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Medical Cannabis and Sleep: What You Need To Know

Many people in the United States have trouble sleeping. In fact, up to 70 million Americans struggle with sleep disorders on an ongoing basis. The continuing decriminalization and legalization of medical and recreational marijuana have prompted many consumers and researchers to explore the potentially beneficial relationship between cannabis and sleep. 

Our team at LeafMed provides educational resources for anyone curious about cannabis. This article discusses what you need to know about using cannabis for better sleep. We also have articles discussing other helpful topics, such as how to get a medical marijuana card in Mississippi.

Can Using Cannabis Help You Sleep?

Many cannabis users offer anecdotal evidence that marijuana helps them sleep, but a lack of dosage consistency makes these claims difficult to quantify. Some studies support marijuana’s use as a sleep aid, while others report the opposite effects. The general answer seems to be the one you’ll get when discussing the efficacy of any sleep aid: it depends. 

What Does Science Say About Cannabis and Sleep?

Research on cannabis’s effects on sleep quality produces varied results, depending on how often the consumer uses marijuana, how they take it, and the type of cannabis.  

2022 study noticed a significant improvement in the quality and quantity of sleep of patients using cannabis products. The authors note that most participants reported being diagnosed with anxiety or stress disorders, indicating that sleep improvements may relate to cannabis’s sedative, relaxing effects. Many of the patients in this study successfully discontinued prescription sleep aids through cannabis use. 

Other possible reasons cannabis may improve sleep include relieving chronic pain and reducing REM sleep, which can help people struggling with nightmares. 

Dosing Cannabis Products for Sleep

The relationship between cannabis and sleep seems to invert for users who use cannabis on a daily basis. For example, one study found an increase in sleep disturbance for daily marijuana users compared to non-daily users

Researchers don’t fully understand why cannabis may help non-regular users with sleep more than daily users, but some healthcare professionals suggest it has to do with tolerance and dependence. A consumer who uses cannabis to sleep every night may become dependent on the substance, which alters their sleep architecture and worsens sleep disruption. 

A consumer’s method for using cannabis can also impact its effectiveness as a sleep aid. Some cannabis professionals recommend cannabis flower or tinctures over edibles for sleep because edibles can take hours to begin working. 

Things to Consider Before Using Cannabis for Sleep

If you want to try cannabis for sleep, consider the following:

  • Cannabis is not legal in all states, and some states with medical marijuana programs don’t issue program cards for sleep disorders.
  • Sleep aids work best when taken in the short term. Long-term use of any substance can result in dependency.
  • Cannabis use may decrease REM sleep, which can quell nightmares. However, REM sleep is a critical sleep stage for processing emotions and memories. 
  • Smoking of any kind increases the risk of COPD, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. 
  • Cannabis use isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing or anyone younger than 25. 

Understanding the various considerations and how cannabis could impact your health is vital before taking any cannabis products, including CBD.

Visit a LeafMed Dispensary in MS for High-Quality Medical Marijuana 

Researchers continue to explore the relationship between cannabis and sleep, and it’s important to stay informed about the latest medical cannabis research. At LeafMed, our team of professionals can help navigate the most recent research with a patient’s specific needs in mind. If you’re considering using marijuana products to improve your sleep, we recommend starting with thorough research to determine the legality in your area and to understand medical marijuana myths and truths.

It’s also advisable to start with a small dose and take it slow to avoid any potential side effects you may not desire, such as feeling “high” or experiencing increased hunger. Our knowledgeable staff at LeafMed can provide guidance on appropriate dosing and consumption methods to ensure a safe and tailored experience. By taking these precautions and seeking expert advice, you can explore the potential benefits of cannabis for sleep while minimizing any potential risks.

If you live in Mississippi and have a medical marijuana card, you can shop for high-quality medical cannabis products at LeafMed. Visit us in Vicksburg, Bay St. Louis, or Gulfport today.