How Marijuana Helps Insomnia in Depression, Anxiety Patients

Anxiety Depression Marijuana Study
Marijuana has been used as a natural remedy for various ailments, including insomnia, especially among patients with depression and anxiety. A recent study by BioMed Central Psychology examined 667 medical marijuana patients with either depression, anxiety, or both, who also suffered from insomnia. The study found that both indica and sativa strains of cannabis had a positive effect on patients' ability to fall asleep and were more effective than CBD alone. The results highlight the potential benefits of marijuana as a treatment option for insomnia related to anxiety or depression, emphasizing the need for further research.
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Marijuana has long been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including insomnia. However, until recently, there has been little research into its effectiveness for patients with depression and anxiety who struggle with insomnia as a symptom of their diagnosis. This has led to patients having to rely on anecdotal evidence to figure out if marijuana could help them get some much needed rest.

Now, a new study published by BioMed Central Psychology seemingly provides confirmation.

In this article, CannaMD explores the findings of the study and what they mean for patients seeking treatment for insomnia.

Marijuana & Insomnia Study

A common symptom among anxiety and depression patients is insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This prevalent condition has been reported in between 60% and 70% of people with generalized anxiety disorder.

Given the extensive complications and health conditions that can stem from insomnia, it’s crucial to develop treatment options that target this symptom specifically. And, as it turns out, marijuana may be a viable option.

A 2022 study published by BioMed Central Psychology examined a total of 667 medical marijuana patients with either one or both conditions (anxiety and/or depression) with insomnia listed as a symptom. The study evaluated the effects of indica and sativa cannabis strains on easing symptoms of insomnia.

The study found that both indica and sativa strains have a positive effect on patients’ ability to fall asleep and were more effective than CBD alone, with the scientists stating:

In the depression group, all strains were perceived to be efficacious and comparisons between strains revealed indica-dominant, indica hybrid, and sativa-dominant strains were significantly more efficacious than CBD-dominant strains.

In anxiety and comorbid conditions, all strain categories were perceived to be efficacious with no significant differences between strains.

The researchers went on to conclude:

In terms of perceptions, individuals with depression, anxiety, and both conditions who use cannabis for insomnia report significant improvements in symptom severity after cannabis use.

The results of this study are optimistic and highlight the need for more research into the benefits and safety of marijuana as a treatment option for patients with insomnia that stems from anxiety or depression.

Updated: May 28, 2024

Article Written By:

Nikole Beach

Nikole Beach is a freelance health writer with a Bachelor of Science in biology from Oregon State University. As an advocate for natural, science-backed medicine, Nikole has a passion for spreading awareness by breaking down complex ideas for everyone to understand and enjoy. Her favorite area of cannabis research involves the use of marijuana to treat anxiety disorders.


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