Sleep and Medicinal Cannabis

INVESTIGATOR: Sean Drummond, Ph.D.

STUDY LOCATION: University of California, San Diego

PROJECT TITLE: Sleep and Medicinal Cannabis

PROJECT TYPE: Clinical Study, Sub-Study

STATUS: COMPLETE

ABSTRACT:

Recently, there has been renewed scientific interest in examining the medical efficacy of cannabis in specific patient populations. For, example, both the Institute of Medicine and the NIH recently reported medicinal cannabis might be useful in the treatment of pain in HIV+ patients. HIV+ patients experience a number of clinical sequelae to the infection, even when they are otherwise considered clinically "asymptomatic." Perhaps one of the earliest sequelae is sleep abnormality. It is estimated that 73% to 90% of HIV+ patients experience significantly disrupted sleep and sleep quality has been shown to predict long-term outcome in HIV+ patients. This study examines the effects of daytime medicinal cannabis administration on subsequent nocturnal subjective and objective measures of sleep in patients with HIV-associated DSPN. We will recruit 15 patients who are enrolled in a study currently funded by the CMCR (PI: Dr. Ellis; Award # C00-SD-104). Dr. Ellis' study examines the efficacy of medicinal cannabis vs. placebo in treating pain in patients with HIV-associated DSPN. Here, subjective sleep will be measured for three 1-week periods: a wash-in week, a week of cannabis administration, and a week of placebo administration. Objective sleep will be studied for two consecutive nights under both cannabis administration and placebo conditions. We hypothesize that, compared to placebo, cannabis will increase slow wave sleep and sleep efficiency and decrease REM sleep. Subjectively, patients will report increased global sleep quality, decreased sleep latency, and increased total sleep time with cannabis administration. If these hypotheses are borne out, it will provide evidence that cannabis has positive medicinal qualities beyond those formally suggested. Improved sleep may directly affect prognosis in these patients and may have several indirect benefits as well. Regardless, this study should provide pilot data for subsequent grant applications focusing on the direct effects of medicinal cannabis on sleep in patient populations.

PUBLICATIONS:

Type:

Title:

Meeting Abstract Lopez, C., Toperoff, W., van den Brande, G., Tapert, S., Atkinson, J.H., Drummond, S.P.A., Increased Sleep Disturbances in Patients with HIV-Related Neuropathy. 2005 Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) is seeking to fund primary and pilot cannabis-related studies that further enhance the understanding of the efficacy and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids as pharmacological agents for the treatment of medical and psychiatric disorders, and their potential public health impacts. More information about this funding opportunity, including application instructions and important dates can be found in the request for applications (RFA).


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Angelica LaVito, CNBC, May 31, 2019

Food and Drug Administration regulators grilled manufacturers and advocates Friday for evidence that CBD actually does anything they claim it does.

Companies are adding CBD, short for cannabidiol, to just about everything, including makeup, tea, pet treats and soft drinks — even though there's little data to support the many claims of its benefits. FDA regulators trying to learn more about the cannabis compound held the agency's first hearing on it Friday.

More than 100 people testified at the hearing. Speakers pushed the FDA to set up a regulatory framework to legally add CBD to food products and dietary supplements. They praised CBD and the purported benefits — and FDA panelists repeatedly asked for data. Scientists warned of the little research and many potential risks CBD brings.

Read the story here


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Brooke Staggs, Orange County Register, May 31, 2019

Nearly three years after California voters approved a cannabis legalization bill that promised, among other things, to clarify the issue of driving while high, researchers and law enforcement have few concrete answers about a potentially deadly problem.

It’s unclear, for example, if marijuana-related arrests or car crashes have increased statewide. It’s up to each county to track that data, and many still don’t distinguish between cannabis and other drugs in their arrest and accident reports.

There also aren’t yet any reliable methods for testing whether drivers were actually impaired by marijuana when they’re behind the wheel. Research in this area is hampered by federal law and left scrambling to catch up with the wave of marijuana legalization that continues to sweep the country.

Read the rest of the article here


Marijuana research still shackled by Feds three years after DEA promised to lift monopoly

Brooke Staggs, Orange County Register, May 8, 2019

Nearly three years after the Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would end a monopoly on who can grow cannabis for legally sanctioned research, there’s still only one federally authorized cannabis cultivator in the United States.

And the limited supply of research cannabis is hampering the speed, quality and range of studies that scientists can conduct on the potential medical benefits, or harms, of marijuana — even as demand for reliable cannabis research soars.

“It is politics and not science that is interrupting the conduct of this research,” said John Hudak, a fellow at the nonprofit Brookings Institution who specializes in marijuana policy. “And that is not something that Americans should stand for.”

Read the article here


Harvard, MIT share $9 million gift to study marijuana’s health effects

Felice J. Freyer, Boston Globe, April 30, 2019

An investor in the cannabis industry has donated $9 million to Harvard and MIT to study the drug’s health effects, in what the institutions describe as the largest private gift to support marijuana research in the United States.

The Broderick Fund for Phytocannabinoid Research, announced Tuesday morning, will be shared equally by Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the goal of filling vast gaps in the understanding of how marijuana affects the brain and behavior.

“The lack of basic science research enables people to make claims in a vacuum that are either anecdotal or based on old science,” said the donor, Charles R. “Bob” Broderick, an alumnus of both universities. “For generations we haven’t been able to study this thing for various sorts of societal reasons. That should end now, as well as the prohibitions that are falling around the world.”

Read the story here


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Igor Grant, MD

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Daniele Piomelli, MD, PhD, PharmD

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Ziva Cooper, PhD

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Iain McGregor, PhD

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Thomas Marcotte, PhD

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CMCR Symposium, June 2018


Ryan Vandrey, PhD

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CMCR Symposium, June 2018


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