In a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, investigators at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia looked at the effectiveness and tolerability of cannabis extract oils for those suffering from insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and is present in upwards of 30% of the country's total population. These difficulties can lead to symptoms that have a major impact on day-to-day life - such as low energy levels, poor concentration, and unstable moods.
THC and CBD (in large amounts) has been known to have sedative effects. In their study, the researchers assessed the potential for CBD and THC to alleviate such symptoms when taken regularly by a cohort of participants suffering from insomnia.
Over the course of 6 weeks, researchers analyzed the tolerability and effectiveness of a cannabis oil versus a placebo in 29 study participants suffering from insomnia.
Those who did not receive a placebo were given extracts containing 10mg of THC and 15mg of CBD per milliliter, and were instructed to ingest the oil every evening. Subjects were also instructed to increase their dose by 0.1mL (1mg THC/1.5mg CBD) increments each day, starting with 0.2mL on the first day and maxing out at 1.5mL.
The study consisted of a "one-week run-in period, a two-week intervention period, a one-week wash-out period and a second two-week intervention period," and participants were given 4 assessments at the beginning and at the completion of each intervention phase.
The results of the program found that subjects who were given cannabis extracts experienced improved sleep quality by 80%, and 60% of all participants were no longer considered "clinical insomniacs" post the 2-week intervention period. All but one participant (96%) concluded that cannabis oil was a tolerable and effective treatment for insomnia, and 79% of subjects asked for an ongoing prescription of cannabis oil.
"Our short-term trial suggests Entoura 10:15 medicinal cannabis oil, containing THC:CBD 10:15 and lesser amounts of other [cannabinoids] 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," states the study's conclusion. "Long-term studies are needed to assess whether chronic medicinal cannabis intake can restore natural circadian rhythm without the need for ongoing cannabis intake."