cannabis for insomnia anxiety
cannabis for insomnia anxiety

Which Helps You Sleep Better, Alcohol or Cannabis? - New Insomnia Study Shows Why Weed Is Your Best Bet!

Cannabis can help anxiety-ridden people with insomnia and sleep patterns!

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Wednesday Jan 10, 2024

cannabis for insomnia study

Studies Say Pot Helps Anxious People Sleep Better


With millions of people around the world struggling with anxiety, it’s one of the most common mental health conditions.


And while it’s completely normal to experience occasional anxiety, individuals who live with anxiety disorders suffer from debilitating symptoms that can interfere greatly with living a normal life. Anxiety disorders can affect work, relationships, social lives, and even sleep. In fact, insomnia and sleep disorders commonly co-occur with anxiety disorders.


It makes sense: after all, when your anxiety causes you to worry and ruminate at night, this will of course prevent you from getting the sleep you really need for health and well-being. As a result, it becomes an endless cycle of worrying while awake, while trying to get enough sleep. This is also why many prescription drugs designed for treating anxiety sedate you – so that you can get some shut eye.


However, anxiety drugs come with numerous side effects. These include dizziness, appetite loss, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, drowsiness, fatigue, and much more.


But that’s where marijuana can help. As a natural medicine, marijuana has been proven effective in treating anxiety and it can also help you get sleep.


Several studies back it up. In a recent study conducted by investigators at the University of Colorado, University of Haifa, and Colorado State University analyzed 347 individuals who used marijuana for treating anxiety. The main goal of the researchers was to understand the mechanisms in which sleep was impacted by cannabis as well as alcohol, or both and neither. The participants were asked to answer a survey everyday for 30 days, which measured their consumption of substances as well as sleep experiences the night before.


The researchers then collated the data and results on days that substances were not used as well, and on days when only marijuana and only alcohol were used. In addition, they also measured the impact of substances on sleep when both marijuana and alcohol were used.


“Compared to non-use, participants reported better sleep after cannabis-use-only and after co-use, but not after alcohol-use-only,” wrote the authors. “The study’s utilization of naturalistic data among individuals with anxiety symptoms replicated previously reported experimental findings among individuals without sleep and anxiety problems that overall, cannabis is associated with higher subjective sleep quality,” they said. “The results expand upon other research to suggest that more frequent use of alcohol and cannabis may moderate daily associations of cannabis use and sleep, potentially through pharmacokinetics and cross-sensitization,” the authors explained.


To summarize, the authors noticed that there was a pattern among the participants: frequent cannabis users generally scored better in sleep measures after cannabis use when compared against days they didn’t consume.


In addition, the researchers observed from the results that the sleep-enhancing properties of marijuana didn’t reduce over time, for the participants who consumed pot and alcohol frequently. Because of this, the study suggests that developing a high tolerance doesn’t impact sleep quality.


Cannabis Is A Superior Medication For Anxiety-Induced Insomnia


Over-the-counter sleep aids and anxiety medications can work for treating anxiety-induced insomnia, though they are not sustainable solutions because they can’t be consumed for the long term. For many patients, these medications and drugs are also not without side effects.

However, cannabis in various forms can be a sustainable and long-term solution for treating sleeplessness caused by anxiety or otherwise. Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is famous for its anti-anxiety benefits, can also be used to address this condition.  Cannabis strains for insomnia tend to have higher CBD levels.


In 2022, a study conducted by researchers from the University of California and the Scripps Institute analyzed 13 commercially-available cannabidiol products and its effects on more than 2,800 participants. The participants were randomly given either CBD or a placebo for 4 weeks.

“Well-being, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pain significantly improved among those assigned to take a CBD product relative to waitlist controls. Among those assigned to a CBD product, the percentage of individuals with a given condition who experienced an improvement which could be considered clinically meaningful or important was 46.6 percent for anxiety; 47.9 percent for sleep disturbance, and 35.2 percent for pain,” they wrote in the study.

The researchers also added that there were no side effects observed.

“Our results suggest that the commercially available CBD products included in this study are safe and may serve as potentially effective complementary therapies for management of anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pain. These effects appear independent of the prior CBD use and product spectrum,” they concluded.


Meanwhile, a poll from 2021 shared similar findings. Researchers in the United Kingdom and Denmark polled 387 participants with experience using CBD. Most of the survey respondents lived in the UK, Denmark, or in the United States. Most respondents said that the reason behind consuming CBD was for anxiety, sleep improvement, and stress reduction in that order. Many also consume CBD for overall well-being.




Severe and chronic anxiety can trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response to the point that getting some sleep can be downright difficult. That’s because the body and mind are so stimulated from the fight-or-flight response, affecting our sleep. Both problems can lead to a vicious cycle, so it’s critical to get it addressed from the root: treating anxiety.


Cannabis, especially CBD, is renowed for its powerful anxiety-fighting properties. For some, THC or a combination of CBD and THC work well in this area. It’s all about discovering the ratio that works well for you. And there are no side effects to worry about.





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