The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has indicated that medical marijuana should not be used to treat sleep apnea.
Last year, the Minnesota Department of Health announced that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) would be added to the state’s medical cannabis program list of medical conditions. However, the nation’s leading sleep medicine group — the AASM — strongly opposes that decision, and suggests that sleep apnea be completely removed from state medical cannabis programs’ lists due to unreliable marijuana delivery methods and “insufficient evidence of treatment effectiveness, tolerability and safety.”
“Until we have further evidence on the efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of sleep apnea, and until its safety profile is established, patients should discuss proven treatment options with a licensed medical provider at an accredited sleep facility,” said lead author Kannan Ramar, MD, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Furthermore, medical marijuana has been found to be associated with adverse effects, such as daytime sleepiness, which could cause “unintended consequences” such as car accidents.
Therefore, researchers are recommending that marijuana and synthetic medical cannabis be avoided until there is sufficient, credible evidence showing safety and efficacy.