A recent study, published in the journal Sleep, found that teens who consume marijuana are more likely to suffer from insomnia as adults. "People tend to think that cannabis helps with sleep," said lead author Even Winiger, "but if you look closely at the studies, continued or excessive use is also associated with a lot of sleep deficits."
Researchers found that about one-third of subjects who started using marijuana regularly before age 18 had insomnia in adulthood, compared to less than 20% among those who did not use cannabis regularly as teens. People who started using marijuana after they turned 18 also had slightly higher rates of insomnia in young adulthood. These patterns persisted when controlling for depression, anxiety and shift work (which can all also impair sleep).
The research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that while marijuana may help some users fall asleep occasionally, chronic use can have negative long-term consequences, particularly for the younger users.
As you look to engage in conversations with teens about marijuana, consider our spiritual obligations to God and others, legal responsibility and the importance of living with wisdom. In 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul writes that while all things are lawful, he will not let anything master Him. Our decisions should be made out of reverence for God and a love towards those around us. Some questions you can ask your teens are:
- What do you know about marijuana? Do your friends use marijuana, and if so, why? Have you ever been interested in using marijuana?
- Why do you think people like to use marijuana?
- Why do you think people use marijuana in illegal situations? What does the use say about their view of authority?
- What are characteristics of someone who has self-control?
- How can we exercise wisdom regarding our physical health?
For additional information on marijuana use in teens, click here.