First Study on Cannabis as Insomnia Treatment Proves Successful for Chronic Patients

By Phillip Schneider

Australian researchers found promise in the world’s first ever placebo-controlled trial on the effectiveness of cannabis compounds in treating chronic insomnia.

The study was initiated in 2018 by an independent research team at the University of Western Australia, funded by a cannabis company known as Zelira Therapeutics.

Double blind and placebo-controlled protocols were used, making it the first of its kind to document the use of cannabis compounds in treating chronic insomnia as the primary condition.

This study represents the most rigorous clinical trial ever undertaken to assess the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis to treat the symptoms of chronic insomnia. – Peter Eastwood, Lead Researcher

During the trial period, 23 volunteers were given either a placebo or dose of a formulation made from the cannabis compounds THC and CBD in the form of an oil administered under the tongue.

Participants were given the option to take a single or double dose, and after two weeks were assessed by a questionnaire called the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), along with other subjective feedback and information acquired by wrist-based sleep trackers.

Every patient subject to the compound reported more time asleep and greater feelings of rest. Participants who took only single doses reported on average a 26 percent reduction in ISI scores compared to the placebo group, while double dosed patients observed a reduction of 36 percent.

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The cannabis formula was made from a combination of THC and CBD, but the exact amounts were not disclosed and thus is referred to simply as ZTL-101.

The fact that ZTL-101 treatment achieved statistically significant, dose responsive improvements across a broad range of key insomnia indices is impressive, particularly given the relatively short two-week dosing window. – Peter Eastwood

In addition to treating insomnia, researchers have discovered a plethora of medicinal uses for the plant in recent years, including as a method to overcome opioid addiction, allay PTSD, and even to help battle certain types of cancer.

Positive patient experiences with minimal side-effects are critical to the success of any insomnia drug,” says Eastwood. “It is likely that further improvements in efficacy could be achieved by dosing over a longer period and potentially at higher doses.

Zelira Therapeutics has worked with several universities and hospitals to develop formulas intended to treat a wide array of conditions such as chronic pain, cancers, diabetes and autism.

Although the study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, their findings could begin a new wave of science-based cannabis formulas for better sleep, as it reinforces the plant’s positive effect on sleep that users often proclaim.

The company plans to release the formula as an over-the-counter treatment for insomnia later this year.


Phillip Schneider is a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.

This article (First Study on Cannabis as Insomnia Treatment Proves Successful for Chronic Patients) as originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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