Cannabis and Sleep

For years, cannabis users have enjoyed all the benefits of the recreational drug. From decreasing chronic pain to being an anti-depressant, cannabis can do it all. Is the recreational drug perfect for people struggling with getting a good night’s rest?

Testing this out

In 2018, Dr. Scott Shannon conducted a study with 103 patients unable to get their proper sleep. Nearly 80% of the participants had a pre-existing condition that would hinder their sleeping pattern. During three months, all participants were given a CBD capsule either in the morning or at night. While most of the people were at ease with cannabis, a handful wasn’t lucky. Two participants withdrew from the study within the first week because of increased fatigue. One person was removed because of an increase in inappropriate behavior as a result of the drug. Unfortunately, the study found no changes in anyone’s sleeping pattern after taking dosages of CBD.

Avoiding it for sleep

Some cannabis users have found themselves avoiding the drug before going to sleep. Unfortunately, this can lead to high levels of insomnia and cannabis withdrawal syndrome. “If you administer a lot of THC, and you do it at a heavy rate over a pretty intense period of time, you’re going to change the functioning of the brain,” researcher Roger Roffman told Leafly. “After a couple days of cessation, cannabis withdrawal syndrome starts. It will likely be largely over within two weeks to a month.” Aside from insomnia, other signs of CWS include stomach pain, dysphoria, and anxiety.

More research is needed

While many cannabis users are conflicted, researchers have promised to hold better studies in the future. “If future research shows that the effect of medical cannabis on sleep is a consistent one, then we may be adding a new therapy for sleep problems, which are huge in society and especially in chronic pain patients,” Sharon Sznitman, Ph.D., University of Haifa Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences told Medscape. With a better understanding, many will make the right choice when it comes to using the drug before bed.

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