Perth: UWA clinical trial to test whether medicinal marijuana can cure insomnia

Stock image.
Stock image.

A PIONEERING insomnia trial in Perth has just dosed its first patient using a medicinal marijuana formula.

The clinical trial is being undertaken at the University of WA Centre for Sleep Science and will treat 24 patients with characteristic symptoms of chronic insomnia, which include difficulty falling and staying asleep.

The study will collect and analyse data to determine the effect of the Zelda formulation on the time it takes to fall asleep, time spent awake and asleep during the night and quality of sleep.

The preliminary results from the trial are expected to be available in the first half of 2019.

Centre for Sleep Science director Peter Eastwood said if the trial was successful there were plans to rapidly commercialise the formulation in markets where it is legal to do so.

“Should the trial be successful we see strong potential to provide a safe and effective medicine to patients with insomnia but also potentially for other sleep disorders,” he said.

Zelda Therapeutics, an Australian-based bio-pharmaceutical company, is focused on developing a range of cannabinoid-based formulations for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions including insomnia, autism and breast cancer.