Doctors of Natural Medicine

MEdical Marijuana For Insomnia

In this article we will go over all the benefits and issues of using and getting a medical marijuana card for insomnia. We also will delve into the legality of using this as a qualifying condition and what your options are if you are curious to see if this alternative medicine can be right for you.

“Insomnia” by Schmirn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Can i get a medical Card with this Condition?

As some of you already know, in Colorado, you cannot get your medical card without the permission of a doctor. Due to state regulations, to use medical marijuana, you must have a qualifying condition. As of right now, the condition does not qualify you for a medical marijuana card for insomnia. However, that should not deter you from at least trying CBD! We will tell you why.

There are a multitude of reasons why our patients experience insomnia on a daily basis. Some suffer from PTSD which doesn’t help them sleep. Others have undergone intense therapies for cancer or have intense pain. If your insomnia is a byproduct of any of these qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, you are eligible to get a card.

Although you can’t get a medical marijuana card for insomnia exclusively, it is important to consider the root of the issue as the research behind medical marijuana for sleep is promising.

Some Good news: Insomnia isn’t that uncommon

First, we want you to know that you aren’t alone. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, about 30 to 40 percent of the population will experience insomnia at some point in their lives and 10 to 15 percent of the population will experience chronic insomnia. With these rising numbers, researchers are beginning to turn to new forms of treatment, and this is where cannabis comes into the picture.

Do you need your MEd Card?

Our State-Licensed Doctors are here to help.

Does Cannabis help with Sleep?

Like all things, the answer to this question has many answers. We will try to go into this topic in depth, so you can see if getting a medical marijuana card to aide in insomnia and adjacent illnesses is right for you.

The science beHind Marijuana Compounds

As some of you already know, marijuana has two compounds. THC and CBD.

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound which has numerous health benefits. CBD does not make you feel “high”.

THC is the compound most known for giving you that “high” sensation. This is the compound known for its psychoactive properties.

Less REM SLEEP = Better Sleep

THC is the compound that is responsible for inducing sleep!  According to a 2008 study, ingesting marijuana strains with a high level of THC reduces the amount of REM sleep one person can get. Less REM means fewer nightmares for those having a hard time sleeping due to some sort of Trauma. If this sounds like you, book an appointment to get evaluated by one of our doctors to see if you qualify for getting a medical marijuana card.

How Marijuana provides Better Quality Rest

Relieves Haunting Nightmares

As mentioned above, high THC content helps you sleep better if you have had some sort of trauma. High THC content in cannabis has shown to lower the REM sleep cycles which is where dreams happen.

This means More “Deep Sleep”

Due to less time dreaming, we can postulate that there is more time for you to spend in your deep sleep state. As Healthline states, “deep sleep state is thought to be the most restorative, restful part of the sleep cycle.”

Insomnia in Chronic Pain Patients

Insomnia is very common amongst chronic pain patients. Due to the pain that chronic pain patients experience it can be very difficult to get to sleep and maintain good rest. Fortunately, the research for medical marijuana cards on this (especially in conjunction with insomnia) is promising.

Recently published in the British Medical Journal: Supportive and Palliative Care was a study that concluded that marijuana helped insomniac participants fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the whole night! Chronic patient experienced the same benefit in this study if they had not developed a tolerance to cannabis.

What Marijuana strains work best when you have a medical marijuana card and insomnia?

Each strain of marijuana works differently, so it is important to know how to use it effectively for optimum sleep.

Indica or Sativa?

Understandably, this is a common question that is asked. It is commonly believed that Indica is the strain the helps people fall asleep. Although there is some truth to this, it is best for each patient with a medical marijuana card and insomnia to experiment with each strain and see which works best for them. However, it has been found that indica strains are higher on terpene myrcene, which is known for its sedative effects. More on this below.


Another common question! THC has been found to increase sedating effects while CBD has made people more alert. This too can vary widely as CBD can help those with pain. So, if you are experiencing chronic pain it may be worth your time to experiment as well.

Terpenes: Myrcene

Terpenes are the oily compounds that cause medical marijuana to have a smell. These terpenes act as essential oils which are known to have therapeutic effects and cannabis has over 200 types of terpenes, to which many people with a medical marijuana card for insomnia can attest! Indica strains are known to have the terpene Myrcene which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its sedative qualities. This is why Indica is well known to help patients fall asleep.


All in all, medical marijuana is very promising when used to help patients dealing with insomnia. Keep in mind, tolerance does play a big factor and long-term, if your tolerance builds, it may not work as effectively. However, having a medical marijuana card for insomnia can definitely improve the quality of your sleep while you continue to seek alternative therapies. If you seek a risk-free evaluation by a qualified medical marijuana doctor, book an appointment.