Cannabinoids: Can it help to improve your sleep?

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Many studies of cannabis or cannabinoids in people with health problems (such as multiple sclerosis, PTSD, or chronic pain) have looked at effects on sleep. Often, there’s been evidence of better sleep quality, fewer sleep disturbances, or decreased time to fall asleep in people taking cannabis/cannabinoids. However, it’s uncertain whether the cannabis products affected sleep directly or whether people slept better because the symptoms of their illnesses had improved. The effects of cannabis/cannabinoids on sleep problems in people who don’t have other illnesses are uncertain.

Are cannabis and cannabinoids safe?

Several concerns have been raised about the safety of cannabis and cannabinoids:

    • The use of cannabis has been linked to an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.
    • Smoking cannabis during pregnancy has been linked to lower birth weight.
    • Some people who use cannabis develop cannabis use disorder, which has symptoms such as craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities.
    • Adolescents using cannabis are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop cannabis use disorder.
    • Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of injury among older adults.
    • The use of cannabis, especially frequent use, has been linked to a higher risk of developing schizophrenia or other psychoses (severe mental illnesses) in people who are predisposed to these illnesses.
    • Marijuana may cause orthostatic hypotension (head rush or dizziness on standing up), possibly raising danger from fainting and falls.
    • The FDA has warned the public not to use vaping products that contain THC. Products of this type have been implicated in many of the reported cases of serious lung injuries linked to vaping.
    • There have been many reports of unintentional consumption of cannabis or its products by children, leading to illnesses severe enough to require emergency room treatment or admission to a hospital. Among a group of people who became ill after accidental exposure to candies containing THC, the children generally had more severe symptoms than the adults and needed to stay in the hospital longer.
    • Some long-term users of high doses of cannabis have developed a condition involving recurrent severe vomiting.
    • There have been reports of contamination of cannabis/cannabinoid products with microorganisms, pesticides, or other substances.
    • Some cannabis/cannabinoid products contain amounts of cannabinoids that differ substantially from what’s stated on their labels. (Source: NCCIH)
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