Considering the Use of Medical Marijuana for Patients with Insomnia

3 min

Sleep is essential for good health and well-being, which makes life tough for insomniacs. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up rested. Medical marijuana has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for insomnia. That is why many are considering the use of MMJ for patients with insomnia. 

Medical marijuana has been shown to be a safe and natural sleep aid for many insomniacs. Do you suffer from insomnia? Visit to get access to an MMJ card.

Medical Marijuana Benefits for Insomnia Disorder

Medical cannabis has been shown in several trials by researchers from the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Sleep Science to help with insomnia and increase sleep quality. Patients reported less side effects, a better night’s sleep, and improvements in fatigue, stress, and social functioning.

Professor Peter Eastwood, who conducted the study, said he was encouraged by the overall response improvements across a number of key insomnia metrics. 

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a frequent sleep problem that makes it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and be unable to sleep again. When you wake up, you can still be exhausted. Insomnia can deplete your energy and attitude, as well as your health, work performance, and overall quality of life.

Many adults encounter short-term (acute) insomnia at some point in their lives, which can endure for days or weeks. It’s frequently caused by stress or a stressful experience. Some people, however, suffer from long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts a month or longer. It’s possible that insomnia is the major issue, or that it’s linked to other medical issues or medications.

Types of Insomnia

Primary insomnia: This means your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem.

Secondary insomnia: This means you’re having difficulty sleeping due to a medical condition (such as asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medicine; or substance abuse (like alcohol).

Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia may be the only symptom, or it may be accompanied by additional symptoms.

Chronic insomnia is frequently caused by stress, life events, or sleep-disrupting habits. Insomnia can be resolved by treating the underlying cause, but it can also continue for years.

Chronic insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Stress: Work, school, health, finances, or family concerns might keep your mind occupied at night, making sleeping difficult. Insomnia can also be caused by stressful life events or trauma, such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job.
  • Travel or work commitments: Circadian rhythms serve as an internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism, and body temperature. Insomnia can be caused by disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms. Jet lag from flying across numerous time zones, working a late or early shift, or changing shifts regularly are all causes.
  • Sleep deprivation: An erratic bedtime routine, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and utilizing your bed for work, eating, or watching TV are all examples of poor sleep habits. Before going to bed, avoid using computers, televisions, video games, smartphones, or other screens.
  • Excessive eating late at night: It’s fine to have a modest snack before night, but eating too much can make you physically uncomfortable when you’re lying down. Heartburn, or a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, is common and can keep you awake.

Symptoms of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Fatigue
  • Grumpiness
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Getting up in the middle of the night
  • Getting up way too early
  • Errors or accidents have increased
  • Constant concerns about sleep

Treatment for Insomnia

Insomnia that is only temporary usually improves on its own. If you have chronic insomnia, your doctor may suggest:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: CBT-I is a short, organized intervention for insomnia that teaches you how to recognize and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or exacerbate sleep problems with sleep-promoting habits. Unlike sleeping drugs, CBT-I helps you address the root causes of your insomnia.

Medications: Changes in behavior and lifestyle are the most effective ways to improve your sleep in the long run. Taking sleeping drugs for a short period of time can help you sleep in some instances. Doctors advise taking sleep medications just as needed.

Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Solution for Insomnia

Medical marijuana has been shown in studies to be an effective alternative treatment for insomnia. It works by re-establishing a person’s natural sleep pattern, which is disrupted in people who suffer from insomnia.

According to a study released in 2019, 84 percent of medical cannabis users who stated they used it to better sleep felt it was “very” or “very” useful. When they started using MMJ for sleep, 83 percent of participants who had previously used over-the-counter sleep pharmaceuticals were able to lessen or eliminate OTC drugs from their regimens. 

THC is said to induce sleep by activating the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. THC has also been shown to reduce sleep latency and allow users to sleep for extended periods of time. THC has also been linked to an increase in slow-wave sleep, which is an important part of cerebral restoration and recovery.

Do you suffer from insomnia and want to gain access to a medical marijuana card? Visit today to know if you qualify!


Webb, Charles W. and Sandra M. Webb. (2014). Therapeutic benefits of cannabis: a patient survey. Hawaii Journal of Medical and Public Health, 73(4): 109-11. Retrieved from:

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