Medical marijuana is as safe as the standard OTC and prescription medications currently available. However, medical marijuana shares many of the same problems associated with standard OTC and prescription medications, Psychology Today reports.

The use of medical marijuana does not improve sleep quality or reduce the severity of insomnia.  Marijuana dose-dependently produces poor sleep quality. The reason that marijuana does not improve sleep quality is related to the fact that the endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter system in our brain is not directly involved in the onset or maintenance of normal sleep cycles.

Therefore, marijuana cannot, and does not, produce normal sleep patterns.  Marijuana increases the lighter stages of sleep, known as NREM slow wave sleep; consequently, it decreases the amount of time spent in REM sleep. REM sleep is usually called dream sleep.

Not getting enough REM sleep has many bad consequences, such as an increased risk for obesity, significant memory problems and mood disorders. Getting adequate REM sleep is critical for people with bipolar disorder.  Depressed patients who used cannabis reported significantly more sleep impairments.  Using marijuana to help fall asleep was also associated with frequent night-time awakenings.