr. Carleara Weiss backed them up.
Table of Contents
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. It can generally be classified into three types: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. The condition is caused by a blockage of the upper airway. This causes a decrease in the flow of oxygen to the brain, which leads to a decrease in blood oxygen levels.
Meanwhile, central sleep apnea is caused by a decrease in the activity of the brain’s respiratory center. The respiratory center controls the flow of air into the lungs and is also responsible for regulating one’s breathing. When it is not functioning properly, the respiratory center fails to send signals to the muscles to open and close the airway. This results in pauses in breathing.
Complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is caused by both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What You Need to Know about CBD and Sleep
Cannabidiol (CBD) has long been used as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions from anxiety and chronic pain to seizures and sleep disorders. In fact, a recent study found out that about 66.7% of people who used CBD have experienced some sort of relief from their sleep problems.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the most potent compounds found in various cannabis strains. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is widely known for its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not get you high. It also does not have the same euphoric and addictive effects.
Does CBD Work for Sleep Apnea?
Although CBD is not considered a definitive cure for sleep apnea, a lot of people who use CBD oil for sleep apnea claim that it helps them fall asleep faster, improves their sleep quality, and also reduces the number of times they wake up in the middle of the night. More studies are needed to determine whether CBD is truly effective for sleep apnea, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that it can be used to help reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
In What States is CBD Oil Legal?
The legality of CBD is still a gray area that is open to a lot of interpretation. Those who are in the CBD industry will most likely tell you that for as long as your CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC, it is considered hemp, and is legal in all U.S. states under the 2014 Farm Bill. This is the legal limit set by the federal government, so for example, if you are from the Big Apple and you are searching for New York cannabis, you’ll probably be fine for as long as you’ll buy a product that contains less than 0.3% THC. To help you better understand the legal implications of using CBD oil, here’s an article that talks about CBD and THC in detail.
How to Take CBD Oil for Sleep Apnea
CBD oil is one of the most commonly used forms of CBD for sleep apnea. You can buy CBD in a variety of forms, such as tinctures, vape pens, edibles, topicals, and even capsules. However, the most popular and effective way to use CBD oil for sleep apnea is to use a sublingual tincture. A sublingual tincture is a tincture that is placed under the tongue and is usually taken before bedtime.
CBD Dosage for Sleep Apnea
There is no FDA guidance on the dosage of CBD oil for sleep apnea. Most people who use CBD oil for sleep apnea suggest that the recommended dosage is 1-2 drops of CBD oil under the tongue before bedtime. As with any other alternative medication, it’s highly recommended to start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase the dosage over time, depending on how your body responds to CBD oil.
The Limitations of Using CBD for Sleep Apnea
While CBD oil is generally safe for consumption, there are a few things that you should be aware of before using it for sleep apnea. First, it causes minor side effects like fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and drowsiness. Second, it may react with other medications that you are taking, particularly blood thinners. Lastly, due to the unregulated nature of the CBD oil industry, finding a reputable source of CBD oil for sleep apnea can be a bit challenging.
Dr. Carleara Weiss recommends, “A good tip is checking if the company has a certificate of analysis (COA,) indicating that their product is accurate with everything described in the label.”
Can You Put CBD Oil in a CPAP Machine?
CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine is a device that is used to treat sleep apnea. It works by pushing the air down into the throat and keeping the airway open. CPAP machines are not designed to deliver a therapeutic dose of CBD oil. It is best to ask your sleep apnea doctor about using CBD oil with your CPAP machine. Furthermore, if you are newly diagnosed with sleep apnea syndrome, know that you can avail of Aeroflow Sleep, CPAP supplies through insurance.
How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Sleep Apnea
As mentioned earlier, the CBD oil industry is still generally unregulated. There is no standardized way to measure the quality of CBD oil for sleep apnea. One way to find the best CBD oil in the market is to look for a reputable company that has a proven track record and a long-list of satisfied customers; like THC Design.
Then, of course, contact us (Aeroflow Sleep) for more information about the sleep apnea therapy that best coincides with your sleep disorder. We work with your insurance provider and primary care doctors to get your CPAP supplies covered up to 100%. We’re even accredited by Medicare and Medicaid. Click below to sleep well and live better.
Need Fresh CPAP Supplies?
From CPAP machines and masks to tubing and filters, Aeroflow Sleep covers your sleep apnea essentials up to 100% through insurance. Plus, you’ll be paired with a dedicated Sleep Specialist, get access to our user-friendly patient portal, and receive world-class resources like our AI mask-fitting technology.
There is a current shortage of CPAP machines nationwide. It is for this reason that Aeroflow Sleep is unable to provide machine replacements at this time.