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Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Insomnia Disorder

Welcome to Cannabis Conclusions, a unique educational series from Higher Learning LV that is targeted at hemp and cannabis industry professionals. This series provides readers with the conclusion section from important modern peer-reviewed research studies.


A November 2020 study entitled "Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Insomnia Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" that was published in the journal CNS Drugs explored the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of insomnia disorder.

The study reported that insomnia "is associated with significant comorbidity, disability, and impact on quality of life and, despite advances in pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, remains a significant burden to society." It noted that cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are "gaining acceptance for use as medicines in the treatment of insomnia disorder."


Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are "gaining acceptance for use as medicines in the treatment of insomnia disorder."

The study's authors performed a "systematic review of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature Complete databases from inception to December 5, 2019" for studies involving cannabis or cannabis-based products "for the treatment of insomnia disorder in adults."


The review produced five qualifying studies involving 219 participants. Unfortunately, all of the included studies were determined to be "poor quality," primarily due to "small sample sizes, short treatment periods, uncertain clinical significance, and high risk of bias."


Study Conclusions

"Few studies have examined the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of insomnia disorder. Despite some possible signals for efficacy, the heterogeneity of participants, interventions, efficacy outcomes and results, and the high risk of bias across included trials, do not reliably inform evidence-based practice.


"This review highlights shortcomings in existing literature, including lack of diagnostic clarity and poorly defined participant groups."

"This review highlights shortcomings in the existing literature, including lack of diagnostic clarity, poorly defined participant groups, non-standardised interventions, and studies of inappropriate design, duration, and power to detect clinically meaningful outcomes.


"Further research in the form of high-quality RCTs are required before drawing any conclusions about the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of insomnia disorder."


View the original study.


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