Chicago, IL: Marijuana-based medicines may someday play a role in treating sleeping disorders, including sleep apnea, according to the findings published this month in Sleep, the journal of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. Sleep apnea is a medical disorder characterized by frequent interruptions in breathing during sleep. It’s associated with numerous serious medical conditions, including headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke.
Researchers at the Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders at the University of Illinois in Chicago found that the administration of THC and the endogenous cannabinoid oleamide dramatically suppressed sleep-related apnea in rats. Authors concluded that the findings suggest an “important role” for cannabinoids in maintaining autonomic stability during sleep.
Marijuana and its constituents have a long history as sleep-inducing agents, including previous studies linking THC to melatonin production and the use of the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) to effectively treat insomnia.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Foundation Research Director, at (202) 483-8751. Abstracts of the Sleep report are available online at: http://www.journalsleep.org/citation/sleepdata.asp?citationid=2104 .