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Can CBD Treat Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by breathing problems during sleep. It is often associated with snoring, poor sleep, and tiredness during the day. It can be caused by throat obstructions or nervous system problems, and correlates with drinking alcohol, being older and male, smoking, and other factors. There is no clear evidence that CBD is an effective treatment for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. There are several types of sleep apnea, and it can be an intrusive — and sometimes dangerous — sleep disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The primary identifying symptom of sleep apnea is the abrupt stopping and starting of breathing during sleep. Individuals with sleep apnea may wake up suddenly, unable to breathe and gasping for air. Other identifying characteristics include:

  • Loud snoring during sleep
  • Having a headache, dry mouth, or being tired in the morning
  • Mood problems and tiredness during the day
  • Insomnia

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

In general, there are two primary types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat physically constricts and prevents sufficient air from being inhaled, while central sleep apnea involves the central nervous system failing to transmit the need to breathe to breathing muscles.

A number of factors correlate with having sleep apnea, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Being male
  • Familial history of sleep apnea
  • Having a thick neck, and/or narrow throat
  • Smoking and/or using alcohol
  • Heart failure, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain other medical conditions 

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Sleep apnea is treated in different ways depending on severity. In some cases, lifestyle changes — like avoiding alcohol — may be sufficient to stop sleep apnea.

In other cases, more intensive interventions may be needed, including:

  • Wearing a “continuous positive airway pressure” mask during sleep can help to ensure breathing stays regular
  • Other oral appliances can help keep the throat open
  • Supplemental oxygen can ensure breathing stays regular
  • In some cases, surgery may be employed to better open the throat

Can CBD Treat Sleep Apnea?

There is a lack of clear evidence linking CBD use to relief from sleep apnea. It is true that there has been some evidence of the benefits of CBD for sleep disorders, but other evidence is mixed.

In general, CBD is not a primary treatment method for sleep apnea. While it may have benefits in individual cases, it is best to consult with a doctor before using CBD for sleep apnea.

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