Haifa, Israel: The use of cannabis prior to bedtime is associated with perceived improvements in sleep in subjects diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to data published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
Israeli researchers assessed the impact of cannabis on sleep in a cohort of 77 PTSD patients. Study participants kept a daily journal where they recorded numerous sleep measures each morning.
Investigators acknowledged that the use of cannabis was associated with self-reported improvements in sleep onset and a reduction in the frequency of nightmares. Subjects who consumed products higher in CBD were less likely to report early awakenings.
“Our data suggest that MC [medical cannabis] may help reduce nightmares and [that] CBD in particular may be important for preventing early awakenings,” they wrote. “This provides a strong basis for further hypotheses testing, potentially through clinical trials, of the sleep-inducing effects of MC and for testing CBD in particular.”
Authors concluded, “Given the high comorbidity of PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances and the potential for MC to have effects on both, a greater understanding of how patients experience the effects of MC on overall PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances is warranted.”
Prior studies have similarly reported that cannabis products may be associated with improved sleep duration and with improvements in insomnia. The enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization has also been correlated with a decrease in the sale of over-the-counter sleep aid medications.
Full text of the study, “Post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep, and medical cannabis treatment: A daily diary study,” appears in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Additional information on cannabis and post-traumatic stress is available from NORML.