You will need to forgive my use of the colloquial term “weed” for marijuana but “marijuana” would not fit well in the above title space.  Because many states are now legalizing, or considering legalization of marijuana, more and more studies and scientific observations are taking place that are important for the public to hear about so that good choices can be made.  Naturally, most of the information available is of a negative nature, but I would encourage any users of marijuana to pay attention to any serious scientific observations and facts about this drug, not just what you have heard from a friend.

One issue that relates to the Lung Center is the issue of sleep and how the use of marijuana can affect it. Back in the 60’s marijuana users were portrayed as sleepy with little ambition.  I cannot speak to the ambition, but the problems marijuana can cause with an individual’s sleep patterns can relate to the “sleepy” stereotype.

The disruption in sleep caused by marijuana use can be significant in chronic users.  Chronic marijuana use results in an interruption of the portion of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement sleep, or REM sleep.  This period in our sleep cycle is vital to allow the brain to rest.  These changes lead to a type of self-perpetuating cycle that leads chronic users to progressively increase marijuana consumption furthering sleep disruption.  The “sleepy” stereotype is not caused by sedation, but by the sleep disruption marijuana causes.