Undergraduate Honors Thesis


The Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use on Sleep Health: Biological and Behavioral Measures of Sleep Public Deposited

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    With increasing legalization, more people are turning to cannabis as a sleep aid. However, there is a lack of consensus as to whether cannabis is a benefit or detriment to sleep behavior and related biology. This study thus aimed to explore the relationships between cannabis use, circulating melatonin concentrations, and sleep habits among individuals who both regularly use cannabis (N=20) and those who do not (N=19). Additionally, sleep metrics were compared across individuals with high (N=44) versus low endorsement (N=53) of cannabis use for sleep. Sleep was measured through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; sleep motives were measured via the Comprehensive Marijuana Motives Questionnaire; and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays measured melatonin concentration. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests and Chi-Square tests compared cannabis use versus non-use groups on sleep and melatonin concentrations while mixed-effect models compared sleep over time amongst high versus low sleep motive endorsement groups. Findings showed neither melatonin nor sleep quality differed between use and non-use groups while the non-use group had shorter sleep latency. Comparisons across motive endorsement groups showed main effects of time for time and positive sleep expectancies for several sleep components and a marginal interaction between time and group on sleep disturbance whereby disturbances decreased over time but did not change for the high and low endorsement groups, respectively. These results indicate that cannabis can be beneficial for sleep when it comes to decreasing disturbances but may harm sleep latency. Further research is indicated to continue exploring the relationship between sleep and cannabis use. 

Date Awarded
  • 2023-10-23
Academic Affiliation
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Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-11-07
  • Boulder
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