This article by researchers at Freiburg University Medical Center in Germany reviews cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana.

Let’s focus on the one purported CAM, marijuana.

Here are the highlights on smoked marijuana and oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

  • Reduced REM (dreaming stage) sleep

Acute administration

  • Facilitates falling asleep
  • Increases Stage 4 (reparative) sleep

Withdrawal (acute and subacute)

  • Difficulty sleeping and strange dreams
  • Longer sleep onset latency (longer to fall asleep)
  • Reduced slow wave sleep (deep sleep)
  • REM rebound (enter REM sleep faster than normal, and spend a greater percentage of time in REM sleep)

The bottom line?
Mr. Aaron Norton, a therapist in private practice in Largo, Florida has a related article. He says, “The effects of marijuana on sleep are often not included in information provided to clients in substance use treatment settings… This information, when combined with other information on marijuana’s effects, can help clients make informed choices concerning their use.”

8/25/08 11:07 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.