Smoking marijuana used to be considered a destructive behavior, but it seems that motives have changed. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Miami recently revealed that most people smoke weed for one simple reason: to fall asleep at night.
Study Confirms Marijuana Can Help Relieve Pain & Improve Sleep
The study was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. It took place in Colorado, where residents 21 or older can legally use recreational cannabis.
Researchers surveyed 1,000 customers at two retail stores. 65% of participants stated that they use cannabis to relieve pain and 74% said they use it to get better sleep. Of the retailers who used cannabis for pain relief, 80% said they found it to be “very helpful. In fact, 88% of retailers who had used opioids in the past revealed that they were able to stop or decrease the amount of medications they were taking. 84% of the participants said the marijuana helped them to get more sleep.
Are these results that surprising?
Well, it’s not a huge surprise that people smoke weed to lessen pain and fall sleep more easily. Most people know that marijuana has a “soporific effect,” which basically means it can cause drowsiness.
Recent studies have also shown that the cannabidiol (CBD) contained in cannabis can help users to fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of that sleep.
However, there is an interesting takeaway from this study.
The results suggest cannabis could be used as a replacement for prescribed pain-relieving medications. This is largely due to the fact that the peripheral nerves that sense pain in our bodies contain cannabinoid receptors. Unfortunately, because marijuana is not legal in most states, researchers have not been able to conduct more thorough research on the subject.
Could legalizing marijuana solve the painkiller addiction crisis?
It’s possible that legalizing marijuana could allow or a decrease in dependency on other pain relief methods. Opioid use, for example, can be pretty dangerous. There are other studies that also show a connection between the legalization of cannabis and a reduction in opioid overdoses.
While the study did not offer any groundbreaking results, it does show just how versatile marijuana can be. Cannabis legalization could be life changing for many people who struggle with physical and mental health issues.