Marijuana & Insomnia Epidemic


Published: 11/18/2011

by David A


Insomnia is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “prolonged & usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep.”  According to the US Surgeon General, insomnia costs the U.S. Government more than $15 billion per year in health care costs.  Statistics also show that the US Industry loses about $150 billion each year because of sleep-deprived workers.  Considering these two startling statistics, it is evident that our government spends an enormous amount of money on the insomnia epidemic.


In correlation with the fact that approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids every year, the use of marijuana for the medicinal purpose of curing insomnia seems only logical.  To the mass public, though, the use of marijuana to cure insomnia appears to be a far stretch due to the way the government has criminalized the medicine.


In 2011, Professor Wendy Wismer (University of Alberta, Deptartment of Agricultural, Food, & Nutritional Science) was the lead researcher in a group that studied the effects of Tetrahydraocannabinol (THC).  Amongst the effects of the main psychoactive found in marijuana plants, insomnia was found to be a cure due to the use of THC.  Patients reported “greater relaxation & quality of sleep, according to Wismer.


The study was published with the headline “Pot Helps Cancer Patients Sleep & Enjoy Food.”  Because THC is a highly lipid soluble & can be stored in fat cells potentially for several months, the use of marijuana to cure insomnia is often a medicine that does not have to be used frequently.  An Indica or Indica-heavy hybrid is the type of marijuana that has the greatest effects on insomnia.


Because edibles tend to have a stronger effect, patients should always dose themselves with an inhalation of marijuana every 20 to 30 minutes.  The reason for this time period is because this is how long the effect of marijuana tends to lasts in the human body.  These momentarily lapses in time between dosing allows patients to medicate the best way suitable for them in a safe & efficient manner..


In contrast to marijuana, the prescription drug “valium” is often the medicine used by insomnia patients.  Medical marijuana is a better alternative, though, since valium is both physically and psychologically addicting & is considered one of the toughest addictions to break.  Marijuana can be used in slow doses, allowing the patient to have complete control of how much to medicate, in which valium has multiple side effects that can have different effects on the body at different times.  Overall, marijuana is the safest & most cost-efficient medicine to prescribe a patient that suffers from insomnia.