Australian Medical Cannabis Insomnia Trial Recruiting Participants

Insomnia - medical cannabis trial

Chronic insomnia sufferers in the Australian state of New South Wales are being invited to join a research study that involves testing a cannabis medication.

Most of us would have experienced insomnia at some point of our lives, usually connected with stressful events. As many as half of us could be experiencing insomnia in some form at any given time.

Chronic insomnia is where significant problems occur with getting or staying sleep more than three nights a week for three months or more. Chronic insomnia isn’t just unpleasant – it can result in poor decision-making, strain on relationships and pose a significant safety risk to the sufferer and those around them.

Among the treatments are a variety of medications, some of which can become habit forming and/or still leaving the patient feeling groggy during the day. Medical cannabis could be an alternative therapy with fewer negative effects.

A new study supported by Australia’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney will use novel neuroimaging technology to monitor effects of a single dose of a cannabis-based medicine on sleep and daytime function in people living with chronic insomnia.

“If eligible, you will need to come to the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Glebe, Sydney and stay in one of our sleep suites overnight on two occasions,” states the CanSleepStudy web site. “We will measure various aspects of your sleep and cognition over a 24-hour period.”

The initiative is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover pilot trial that will involve 20 patients. Participants will be paid for their time and receive study-related evaluations and medication at no cost.

Those interested may be eligible to participate in the study if they live in New South Wales and are aged 35 to 60 years. A screening questionnaire can be found here.

On a related note, another recent study Lambert Initiative researchers were involved in found sleep issues to be a major factor in adults who self‐reported using cannabis for medicinal reasons in the previous 12 months.

52% of participants self‐reported using cannabis to manage sleep problems with  9.3% stating a sleep disorder as their main condition for using cannabis; the most common being all‐cause insomnia (74%).