Insomnia is a major problem around the world. Whether people suffer from insomnia as a primary condition, or it is caused by a different primary condition, an inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep can have a massively negative impact on a person’s overall health, both physically and mentally.
When a human is sleep deprived, they become more irritable, and handling daily tasks becomes more difficult. A lack of sleep impairs brain functions such as memory and decision-making, and it can lead to depression. Physically, insomnia can impair patients’ immune systems, among other concerns.
The cannabis plant has served as a sleep aid for many insomnia sufferers over many years, and that appears to be the case in Australia according to the results of a recent survey. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Researchers affiliated with the University of Sydney surveyed 1,600 Australians regarding their use of medical cannabis.
Sixty-four percent of those surveyed acknowledged consuming cannabis to mitigate symptoms of a sleep disorder, typically insomnia.
Most respondents said that cannabis greatly improved their sleep quality. A majority of respondents also said that they decreased their consumption of benzodiazepines and alcohol following their use of cannabis – a finding that is consistent with other studies.
Those who reported consuming cannabis were most likely to acknowledge using THC-dominant cannabis products.
“[Our study] shows that the majority of participants reported an improvement in their subjective sleep symptoms since commencing medical cannabis,” authors concluded. “[I]t is imperative that randomized, placebo-controlled trials using quality-assured products are conducted to better understand the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid treatment in patients with clinician-diagnosed sleep disorders.”
The survey’s findings are similar to those of numerous other studies documenting that patients with insomnia and other sleep disorders report subjective improvements following cannabis use. Data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported that the enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization laws is associated with a significant reduction in the sales of over-the-counter sleep aids among the general public.
Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis use patterns for sleep disorders in Australia: Results of the cross-sectional CAMS-20 survey,” appears in Nature and Science of Sleep. Additional information on the use of cannabis for insomnia is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.