Want some sleep? Take cannabis or maybe read a review about cannabis


The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials.Kuhathasan N, Dufort A, MacKillop J, Gottschalk R, Minuzzi L, Frey BN. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2019 May 23. doi: 10.1037/pha0000285. [Epub ahead of print]

Cannabis and its pharmacologically active constituents, phytocannabinoids, have long been reported to have multiple medicinal benefits. One association often reported by users is sedation and subjective improvements in sleep. To further examine this association, we conducted a critical review of clinical studies examining the effects of cannabinoids on subjective and objective measures of sleep. PubMED, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched using terms and synonyms related to cannabinoids and sleep. Articles chosen included randomized controlled trials and open label studies. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess the quality of trials that compared cannabinoids with control interventions. The current literature focuses mostly on the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of chronic health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain. Sleep is often a secondary, rather than primary outcome in these studies. Many of the reviewed studies suggested that cannabinoids could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency. While many of the studies did show a positive effect on sleep, there are many limiting factors such as small sample sizes, examining sleep as a secondary outcome in the context of another illness, and relatively few studies using validated subjective or objective measurements. This review also identified several questions that should be addressed in future research. These questions include further elucidation of the dichotomy between the effects of THC and CBD, as well as identifying any long-term adverse effects of medicinal cannabinoid use.

Sorry, I haven’t got alot of time today, so just picked this study. You can read the abstract…but one thing that I heard pretty quickly was that people in the cannabis trials believed they were getting a better nights sleep, if they had taken some cannabis.

For me the best way to get some sleep was to try and read a paper on CCSVI….Yep the one online…it took me quite a few attempts to get through it.

Mrs Mouse used to drop off when I read the “Marathon man” as a bedtime story…I’m a boring out-loud reader aand not helped by dyslexia and read chapter 2 about 6 times….she then read the book, which was borrowed and gave it back before I had a chance to read it and it was out of print at the time. So if you have watched the film can you go to the dentist without thinking “Is it safe” ? Anyway another way to catch some zzzzz is to read another meta analysis.

Anyway what to do think, does it help sleep?

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  • I was really lucky and got it from my neuro. I sleep so well. I still have to take 50 mg amitrityline at night as the pain is too much to bear without it. 25 is better, but pain is better treated than borne bravely. I tried otc cbd oil before and that was good but Sativex is better. The price is criminal though. The seeds don’t cost much, so making an extract can’t be that difficult . Not everyone wants to smoke it and get high. Making Sativex available would likely reduce illegal drug use and maybe save some lungs from cancer from smoking.

  • Sounds good to me! I think this would be a hugely better option than pregabaline? Although I’m nervous to switch, as I’m just about stable on this as such, with steroids helping too, could this be the push I need to gain some more knowledge about this medicine and pursue a health (legal) dose that does what it says on the tin! My sleep is okay ish but disturbed by my frequent trips to the bathroom! Training my bladder is my next project me thinks! Sativex is only available in my part of the woods for 1 month under NHS – then I have to pay for it myself. It will cost around £300-400 per month! Sadly that my salary gone working in the public education sector, so no deal with me!

    • Yes me too about training bladder for better night-time sleep. Good idea.
      I will try and drink most of my fluids before 3pm. Then smaller portions late afternoon and evening.

  • Be careful if your buying CBD oil of the Internet. Determining how much THC vs CBD is in the ‘tincture’ requires some pretty solid chemistry. Chances are you’ll get something with more THC content and be stoned off your tits for days (good or bad depending on your views on cannabis use).

    Cannabis isn’t the panacea people think it is. But….I’ve managed a CBD study that used the Pittsburgh Sleep Index and the results did show an improvement in sleep quality, latency and duration.

    Note: the study was in oncology not MS.

    • I heard from our Barts-MS pharmacist about an unpublished study looking at what is in OTC CBD oil. It is a mess; variable concentrations and laced with impurities. My advice is to stay away from them until we know more about the adverse effects and have at least some quality approval system in place to test the different formulations.

      • Yep, this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. As the ‘medicalisation’ of cannabis continues, it’s attracting some real cowboys into the field. In Australia, the level of documentation required in support of cannabis products when running a clinical trial actual exceeds what is required for non-cannabis studies. It’s in place to stop bob and his mates knocking up some CBD oil in their shed and calling it ‘medication’.

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