Sleep disorder medical cannabis treatment

Regardless of what condition they are treating, often one of the first improvements people notice in their general health and wellbeing after starting medical cannabis treatments is the effect cannabis-based medicines can have on their sleep. And so, it may be unsurprising to hear that medical cannabis can also be prescribed to treat specific sleeping disorders in the UK. These treatment options are only typically considered when other licensed options have failed to meet patients needs, or have caused unwanted side effects, but they could be the answer many have been waiting for.

Am I eligible?

1 in 5

In the UK, 1 in 5 people are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, says Mental Health UK.


An 80% improvement in quality of sleep was reported by patients using medical cannabis oil in a double-blind placebo controlled trial.


Only 18% of UK adults are aware cannabis treatments can be prescribed for sleep disorders according to our representative research.


Of 17-23 year olds say they have had trouble with their sleep at least 3 times in the last week, and this is more common in females.

“Having a medical cannabis card makes me feel better - and that counts“

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Daisy, Releaf Patient

October 2023

Am I eligible?

Articles on Sleep disorder

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05. 08. 2023

How CBD may help people with sleep apnea

Although there are several common treatments for sleep apnoea, in recent years there has been a large amount of research into the potential benefits of CBD for sufferers. Some studies have shown that certain properties of CBD may potentially enhance sleep stability and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnoea by a considerable amount. 

12. 07. 2023

The potential benefits of cannabis for sleep apnoea treatment

It’s estimated that around one billion adults around the world suffer from sleep apnoea, which equates to around 1 in 7 of us, and yet the condition is seldom openly discussed. In fact, many people suffer from the condition without even knowing it, and this could be having an adverse effect on their health.


Trouble falling asleep

Sleep disturbances

Waking up during the night

Trouble getting back to sleep

Difficulty concentrating

Feeling irritable

Low mood

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

Treatment will depend on what type of sleep disorder you have. CBT is routinely recommended to everyone with a sleep disorder, and sleeping tablets or sedatives are typically prescribed. For those with sleep apnoea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy may be recommended.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure

Relaxation therapy





Find out if you may be eligible for medical cannabis sleep disorder treatments here
Am I eligible?

A word from our specialist

"Sleep is a fundamental aspect of health, it plays a vital role in allowing both our mind, and our body, time to recover for the next day. In a clinical setting, medical cannabis can be prescribed to eligible patients to assist in the treatment of sleeping disorders because of its sedative and relaxing qualities. For those who struggle to feel rested, or suffer from bad nightmares, THC is a useful component as it increases deep sleep at the expense of REM sleep. Evidence suggests THC may also help reduce sleep onset times and address pain concerns that disturb sleep quality. At the same time, CBD has been shown to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, which can help in achieving a more restful, and relaxing bedtime routine."
Dr David Tang

Clinic Director

Could patients with sleep disorders benefit from medical cannabis treatments?

The most common sleep disorder is insomnia. But, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnoea are also classed as sleep disorders because they impact the quality, timing, and duration of sleep, and can affect a person’s ability to function when awake. 

While conventional treatment options like therapy and medication are routinely used by the NHS, those who have been unable to meet their needs using licensed approaches are starting to consider alternative approaches. In the UK, medical cannabis may be one of these options. 

Providing conventional treatments have failed to treat a patient’s sleep disorder, medical cannabis or cannabis based medicines may be an appropriate option. This is because the cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, contained in cannabis-based treatments can have beneficial effects on sleep disorders. 

Emerging evidence suggests that medical cannabis can have sedative effects, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increases the feeling of fatigue, or sleepiness. THC has shown to be useful when combating pain, and CBD has shown to reduce anxiety and relieve stress, which can also greatly impact a persons' ability to fall asleep. 

Although further clinical evaluation and investigation is required, medical cannabis sleep disorder treatments can be prescribed by specialist doctors in the UK, like those that work for Releaf, to people who have been unable to find relief with conventional options. To find out if this course of treatment could be suitable for you, fill out our free online eligibility checker today.

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