Medical Marijuana and Sleep Disorders


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Many students say they struggle going to sleep without smoking marijuana beforehand and once they do, they fall asleep much easier and faster than they would have without it. Should medical marijuana be given to patients who cannot sleep and are on medication for it?

Many psychiatric patients use marijuana to help them sleep even though in most areas, it is still considered illegal. Marijuana is often talked about in psychology studies or reports and often supported as a good idea to use it. It is often used, but should it be prescribed?

According to a website created to help patients in search for medical marijuana treatments, Marijuana Doctors, there are so many different type of sleep disorders, that marijuana should not be prescribed for. For example, night terrors mostly affect children, so permitting a child to use marijuana is not exactly kosher for most families. 

Before prescribing marijuana, the sleep issue needs to be pinpointed in order to see if marijuana could help it in a drastic way. For example, somnambulism (sleepwalking), restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy there is not enough research to say whether or not marijuana would help these things on a large enough scale. 

If the sleep disorder has a history of pain or illnesses that marijuana may be able to help, then the patient would be prescribed it, but it wouldn't be solely for the sleep issues. Typically, a human is supposed to sleep for eight hours, and the effects of marijuana do not last that long which wouldn't help the person get the full night sleep they need. So although people use marijuana to help them sleep, those with more severe conditions would not benefit from it as much as one would think.
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3 Comments

I really, really liked your post! I knew that marijuana was used for a lot of medical purposes but I never really thought about it being prescribed to help people sleep but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. It's not addictive so it's safer than prescribing sleeping pills that people can form a habit out of.

Great article, I guess this seems to make sense because people tend to get sleepy when they get high. I know medical marijuana is also used for people who don't eat enough or for other purposes. I find it interesting that more and more states are legalizing the drug for medical purposes. There are now 20 states that have legalized it according to ProCon.org

Here's the list of states: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

The fact that you posted this is extremely ironic, because this guy I know from high school called me yesterday to tell me that after four weeks after his move to California, he officially got prescribed a medical marijuana card. Now... I know this is not for the reasons that he claimed it was for. His exact words were, "it is as if the doctor wanted to prescribe me to it, all I said was that I have slight insomnia, and slight signs of depression, and now I can get it whenever." This is when marijuana should not be the first move to help him feel better. It does serve as a relaxing substance, but I know that he sleeps more than the average person and does not suffer from insomnia. I think if sleep issues actually does tend to be a problem, alternative options can be taken to cure it like therapy or hypnosis: http://fallasleepinstantly.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-cured-my-insomnia-through-self.html

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