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Cannabis Commonly Used As A Sleep Aid By Cancer Survivors

bed rest nap insomnia

Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep and/or remain asleep, is a major health problem around the world. Whether patients suffer from insomnia as a primary condition, or if insomnia is caused by a different health condition, insomnia can have a massively negative impact on a person’s overall health. That negative impact can affect both physical and mental health.

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.

Cannabinoids within the cannabis plant have served as a sleep aid for many insomnia patients over many years. A recent study in Canada looked at cannabis and sleep among cancer survivors specifically. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Halifax, Canada: Nearly a quarter of Canadian cancer survivors acknowledge consuming cannabis as a sleep aid, according to data published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.

Investigators surveyed over 1,400 cancer survivors. Twenty-four percent of respondents said that they used cannabis prior to bedtime, “with reported benefits including relaxation, reduced time to fall asleep, fewer nocturnal awakenings and improved sleep quality.” (Cannabis is legal for both medical and adult use in Canada.)

Over two-thirds of consumers said that they initiated cannabis use following their cancer diagnosis. Over one-third of consumers said that they used marijuana daily.

Adults frequently report using cannabis and CBD products as sleep aids. 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 survey, “A cross-sectional survey of the prevalence and patterns of using cannabis as a sleep aid in Canadian cancer survivors,” appears in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.