Connect with us

Mental health

Medical cannabis helps improve sleep in patients with PTSD – study

Consuming medical cannabis helped to reduce sleep disturbances, nightmares and early awakenings.



Medical cannabis helps improve sleep in patients with PTSD - study

A new study suggests that medical cannabis helps to reduce sleep disturbances in patients with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The use of medical cannabis products appears to improve sleep in patients with PTSD, according to the findings of a new paper. 

Medical cannabis is widely used to manage symptoms of PTSD and now researchers in Israel, wanting to gather more evidence for its efficacy in treating the condition, have specifically explored its effect on sleep.

Previous studies have indicated that up to 80-90 per cent of patients with PTSD suffer from sleep impairments, with nightmares and insomnia among the most commonly reported symptoms.

Around 80 medical cannabis patients, with a diagnosis of PTSD, were asked to record their cannabis consumption and sleep disturbances over a two week period.

Participants’ average age was 40-years-old and just over half were male. All participants reported having been diagnosed with PTSD although not all had been granted a license for medical cannabis for this specific condition. 

Eighty two per cent reported that they had obtained a license for PTSD, 14 per cent for chronic pain, three per cent for gastrointestinal diseases and one per cent reported other conditions. 

The study explored the time gap between medical cannabis consumption and sleep onset and its association with the number of times patients woke during the night, as well as early awakenings and nightmares.

Analyses found shorter time gaps between the previous night’s medical cannabis use and sleep start time was associated with lower likelihood of experiencing nightmares throughout the night, but was not linked to nightly awakenings or waking up too early. 

Comparisons between individuals showed that those who used medical cannabis products with higher CBD concentrations reported fewer early awakenings. 

The authors concluded: “Results revealed that a shorter time gap between medical cannabis (MC) use and sleep start times was associated with lower likelihood of experiencing nightmares but it was not associated with waking up too early or nightly awakenings.”

They added: “Cannabis and its constituent parts, THC and CBD, interact with the endocannabinoid system and sleep regulation in important ways. This may be the mechanism by which MC is related to improvements in both nighttime and daytime PTSD symptoms.”

Home » Health » Mental health » Medical cannabis helps improve sleep in patients with PTSD – study

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2023 PP Intelligence Ltd.