MAY 04, 2020 10:32 AM PDT

Can Cannabis Improve Chronic Insomnia?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Around 30% of Americans have insomnia. A serious problem, researchers have found that cannabis products may be able to help people with the condition get better sleep. 

Although anecdotal evidence and mouse models have previously pointed towards cannabis being able to improve sleep quality, until recently, more concrete studies had not been conducted. Now however, researchers from the University of Western Australia have conducted the first ever double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that has demonstrated the link. 

For their study, the researchers recruited 23 patients with chronic insomnia in 2018. The patients were then given either a dose of cannabis or a placebo for two weeks. They could choose to either take single or double doses based on preference and symptom severity. The cannabis product used was a proprietary cannabinoid blend known as ZTL-101, containing both THC and CBD. 

Over the course of two weeks, the researchers measured the participants' sleep quality via digital sleep trackers, subjective responses and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), a commonly-used clinical tool to register symptoms of insomnia. 

In the end, the researchers found that ISI scores were 26% lower for those taking cannabis products than those on the placebo. The scores were even lower for those on a double dose. Those treated with cannabis also had more hours of sleep, fell asleep quicker, and could fall asleep again faster after being woken up than those in the placebo group. They also reported being less tired and less stressed alongside other significant improvements in the quality of life. 

“This study represents the most rigorous clinical trial ever undertaken to assess the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis to treat the symptoms of chronic insomnia,” says lead researcher Peter Eastwood. “The fact that ZLT-101 treatment achieved statistically significant, dose-responsive improvements across a broad range of key insomnia indices is impressive, particularly given the relatively short two-week dosing window.”


Sources: The Growth Op, Yahoo News, News Atlas

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
You May Also Like
MAY 01, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Early Use of Cannabis Linked to Heart Disease
MAY 01, 2021
Early Use of Cannabis Linked to Heart Disease
While the dangers of cigarette smoking to cardiovascular health are widely known, those for cannabis have been less rese ...
MAY 02, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy May Be Linked to Early Puberty
MAY 02, 2021
Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy May Be Linked to Early Puberty
Current research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be effective in managing seizures in childhood-onset epilepsy. ...
MAY 19, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
DEA Ends the Monopoly on "Research-Grade" Cannabis
MAY 19, 2021
DEA Ends the Monopoly on "Research-Grade" Cannabis
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has slipped out an announcement that’s going to have a huge impact on ...
JUL 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Genetic Analysis Reveals Cannabis First Grown in China
JUL 18, 2021
Genetic Analysis Reveals Cannabis First Grown in China
Genetic analysis of over 100 cannabis Sativa genomes has revealed that the plants’ wild ancestors likely came from ...
AUG 12, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Medicinal Cannabis May Help with Stuttering
AUG 12, 2021
Medicinal Cannabis May Help with Stuttering
Medicinal cannabis reduced treatment-resistant stuttering in a 20-year-old male patient. The case study was published in ...
AUG 20, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Teenage Cannabis Use Linked to Preterm Births in Adulthood
AUG 20, 2021
Teenage Cannabis Use Linked to Preterm Births in Adulthood
People who heavily used cannabis in their teens are more likely to have premature babies than those who did not use the ...
Loading Comments...