Insomnia and Marijuana Abuse

Insomnia and Marijuana Abuse

Insomnia is a serious problem for many people. Insomnia can negatively impact virtually all areas of life, making it difficult to function normally and productively. Insufficient sleep can reduce energy levels and impair the ability to concentrate. Chronic insomnia can lead to serious sleep deprivation that can make even ordinary tasks seem insurmountable, causing the insomniac to have difficulty meeting responsibilities such as maintaining a job. Depriving someone of sleep is even a common form of torture because, without adequate sleep, the mind simply cannot cope with difficult situations.

Marijuana as a Sleep Aid

People who have trouble sleeping often resort to medication to address the problem. However, prescription sleep aids like zolpidem, also known as Ambien, are highly addictive, produce a range of serious side effects and are recommended only for short-term use, so they are not a solution for those who suffer from chronic insomnia. Over-the-counter sleep aids can also be habit forming and can produce negative side effects, including poor quality of drug-induced sleep. Most sleep aids tend to produce a rebound reaction, wherein the insomnia will return and be worse than it was originally once the person stops taking the drug.

Some people have found through experimentation that marijuana can be an effective sleep inducer. Anecdotal evidence abounds from people who have found relief from insomnia through judicious use of marijuana. However, marijuana is an illicit drug and can present a number of dangers and side effects.

Evidence of Marijuana’s Effectiveness as a Sleep Aid

Due to the illegal status and controversial nature of marijuana, clinical evidence is rare and conclusive proof does not exist concerning marijuana’s effectiveness as a sleep aid. However, one recent study seems to support its efficacy. The University of Alberta conducted a double-blind study from May 2006 to December 2008, attempting to measure marijuana’s effectiveness in increasing the appetites of cancer patients. The researchers found that, in addition to increasing appetite, marijuana helped the patients to sleep better.

One drawback of marijuana as a sleep aid is that it may produce a dependency or rebound reaction, so that a person who uses marijuana as a sleep aid may reach a point where he or she simply cannot sleep without it. Marijuana can also be psychologically addictive, and withdrawal may produce anxiety and depression, both of which are known to contribute to insomnia.

Insomnia and the Medical Marijuana Controversy

The debate over medical marijuana continues to be debated. Proponents cite the many reported therapeutic qualities of marijuana, the low incidence of side effects and its inability to cause death from overdose as reasons that marijuana is superior to many synthetically produced chemicals for treating a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic insomnia. However, due to its illegal status, marijuana cannot be advocated as a treatment for insomnia outside of the handful of states that allow its use for medical reasons.

Finding Help for Marijuana Abuse

If you have begun using marijuana to help your insomnia, but are beginning to struggle with marijuana abuse, call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about treatment for recovering from marijuana abuse and about healthy treatments for battling insomnia. Please call now.