Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Sleep Apnoea?

27 Apr Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Sleep Apnoea?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recently published a position statement regarding medical cannabis and the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

The AASM is a United States professional society for the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine, which was established in 1975. As a leading voice in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education, and research.

The effects of medical cannabis on sleep vary depending on acute versus chronic use, withdrawal after chronic use, the type of cannabinoids and the types of synthetic extracts 1. Research on the effects of medical cannabis and synthetic extracts in patients with OSA is quite limited though, particularly long-term use of these products. As such, further research is required prior to endorsement as a treatment for OSA.

The AASM position statement is published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 1, and has been neatly summarised by ScienceDaily,

In short, it is the position of the AASM:

  • That medical cannabis and/or its synthetic extracts should not be used for the treatment of OSA due to unreliable delivery methods and insufficient evidence of treatment effectiveness, tolerability, and safety, and OSA should be excluded from the list of chronic medical conditions for state medical cannabis programs.
  • That patients with OSA should be advised to discuss their treatment options with a licensed medical provider at an accredited sleep facility.


Web Source

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Position statement: Avoid using medical marijuana to treat sleep apnea: Sleep apnea should be excluded from state medical cannabis programs.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2018.


  1. Ramar K, Rosen IM, Kirsch DB, Chervin RD, Carden KA, Aurora RN, Kristo DA, Malhotra RK, Martin JL, Olson EJ, Rosen CL, Rowley JA; American Academy of Sleep Medicine Board of Directors. Medical cannabis and the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(4):679–681.