Science blog published an article on a study done on marijuana use, and how it affects sleep. The study was published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
How CBD oil affects sleep in comparison to heavy marijuana smoking
The study found that daily marijuana smokers had a higher score on the Insomnia Severity Index, and the sleep-disturbance measure, than those not using it daily or the control group that never used it.
Stein, the study’s principal investigator, says one of the most common reasons given by people who use marijuana daily, is that they want to improve their sleep. Yet, the study findings show occasional use doesn’t disrupt sleep, while heavy use or daily use can be associated with sleep difficulties. The effect of daily use on sleep patterns seems to mimic that of alcohol use in the sense that daily use worsens sleep while intermittent use improves sleep continuity.
Many young adults battle to sleep
The study focused on 98 people in their 20s, since previous research indicates that as many as one-third of people aged 18 to 25 have sleep problems. Stein says study participants not smoking every day usually smoked in the evening, while daily smokers smoked multiple times a day, and also showed a greater incidence of disturbed sleep. He says that if someone wants to know how marijuana is affecting their sleep, they will have to stop using it at all for a while in order to know for sure.
Anxiety and sleep
Previous studies also showed increased anxiety levels in daily THC users and this may also contribute to disrupted sleep patterns. Stein and colleagues recommend that future studies run over a longer period of time, and look at mood disorder as a factor in the use of marijuana and sleep. Anxious people may use more THC-heavy marijuana because they try to alleviate their insomnia.
CBD oil for sleep
In comparison, studies show CBD oil affects sleep in a positive way because of the anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) properties more than direct sleep regulation, per se. In particular, it may block rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This theory is largely based on studies done on rodents, but in 1981, a small study was done in São Paulo where different CBD dosages were assigned to 15 insomniacs.
The highest dose of CBD significantly increased sleep while dream recall was less in comparison to subjects using a placebo. The lower dream recall is most probably due to the reduction of REM sleep, the state in which we dream most actively. In another study looking at the effect of cannabidiol on sleep, the conclusion was made: CBD may block anxiety-induced REM sleep because of its anxiolytic effect, rather than because of sleep regulation.