cannabis sleep insomnia research CBD

Clinical Trial Suggests Cannabinoids Effective at Treating Insomnia

Insomnia is a major problem across the globe.

In fact, it is estimated that as many as 60% of people on earth suffer from a sleeping disorder.

The lack of sufficient sleep can be caused by many factors. Insomnia comes in two forms. 

The first is “primary insomnia in which the sleep disorder is not related to another condition.

Secondary insomnia occurs when a person’s inability to sleep is due to one or more other conditions such as asthma, heartburn, or cancer.

Either form of insomnia can manifest itself as an isolated incident, only occurring for a day or two, or it can be an ongoing issue for a significant amount of time.

Cannabis as a Sleep Aid

An Australian-based team of researchers conducted a clinical trial in which part of the study’s cohorts were provided a placebo and the rest were provided a sublingual cannabis extract product (ZTL-101).

The study involved 23 subjects total, all of which were suffering from insomnia. 

Subjects took their placebo or extract product 1 hour prior to their bedtime every night for two weeks.

ZTL-101 contains THC, CBD, CBN, and various terpenes and is a sublingual tincture-type product that patients put under their tongues.

The results of the clinical trial were encouraging.

“This study has demonstrated that ZTL-101, a novel cannabinoid therapy, is well tolerated and improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in individuals with chronic insomnia symptoms.”

Building on Prior Research

The clinical trial cited above was commissioned by a cannabis company, so a bit of skepticism towards the study is understandable. 

It’s important to consider the study’s results within some context.

Several other studies have also found cannabis to help treat people that suffer from insomnia.

As also reported by Cannabis & Tech Today, a recent study involving insomnia patients found that nearly two-thirds of study participants reported less severity and an improved quality of life after using medical cannabis.

A 2018 data analysis of insomnia patients also found significant improvements among study participants that consumed cannabis leading up to their bedtime.

Numerous other studies have also found cannabis to be an effective and safe treatment for insomnia. 

More research needs to be conducted for the specific product (ZTL-101) involved in this latest study, however, the general principle of cannabis being able to successfully treat insomnia, in at least some cases, seems to be sound.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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