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By Hannah Seo
Few things can throw off your day more than a night of bad sleep. Insufficient sleep can worsen mood, sap energy and has even been linked with a range of health issues including dementia, depression, heart disease and a weakened immune system. Between 2013 and 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults in the United States reported getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. And in 2020, a Department of Health and Human Services study found, about 8 percent of adults reported that they regularly took sleep medications to help them fall or stay asleep. Some of those people, studies suggest, may be smoking, vaping or consuming cannabis products such as marijuana to help with their sleep.
So we asked some experts, including cannabis and sleep researchers, a sleep psychologist and a cannabis pharmacist, to explain cannabis’s effects on sleep and how its various chemical compounds influence those effects. Will cannabis help me sleep? In a survey published in 2022 of more than 27,000 medical marijuana users in the United States and Canada, nearly half cited sleep as a physical health reason for its use. $5 a month for your first year. Limited time offer. But it’s tricky to explain exactly how cannabis affects sleep because the studies that have been done are limited, and their results are often mixed, said Vyga Kaufmann, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. The two main active compounds in cannabis — tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, which is largely responsible for getting people high) and cannabidi