Clinical Trial Proves Benefits of Cannabis in Insomnia Treatment

By Rita Thompson



Sleep disorders are an epidemic in America, according to The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).  Such sleep issues affect 50-to-70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes.

Across the world, people have been turning to cannabis to help them sleep better. 

It wasn’t until recently, however, that researchers proved the plant’s effects on insomnia. Zara Therapeutics, global pharmaceutical company,  just completed the world’s first clinical trial for the treatment of insomnia with cannabis. 

According to the study’s reports, Zelira’s proprietary cannabis formulation, ZTL-101, proved most promising. 

A Rigorous Clinical Trial

Researchers conducted the trial at the University of Western Australia (UWA) Centre for Sleep Science. It was led by professor Peter Eastwood.

“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,”  Eastwood said in a recent press release. “The fact that ZLT-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.”

Through the use of randomized, double-blind, and cross-over tests, investigators were then able to evaluate the efficacy of ZTL-101. 

Only patients clinically diagnosed with chronic insomnia participated in the trial. This means that they regularly experience difficulty falling asleep, and/or staying asleep.

Researchers gave participants cannabis for the first 14 nights of the study. Then, after a one-week washout, patients were treated for another 14 nights with a placebo.

The Results

When treated with ZTL-101, patients slept significantly longer. They also fell sleep faster, and went back to sleep sooner after waking. As a result, patients also reported significant improvements in their quality of life, including feeling more rested, and less stressed. 

In fact, patients in the trial showed a 26% improvement in their Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores. Further, those on the highest dose achieved a 36% improvement in symptoms.

“We are pleased with the results of the study,” Dr. Oludare Odumosu, managing director of Zelira USA explained to PR News Wire. “This trial has yielded a comprehensive data-pack that supports our plans to launch the world’s first clinically validated cannabinoid-based insomnia medicine into global markets this year.”

Successful results like these open a world of opportunity for global markets. Frankly, we can’t wait to see what else cannabis has to prove this year. 


Emerald contributor since June 2019


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