Of all the known ways to stimulate melatonin production, none is more dramatic than smoking marijuana.
Marijuana stimulates production of a prostaglandin called PGE2, which may relate to its ability to stimulate melatonin production.
Italian researchers discovered that when eight men smoked a cigarette containing the active ingredient in marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), they had dramatically higher melatonin levels twenty minutes later. After two hours, their melatonin levels were 4,000 percent higher than at baseline!
The fact that smoking marijuana is accompanied by a dramatic increase in melatonin production may explain some of the drug’s positive effects.
A 1995 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the hallucinogen is being used to counteract the toxicity of chemotherapy, treat migraines, reduce intraocular pressure, minimize pain, treat menstrual cramps, and moderate wasting syndrome in AIDS patients. Melatonin has been shown to ameliorate each and every one of these conditions.
Smoking marijuana as a vehicle to increase melatonin production, however, may not be a good idea. The increase is so marked that it is not likely to be beneficial, especially if one smokes marijuana during the daytime, when melatonin levels are normally so low that they are just above the level of detection.
Causing such a dramatic surge in melatonin levels in the daytime could phase-shift your circadian rhythms or interfere with your health in other as yet unknown ways.