The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) takes the position that medical cannabis and synthetic marijuana extracts “should not be used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea”.
A committee of the AASM concluded that sleep apnea should be excluded from the list of chronic medical conditions for state medical cannabis programs due to unreliable delivery methods and insufficient evidence of treatment effectiveness, tolerability, and safety.
Marijuana contains more than 100 different types of cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are currently the main cannabinoids discussed when talking about marijuana. Cannabinoids are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, eating disorders, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, nausea, pain, seizures and wasting syndrome.
I searched the internet for information on the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of sleep disorders. I found several physicians and individuals currently using CBD to treat insomnia. All indicated that CBD alleviates insomnia.
There is some concern that patients with mental health disorders may have adverse responses to medical marijuana. There is not enough research to determine if patients with established anxiety disorders benefit from the long-term use of medical marijuana.
Some patients become anxious when starting positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. Because CBD can have a calming effect, I believe the short-term use of CBD may prove to be useful for patients experiencing difficulty initiating PAP therapy (CPAP, BiPAP, APAP). With additional research, CBD may replace prescription sleeping pills in PAP desensitization protocols.
Because marijuana stimulates one’s appetite and causes weight gain, long-term use of medical marijuana could indirectly lead to an increase in the severity of OSAS. Extra body weight is associated with fat deposition in the oropharynx. When fat accumulates in the oropharynx, it causes narrowing of the upper airway and leads to sleep apnea or an increase in the severity of OSAS.
Medical marijuana has been administered by mouth as an ingredient in foods, inhaled, smoked, applied to the skin, or as drops placed under the tongue. Marijuana is legal in 29 states. Each state has its own laws regarding medicinal use of marijuana.
Learn more about short-term use of cannabis for sleep apnea from this video http://bit.ly/2C4SA