One of the most widely discussed topics regarding mental health is the effect of marijuana on the brain. While the jury is still out on the final verdict, more studies are being conducted that offer insight into how marijuana fits within our society.
Take this recent study of THC's effect on our sleep for example. In a nutshell, THC mimics receptors we have within our brain known as endocannabinoids. These receptors, when activated, are responsible for a multitude of different functions within the brain, from appetite and mood to energy and sleep. Sound familiar? Smoking or ingesting marijuana tends to affect these bodily functions the most in users.
To summarize the studies findings, while a short-term exposure to THC may help individuals with the quality, duration, and onset of sleep, long-term exposure seems to have the exact inverse effect. The longer and more frequently the user smokes, the worse of a shift chronic marijuana exposure tends to make in regards to one's sleep. The two main factors that determine the brain's response are dosage and duration. The longer and greater the amount the individual smokes, the greater the diminishment of THC's benefits to sleep. The two factors naturally have a feedback loop, as the longer one smokes, the more likely they are to need more to experience the same initial effects.
Based on this study, there appears to be a threshold to marijuana's sleep benefits. While a moderate, small dose of THC can aid insomniacs and restless sleepers, an excessive amount of use will only disrupt one's sleep cycle and overall quality, not to mention the physical withdrawal symptoms that may well follow if one were to stop using marijuana after an extended period of time.
The key takeaway from this study should be one's caution towards moderating how much you as an individual are smoking, if one chooses to at all. Like all things in life, we must find a healthy balance with our lifestyle and daily routines.
You can read the article on the study here:
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