Cannabis is becoming more popular for battling sleep disorders, as opposed to over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
A study conducted in the legal American state of Colorado was published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. This study aimed to understand the substitution of cannabis for OTC medications. To conduct their research, those involved examined the scanner data from grocery stores between December 2013 and 2014. This is how they established their data on the monthly market for OTC sleeping pills across individual store locations.
It was in 2014 that the sale of adult use cannabis was legalised in Colorado. Licensed dispensaries started popping up all over once this decision was made. Researchers began monitoring these locations and observed whether or not the opening of these pot locations resulted in a decrease of OTC sleep aids shortly or immediately after.
The authors of the study noted that, prior to the legalisation of cannabis, the sleep aid market shares were steadily growing.
Then, after the legal cannabis dispensaries opened up, sales of OTC sleep aids at local grocery stores began decreasing. Along with this came a rapid increase in cannabis sales – which shouldn’t surprise anyone. This further caused a decrease in sales of traditional sleeping aids – such as Benadryl. These decreased further than more holistic options like melatonin.
The findings of this study supported the ideas many people had already – that numerous people are consuming cannabis to treat a sleep disorder. Their consumption could also relate to another health condition that impacts on sleep, such as depression or anxiety.
This is some interesting research, and many cannabis consumers would agree that cannabis affords them a good night’s rest. This may be one of the main reasons for their consumption – to treat insomnia, or a condition such as anxiety which takes away from their sleep. However, more conclusive research needs to be conducted on this matter. As well as the effect of cannabis on sleep and REM sleep patterns.