New study shows the benefits of cannabis on sleep

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Moderate use of cannabis in the evening can lead to a better night’s rest

The Canadian Pharmacists Journal published a new study that further supports the idea that cannabis treatment may be beneficial for people suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia. According to the abstract, Hybrid Pharm was able to conduct a retrospective chart review at their Ottawa community pharmacy. It included patients who were either interested in or have used medical cannabis for sleep disorders.

The study included 38 patients, 27 of whom reported a subjective improvement in their sleeping or other related conditions. 15 patients were able to reduce or discontinue their prescriptions for sleep medication. Eight patients experienced adverse effects. However, the abstract notes that these symptoms are manageable and do not require stopping cannabis use.

These findings are consistent with Canadian-based research, which has shown that cannabis consumption can improve sleep outcomes. An Ontario study published in BMC Psychiatry earlier this month evaluated the efficacy of cannabis in managing insomnia among 677 people with anxiety, depression, or both.

Participants in the study self-medicated with cannabis products at home and then reported symptoms using a mobile application. Over a period of three years, more than 8,400 cannabis-use sessions had been recorded. All three groups of participants reported significant improvements in symptoms after using cannabis.

The study authors concluded that the current study highlights how important it is to conduct placebo-controlled trials investigating the effects of cannabinoids on sleep and symptom improvement in people with mood or anxiety disorders.

An Australian study last year found that people with insomnia who ingested a sublingual cannabinoid supplement nightly reported better sleep. Researchers used measurements to determine if the cannabis extract could be tolerated and if it would improve insomnia symptoms or quality for people with chronic insomnia.

In Israel, a 2020 study found that cannabis is also effective in treating insomnia in chronic pain sufferers. However, the study found that these benefits could diminish as patients become more cannabis-tolerant with regular use.