In a recent study conducted by Washington State University, it has been found that cannabis users are experiencing better sleep compared to those who rely on traditional sleep aids. Over 80% of participants in the study reported that they have discontinued using over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids and have turned to cannabis instead. The fast-acting nature of inhaling high-THC cannabis through smoking joints or vaporizing flower has been identified as the reason behind this shift in preference. Interestingly, about half of the participants in the study specifically chose cannabis strains that contain both CBD and the terpene myrcene, which is known to promote sleep. This discovery by cannabis users aligns with scientific evidence supporting myrcene’s sleep-promoting properties. Despite some potential side effects, such as increased sleepiness and dry mouth, the use of cannabis for sleep-related issues was perceived as more advantageous than over-the-counter medications or prescription sleep aids. This study not only sheds light on the changing trends and perceptions regarding sleep aids but also highlights the need for further research to explore the potential of cannabis and its components in sleep management.
Key Findings from the Study
Preference for cannabis over traditional sleep aids
A recent study conducted by Washington State University revealed that there is a growing preference for cannabis among individuals struggling with sleep-related issues. The study involved 1,255 cannabis users and found that over 80% of participants have ceased using over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids in favor of cannabis. Cannabis users have found that it helps them sleep better compared to traditional sleep aids like melatonin and benzodiazepines.
Fast-acting nature of inhaling high-THC cannabis
One of the reasons why cannabis is preferred over traditional sleep aids is its fast-acting nature. Inhaling high-THC cannabis through methods like smoking joints or vaporizing flower allows for quick absorption into the bloodstream, making it easier for individuals to fall asleep.
Specific choice of cannabis strains containing myrcene
The study also revealed that about half of the participants made a specific choice of cannabis strains that contain myrcene. Myrcene is a terpene that is found not only in cannabis but also in other plants like hops and basil. Scientific literature suggests that myrcene can promote sleep, and cannabis users seem to have independently discovered its sleep-promoting properties.
Studying Cannabis and Sleep
Analysis of self-reported data
The study conducted by Washington State University involved analyzing self-reported data on cannabis use and its perceived effects in relation to sleep. Participants provided information about their cannabis use and the effects they experienced, allowing researchers to gain insights into the impact of cannabis on sleep.
Comparing effects of cannabis with other sleep aids
To understand the advantages of cannabis for sleep, the study compared the effects of cannabis with other sleep aids, such as over-the-counter medications and prescription sleep aids. This comparison helped researchers uncover the perceived benefits and drawbacks of using cannabis for sleep.
Provided by Strainprint®
The data used in the study were provided by Strainprint®, a Canada-based medical technology company. Strainprint® collects data from medical cannabis users and provides valuable insights for researchers and healthcare professionals.
Morning Outcomes and Side Effects
Feeling refreshed and focused
Participants in the study reported feeling more refreshed and focused after using cannabis for sleep. This suggests that cannabis can contribute to better quality sleep, leading to improved cognitive function and productivity in the morning.
Experiencing fewer headaches and less nausea
Compared to traditional sleep aids, cannabis users reported experiencing fewer headaches and less nausea. This indicates that cannabis may have fewer side effects when used for sleep compared to other medications.
Increased sleepiness, anxiety, irritability, dry mouth, and red eyes
While cannabis can improve sleep quality, it is important to note that some participants reported experiencing increased sleepiness, anxiety, irritability, dry mouth, and red eyes after using cannabis for sleep. These side effects should be taken into consideration when deciding to use cannabis as a sleep aid.
Advantages of Cannabis for Sleep
Perceived advantages over over-the-counter medications
The study found that cannabis was perceived as more advantageous than over-the-counter medications for sleep-related issues. Participants reported finding better results with cannabis compared to medications like melatonin, highlighting the potential benefits of using cannabis as a natural sleep aid.
No ‘hangover’ effect
Unlike some sleep aids, cannabis was not linked to a ‘hangover’ effect. Participants reported that they did not experience grogginess or other negative effects the morning after using cannabis for sleep. This makes cannabis a favorable option for individuals looking for a sleep aid without lingering side effects.
Sleep Duration and Cannabis Forms
Majority of cannabis users meet recommended sleep duration
The study found that the majority of cannabis users (over 60%) reported getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep. This is a significant finding, considering that less than 20% of participants achieved similar sleep durations with other sleep aids.
Use of cannabis edibles and THC-containing capsules for sleep
While the most common method of cannabis consumption for sleep was inhaling high-THC cannabis, a minority of participants reported using cannabis edibles and THC-containing capsules. These forms of cannabis provide longer-lasting effects and may be preferred by individuals who prefer a delayed onset of sleep.
Limitations and Future Research
Selection bias towards cannabis favoring individuals
One limitation of the study is the strong selection bias towards individuals who already favor cannabis for sleep. This means that the findings may not be representative of the general population and may not apply to those who do not use cannabis.
Need for more objective measures
The study relied on self-reported data, which can be subjective and influenced by personal biases. To further validate the findings, future research should incorporate more objective measures, such as sleep tracking devices or clinical assessments.
Opportunity for clinical trials
The study opens up opportunities for future clinical trials to explore the efficacy of cannabis and its components, such as myrcene, in sleep management. Clinical trials can provide more definitive evidence about the effectiveness and safety of cannabis as a sleep aid.
Health Benefits of Marijuana
One of the well-known health benefits of marijuana is its ability to alleviate chronic pain. The cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, reducing pain and making it a promising alternative for conditions like arthritis and migraine.
Studies have shown that marijuana can have positive effects on mental and neurological disorders. It can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression in some individuals. Additionally, marijuana shows promise in reducing seizures in epilepsy patients and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cannabinoids in marijuana possess anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful in treating conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. By reducing inflammation, marijuana can relieve discomfort and pain associated with these conditions.
Marijuana can be beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as it can alleviate nausea and vomiting. Some studies also suggest that cannabinoids can slow down or kill certain types of cancer cells, although more research is needed in this area.
Improving Lung Capacity
Contrary to smoking tobacco, marijuana has been found to not harm lung health and may even increase lung capacity. This makes breathing easier for some individuals.
Approaching Marijuana Use with Caution
Psychoactive effects and legal status
It is important to approach marijuana use with caution due to its psychoactive effects. The psychoactive compound in marijuana, THC, can alter perception and cognition, making it important to use responsibly. Additionally, the legal status of marijuana varies worldwide, and it is essential to be aware of local laws and regulations.
Importance of medical supervision
When using marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is crucial to seek medical supervision. Healthcare professionals can provide guidance on proper dosages and monitor any potential interactions with other medications. This ensures the safe and effective use of marijuana for sleep and other health-related issues.
In conclusion, the study conducted by Washington State University sheds light on the growing preference for cannabis as a sleep aid. The fast-acting nature of inhaling high-THC cannabis, the choice of specific cannabis strains containing myrcene, and the perceived advantages over traditional sleep aids were key findings from the study. Despite some side effects, cannabis users reported feeling more refreshed and focused in the morning. The study also highlighted the need for further research, including clinical trials, to explore the efficacy and safety of cannabis for sleep management. Additionally, the article discussed various health benefits of marijuana, including pain management, mental health, anti-inflammatory benefits, and improving lung capacity. It emphasized the importance of approaching marijuana use with caution, considering its psychoactive effects and varying legal status. Medical supervision is crucial when using marijuana for medicinal purposes. As attitudes and laws surrounding marijuana continue to evolve, further research is needed to fully understand and harness its potential in the medical field.