A recent Australian study has found cannabis oil to be effective in the treatment of insomnia – and well tolerated.
Insomnia is a fairly common condition. Many of us will experience it at some point in our lives. While temporary for many and resolving without intervention, for some it can be a chronic, debilitating condition requiring medical treatment. And some of these treatments are accompanied by risks including addiction.
Among potential alternative treatments for insomnia undergoing significant research is medical cannabis. A recent study in Australia involved a randomised crossover double-blind placebo-controlled 6-week trial that sought to gauge the tolerability and effectiveness of a preparation containing 10 mg/ml tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 15 mg/ml cannabidiol (CBD).
A total of 29 participants with self-reported clinical insomnia took part in the study, who were randomly allocated to receive placebo or the real deal. Over a two week period the dose was titrated 0.2–1.5 ml/day, followed by a 1-week wash-out period before crossover.
The researchers, from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM) in Melbourne, Victoria, found the cannabis oil was generally well tolerated and was effective in improving sleep. 60% of participants no longer classified as clinical insomniacs at the end of the 2-week intervention period.
Among the measurements taken to gauge effectiveness was midnight melatonin levels, which significantly improved in the active group by 30% compared to a 20% decline in those taking the placebo. The trial was believed to be the first to include midnight melatonin levels to assess the effect of medicinal cannabis oil on sleep quality in adults with insomnia
“Medicinal cannabis oil improved both time and quality of sleep, in particular light sleep increased by 21 min/night compared to placebo,” state the researchers. “The quality of sleep improved overall by up to 80% in the active group.”
Higher daily functioning was also noted.
Among their conclusions, the researchers stated:
“… our short-term trial suggests Entoura 10:15 medicinal cannabis oil, containing THC:CBD 10:15 and lesser amounts of other CBs and naturally occurring terpenes, to be well tolerated and effective in significantly improving sleep quality and duration, midnight melatonin levels, quality of life, and mood within 2-weeks in adults with insomnia.”
The study has been published in the Journal of Sleep Research and can be viewed in full here.