Sleep deprivation is the worst. Poor sleep or not enough of it can impact every aspect of life, including energy levels, concentration, memory, and ability to function. It can also be a risk factor for chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression. Sleepiness contributes to nearly 20% of all serious car crashes, and it increases the risk of falling in elderly people.
With nearly one in three American adults dealing with short-term insomnia, and 10% struggling with various chronic sleep disorders, it’s clear that this is a place where cannabis can really change lives. 1
There are many treatments available for insomnia, including over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), lifestyle and sleep hygiene changes. And, of course, there’s cannabis.
Does cannabis help with sleep issues?
Unsurprisingly, there’s a fair bit of interest in treating insomnia with cannabis given the long history of people using it for better sleep. A growing body of research shows that cannabis can have a major impact on sleep. This seems to be in large part because of the way in which cannabis interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates some of our most important functions, such as stress response, inflammation, pain, memory and sleep.
Recent surveys of cannabis consumers report similar trends. One 2018 survey of 1,000 people who purchased recreational cannabis found that 74% used it to help them sleep, with 84% stating that it helped. Importantly, more than 83% also said they had reduced or stopped taking other sleep aids altogether after switching to cannabis. 2
Still, the research on cannabis and sleep is still in early stages and experts are conflicted. And of course, stating that “cannabis could help sleep” isn’t saying much. What type of cannabis? Which terpenes can promote sleep? Via inhalation or as an oral product? What about CBN and melatonin? And how much should you take?
A sleep study to help advance real world data
Yes, cannabis has an age-old reputation as a sleep aid, but the scientific evidence supporting its use is still shaky, and anecdotal reports are inconclusive. We need more data so consumers can make better decisions – both on an individual level, and as a community at large.
This is why The Cannigma is partnering with leading cannabis and CBD brands, who provide their products for free, and with data and software company MoreBetter, creators of the Releaf App, who guide participants through 3-4 week engagements on various topics. This particular Pathfinder investigation aimed to uncover the effects and utility of two different cannabinoid-based sleep aids.
After that came the really cool bit – together with MoreBetter, we crunched the numbers and then reported back to you and the wider cannabis community. The results were quite impressive – participants who tried FOCL’s Deep Sleep gummies reported an increase of 108 minutes sleep per night, while those who tried Slumber’s Deep Zzzs got a 25% bump in deep sleep.
Bit by bit, this real-world data (RWD) will get us closer to our cannabis utopia, in which consumers and patients alike can make data-informed purchase decisions. So beyond discovering a new product that may make your life better, you’re helping to empower others as well.
So how does it work?
- Sign up and pass screening
- Receive a (free) 3-week supply of cannabis/CBD products
- Spend 1 minute/day answering questions on your experience
- Get insights into consumption patterns and empower the cannabis community with solid data
Stay tuned for updates on future consumer experience surveys as part of this effort, covering topics including appetite, focus, chronic pain and sex.
- Sateia, M. J., Buysse, D. J., Krystal, A. D., Neubauer, D. N., & Heald, J. L. (2017). Clinical Practice Guideline for the Pharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Adults: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 13(2), 307–349. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.6470
- Bachhuber, M., Arnsten, J. H., & Wurm, G. (2019). Use of Cannabis to Relieve Pain and Promote Sleep by Customers at an Adult Use Dispensary. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 51(5), 400–404. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2019.1626953
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