CU study links teen marijuana use, adult insomnia

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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – A new University of Colorado study finds a link between teen marijuana use and insomnia.

The study followed more than 1,800 twins who completed surveys about their marijuana use, sleep habits and mental health. They found about one-third of subjects that used marijuana regularly before age 18 suffered from insomnia as adults, compared to less than 20% of those who did not use marijuana.

“People tend to think that cannabis helps with sleep, but if you look closely at the studies, continued or excessive use is also associated with a lot of sleep deficits,” said Evan Winiger, an author of the study published in the journal Sleep. “Our study adds to that literature, showing for the first time that early use is associated with increased rates of insomnia later on.”

“The brain is still changing until you are in your mid-twenties. What you do when you are young can have a big impact.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Researchers analyzed data from 1,882 adult twins from Colorado
  • Those who used marijuana regularly before age 18 were significantly more likely to have insomnia as adults and sleep fewer than six hours nightly
  • Cannabis impacts on the developing brain, altered sleep habits or shared genetics may be at play.

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