Cannabis Used More than Traditional Sleep Aids

With legal access, more people are choosing marijuana over medication to help them sleep.

December 09, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—With a lack of federal research, it’s not certain how much marijuana can actually help people who struggle to sleep. But a new study finds that people are using it instead of over-the counter (OTC) sleep medications when it’s legally available.

According to Marijuana Moment, researchers at the University of New Mexico and California State Polytechnic University analyzed retail scanner data collected by the Nielsen Company and found that fewer Colorado residents purchased over-the-counter sleep medications when they had access to recreational marijuana.

The study looked at the market share of overall sleep aids, including supplements like melatonin, as well as the number of recreational dispensaries and retail sales numbers in each county in Colorado. The paper reported that “cannabis appears to compete favorably with OTC sleep aids, especially those containing diphenhydramine and doxylamine, which constitute 87.4% of the market for OTC sleep aids.”

“For the first time, we show a statistically significant negative association between recreational access to cannabis and OTC sleep aid sales, suggesting that at least some recreational purchasers are using cannabis for therapeutic rather than recreational purposes,” the study’s authors write.

As cannabis, specifically CBD products, continue to infiltrate the retail marketplace, NACS continues to keep an eye on the latest trends and news.