Research Shows Long Term Cannabis Use Diminishes Its Sleep Benefits  


If you’ve been keeping an eye on what cannabis can and cannot do, you’re probably aware of its sleep benefits. A lot of people say that cannabis helps them sleep better. This benefit of cannabis is particularly useful for those who struggle with chronic pain. You see, when you have excessive pain you are unable to sleep soundly.

The ache keeps waking you up in the middle of the night or doesn’t even let you sleep in the first place. All the clinical evidence that exists on cannabis’ benefits for sleep is mixed. Now Israeli researchers have conducted a new study which also shows that medical cannabis may help people with chronic pain sleep.

However, this study has also showed that frequent use of cannabis can reduce these benefits of sleep. Perhaps this is because of the tolerance that the body develops to the substance. Furthermore, since this research work has limitations and it is only an observation one, scientists have categorized it as preliminary.

Diving Into The Research Work

A lot of studies have looked at the sleep benefits of cannabis’ cannabinoids, CBD and THC. So far, no solid conclusions have been put forward. While some studies suggest that cannabis works as a great sleep aid, most of these have provided poor evidence.

For the purpose of this study, researchers hired 128 people. These participants were above the age of 50 and all of them struggled with chronic pain. Of them, 66 made use of medical cannabis. Since the rest of the participants didn’t have a proper license, they didn’t. Of those who didn’t use medical cannabis, 12% did use recreational cannabis.

Other studies have focused on the effects of CBT and THC in cannabis, this study looked at cannabis as a whole plant. This was because most participants used cannabis flower and the authors said that other compounds in the plant are also responsible for its effects. The BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care journal published this research work.

Findings Of The Study

A comparison of the sleep patterns of both groups gave the following results:

  • Those who used medical cannabis had lower odds of waking up in the middle of the night. This was in comparison to the participants who did not use medical cannabis.
  • Researchers did note that the effect of cannabis on sleep was not very significant.
  • Both the groups didn’t have any difference when it came to falling asleep quickly or waking up early.
  • The study also showed that long-term cannabis use could actually cause sleep problems. Those who made use of the plant regularly had a hard time falling asleep. They also experienced interrupted sleep at night.

Researchers said that frequent use of cannabis made the body develop a tolerance to the drug which is why sleep benefits were minimized in the long run. This study had its own limitations. It didn’t explain the cause just showed that there was a link between cannabis and sleep.


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