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Understanding Chronic Insomnia and its Cause and Effects

Chronic insomnia is a long-term pattern of difficult initiating or maintaining sleep. Sleep disorders, like insomnia, are problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning.1

Our sleep-wake cycle is controlled by the body’s internal clock known as circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. It can influence important functions in our body, such as hormone release, digestion, body temperature, and sleep cycle. Usually, our circadian rhythm closely follows the daily pattern of day and night. However, many people have sleep schedules that cause misalignment of their circadian rhythm.

Shift work is one example of a situation in which individuals are unable to get the sleep they need. Travel is also a common cause of disturbed sleep. In some people, circadian rhythms can be shifted forward or backward without a clear cause, resulting in persistent difficulties in sleep timing and overall sleep quality. Poor sleep can also trigger or worsen other health conditions, creating a complex chain of cause-and-effect of insomnia.

Sleep quality can be hampered by a demanding work schedule and high level of stress, but the contrary is also true. It’s difficult to perform well when you’re nodding off at your desk, fatigued, have poor energy, and lack creativity.

Many medical conditions, such as PTSD, pain, and sleep apnea, have the potential to disrupt sleep.

Can medical cannabis help with sleep?

A recent high-quality human clinical trial demonstrated that giving cannabis, specifically THC 10mg-20mg in oil form, one hour before bed improved sleep quality and insomnia significantly. The research implies that mixing THC with CBD can help people who are new to THC or who are sensitive to it avoid or lessen the unpleasant psychoactive effects of THC.2

[1] Qaseem, A., Kansagara, D., Forciea, M., Cooke, M., Denber, T.D., et al. (2016). Management of chronic insomnia disorder in adults: a clinical practice guidelines from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(2). 125-133.
[2] Walsh, J.H., Maddison, K.J., Rankin, T., Murray, K., McArdle, N., et al. (2021). Treating insomnia symptoms with medicinal cannabis: a randomized, crossover trial of the efficacy of cannabinoid medicine compared with placebo. Sleep Research Study, 44(11), 1-8.

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What Caregivers Need to Know About Medical Cannabis
Caregivers are the front line in helping prescribed patients obtain and use medical cannabis as part of their treatment plan. And although medical cannabis is currently available in Canada for medicinal purposes, that doesn't mean patients and caregivers automatically have access to it. Furthermore, the patients with the most severe symptoms — the infirm, the immobile, and the dying— may have the most difficulty incorporating medical cannabis into their treatment. This is where their caregivers come in. When is the right time for a patient to use medical cannabis? The answer to this question depends solely on the patient and their readiness. If there are any questions about whether it is appropriate for the patient's current condition, the patient and their caregivers should talk to the patient's doctors. How do patients and caregivers obtain medical cannabis? The person who wishes to have medical cannabis will have to qualify as a patient. Generally, they need to be diagnosed and provided a medical cannabis treatment plan from qualified doctors and nurses via a consultation. The Caregivers can assist the patient in obtaining the consultation with the patient’s consent. The consultation can be done face-to-face or virtually, depending on the clinics. During consultation, a healthcare practitioner will provide a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s need, and the medical document will then be sent to a Licensed Provider such as Starseed. What comes after receiving medical documents? The caregiver may purchase medical cannabis from a Licensed Provider after the medical document has been submitted to the LP. Cannabis purchased from other retail sources may not be considered medical cannabis. From there, the caregiver needs to register an account at a LP’s website to move forward with the purchasing process. With Starseed, if you are a caregiver, an A1 form is required to be completed during the registration process following the steps below. 1. Select the option “On Behalf of someone else” if you are registering as a caregiver. 2. The Caregiver will then be asked for their personal information and signature 3. You then will be asked if there are any further caregivers, and if not, click on "No" and proceed with the registration process. (A patient can have up to 3 care givers at one time). After this process is completed, the caregiver will be able to order products on behalf of the patient by either calling in to the call centre or placing the order online. The medical cannabis products will then be shipped directly to the appointed address. If you have any questions about the registration process or Starseed products and services, please don’t hesitate to contact our Client Care Team at 1-844-756-7333 or during our hours of operation. We’re here to help!
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Support for Dealing with Mental Health Concerns
Mental health has a significant impact on our lives, actions, and relationships. Learning more about your mental health and how to express and manage yourself will help you make better decisions and feel more at peace in your daily life. Our mental health can sometimes become an illness that impacts how we think about ourselves and interact with the world around us. It's important to remember that mental illnesses are no different than any other illness, and that everyone deserves help and care. A person's well-being can be restored and repaired with the adequate care. Our emotional responses to significant events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, both reflect and contribute to our overall stress and mental health status. At large, many Canadians (41%) reports a decline in the mental health since the onset of the pandemic. More positively, Canadians are taking social approaches to help cope with stress during these challenging times. These coping strategies include walking or exercising, connecting with family and friends, maintaining healthy lifestyle, and doing a hobby1. Do you need more help? Canadian Mental Health Association is a supportive community organization that offers support and resources in your area. Find your local CMHA here. References: [1] Canadian Mental Health Association. (2021). How are we feeling? Canadians are worried, bored, stressed, lonely and sad. Toronto, ON: CMHA.