Outshining Sleep Aids
A recent survey exploring the sleep habits of cannabis consumers has unveiled a preference for marijuana over traditional sleep aids. Improved outcomes and fewer side effects were consistently reported. This study was conducted by psychology researchers at Washington State University and published in the Exploration of Medicine journal. The study compared cannabis to prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, marking a pioneering effort in this field.
Among the 1,216 participants surveyed via the Strainprint app, the majority reported using cannabis to address sleep issues. Most participants had a notable preference for smoking joints, vaping products containing THC, CBD, and the terpene myrcene. Participants conveyed feeling more refreshed, focused, and better able to function the morning after cannabis use. Participants attribute these benefits to the absence of a ‘hangover’ effect associated with long-acting sedatives and alcohol.
Interestingly, despite some reported side effects, participants overwhelmingly favored cannabis over prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications. The study reveals a fundamental shift in consumer perceptions. More than 80% of cannabis users are not currently relying on traditional sleep aids, indicating a growing preference for the plant-based alternative.
Methods and Side Effects
Inhalation methods like smoking and vaping proved to be popular due to their quick onset. Edibles and capsules were less favored despite their potential for longer-lasting effects. Notably, participants expressed a preference for high-THC products and identified myrcene as a favored terpene for promoting sleep.
Benefits reported by participants include relaxation of both body and mind, prevention of sleep interruptions, and promotion of deeper, longer sleep. Researchers recognize the potential side effects such as sleepiness, anxiety, and irritability upon waking. However, researchers still underscored the perceived superiority of cannabis over traditional sleep aids, noting that its side effects might be more tolerable for users.
However, the study acknowledged its inherent bias toward participants who already perceived cannabis as beneficial for sleep, stressing the need for more objective research. Despite the promising insights, the researchers emphasized the necessity for further investigation into the nuanced effects of cannabis on sleep quality.