Roughly 40 million Americans have some sort of sleep issues and more and more of these sleep-deprived souls are turning to cannabis to get a restful night in bed. Sure, marijuana is used by millions for its psychoactive high, but a recent survey reveals that nearly 50 percent of consumers of the herb just want to doze off at night.
The survey, conducted in the Denver area by Consumer Research Around Cannabis, found that only pain relief rivals sleep as a reason for using marijuana, Forbes reported. The researchers surveyed 1,258 cannabis users in the Denver metropolitan area and nearby parts of Wyoming and Nebraska.
According to the study, 47.2 percent of the respondents bought marijuana to help them sleep and 47.2 percent said the herb helps treat chronic or recurring pain. The third most popular reason, at 45.7 percent, use it for depression or anxiety.
Related Story: Here’s The Science On Why Marijuana Makes You Sleepy
Nearly a third of the respondents (32.8 percent) claim they consume cannabis for “creative purposes and expanding perceptions and thought processes.” Only 28.5 percent of those surveyed said they use cannabis to have a good time with friends and family.
Lack of sleep is becoming a serious issue in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers sleep apnea and other related disorders a dangerously hidden public health issue. According to the CDC, “persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”
Unlike prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications, cannabis users report that they do not feel groggy or impaired in the morning. And even the most ardent drug warrior will concede that cannabis is much less addictive than medications such as Ambien or Lunesta.
An estimated 10 million Americans have a prescription for Ambien or some other pharmaceutical sleep medication and 4 percent of adults report that they have taken a sleeping pill or sedative in the previous month.