I'm a married male in my mid-forties with one child. I work in the visual media. Over the year I've suffered from chronic insomnia and tried numerous therapeutics to deal with my sleeplessness. Lately it has grown more severe, threatening my ability to keep my job and drive a car safely. I tried a number of prescription products with varying success before accidentally finding cannabis to be an excellent hypnotic (sleep aid). I view my use of cannabis as a medical necessity and derive none of the psychotropic benefits touted by others, other than the pleasure of knowing that I'm going to get a good night's sleep.

Prescription medications for insomnia are intended only for short-term use, but unfortunately, insomnia is not a short-term problem for me. The prescription hypnotics I've used are at best effective only 70% of the time. I find that cannabis is effective for me 95% of the time. My wife is in the health care field and has been very supportive.

My first experience with smoking cannabis was several decades ago in college. I remember it as a pleasant experience – some call it a "cerebral buzz." I started growing my own cannabis, hoping that using it for recreational purposes might indirectly relieve my insomnia. By trial and error I found that it worked best for me when I cooked and ate it. The effects take 2 to 3 hours to be felt and are gentle, bringing on a very natural sleep. When I wake up in the morning I feel great and very rested. My sleep is deep and uninterrupted.

I've been growing and using cannabis as a sleep aid for the past six months. I now use it five nights a week. I have found that most recipes are too time-consuming or use too much oil, and I've developed a simple method of preparation which works for me. I gently sauté a couple of tablespoons of cannabis (bud and leaf) in 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter. I heat the plant material until I smell it starting to fry and see it turn slightly brown. I make sure that all the plant material is coated with the butter. Then I turn the heat off. The whole process takes not more than 10 minutes. I put the finished product on toast, which helps to soak up any residual butter, and eat it. The buds and leaf I use are picked from the plant when more than 50% of the lower leaves have turned brown; I believe this yields the best results for initiating sleep.

I prefer oral ingestion because the effects last longer than smoking and allow me to get the sleep I need. My research suggests that cannabis works in part by modulating the activity of the hippocampus, which may affect one's ability to fall asleep. Some prescription hypnotics share similar characteristics. Although cannabis modulates normal sleep architecture it is still better than no sleep architecture at all.

Since I've been growing my own I've had no difficulties with the law. I abide by three rules. 1. Tell nobody. 2. Show nobody. 3. Sell to nobody. I grow the plants in my home and only for my own needs.