Published Research - General Sleep and RLS (WED)

For everything and anything else not covered in the other RLS sections.
badnights
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Cannabinoids not shown to help sleep or pain in meta-analysis but limited studies done

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Cannabinoids Do Not Reduce Cancer-Related Pain, Has No Clear Effect on Sleep Problems
By Will Boggs MD
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/92 ... 9432&faf=1

January 28, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cannabinoids do not reduce cancer-related pain, and their effects on sleep problems in patients with chronic pain are unclear, according to a pair of new studies.

Up to 60% of patients undergoing anticancer therapy, and 90% of those with advanced disease report cancer-related pain. Surveys have found that many cancer patients resort to cannabinoids to address their pain, but reviews have found only very-low-quality evidence supporting their efficacy for reducing pain.

Dr. Jason W. Boland, who worked on one of the studies, a systematic review and meta-analysis, told Reuters Health by email, "Based on current evidence, cannabinoids (the active chemicals in medicinal cannabis) do not have a role in cancer-related pain."

Dr. Boland, of Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, in the UK, and colleagues found six randomized controlled trials relevant for evaluating the beneficial and adverse effects of cannabinoids, compared with placebo or other active agent, for the treatment of cancer-related pain in adults.

Change in pain as measured by a numeric rating scale did not differ significantly between cannabinoids and placebo overall and when only phase-3 studies were included in the meta-analysis.

Change in pain intensity, a secondary outcome in one trial, did not differ significantly between cannabinoids and placebo either, the researchers report in The BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

Cannabinoids generally carried a higher risk of adverse events, compared with placebo; in the meta-analysis, produced a 2.69-fold increase in the odds of somnolence (P<0.001) and 58% rise in the odds of dizziness (P=0.05), as well as nonsignificantly higher odds of nausea and vomiting.

Patients treated with cannabinoids had 33% higher odds of study dropout due to adverse events, compared with placebo, but this difference fell short of statistical significance.

In the other study, published in the same journal, Dr. Sharon R. Sznitman of the University of Haifa Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, in Israel, and colleagues examined the association between sleep problems and medical cannabis in 129 chronic-pain patients aged 50 years and older.

Compared with patients not using medical cannabis, those using medical cannabis were less likely to report waking up at night, but there were no differences between the groups in terms of sleep latency and early awakenings.

Among patients using medical cannabis, more frequent use was associated with more problems related to waking up at night and falling asleep.

"Cannabis may potentially help improve sleep, but it is also potentially true that long-term and frequent cannabis use may lessen the sleep-inducing effects of cannabis," Dr. Sznitman said. "Much more research is needed. We are only beginning to scrape the surface."

"Cannabis may be effective for treating sleep problems, but we are far away from a strong evidence base for this," she said. "Physicians may also speak to their patients who use cannabis long-term and frequently about the potential for cannabis to be related to poorer sleep."

Michelle Sexton, a naturopathic doctor at the University of California, San Diego, who recently surveyed cannabis users regarding its acute effects and withdrawal symptoms, told Reuters Health by email the Israeli study "supports what we see in our clinical practice at UCSD. I was surprised to see so many people reporting 'smoking' cannabis. Given that there are vaporizer devices, there is no need to smoke cannabis. Also, the pharmacokinetics of oral cannabis would lend itself better to maintaining sleep across the night."

"Overall, the safety profile of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) appears to be better than that of benzodiazepines, opioids, or other sleep medications," said Dr. Sexton, who was not involved in the new studies. "The beneficial effects of THC for sleep need further investigation."

Dr. Sexton added, "These subjects were using THC-dominant cannabis, not cannabidiol (CBD). This is important as the two molecules have no shared pharmacology and should not be expected to have similar pharmacodynamic properties. THC is an important medicinal component about which much more is known than CBD."

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3aD47vp and https://bit.ly/38DHq8J BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, online January 20, 2020.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

QyX
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Re: Published Research - General Sleep and RLS (WED)

Post by QyX »

Thank for you posting this. This was an interested read.

A few comments from me:

a) it is not that surprising that Cannabis is not as effective for cancer related pain. For cancer related pain, opioids are and will most likely always be the way to go. But Cannabis is absolutely awesome for nausea and appetite loss due to cancer and chemotherapy. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that it was investigated if Cannabis would boost the effects of opioids in cancer related pain. A few words about this topic in the study would have been nice given all the evidence that THC can boost the effects of opioids.

b) I am also not surprised that chronic long-term use of THC only strains is not that effective for sleeping problems. Without the use of additional oral CBD it would not work for me. I wish they would design more complex studies where they have a group of patients who is also using CBD and not just strains rich in THC. But at least this also seems an effect experts seem aware of. I was told from the very beginning that THC is for inducing sleep and CBD to maintain sleep.

stjohnh
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Re: Published Research - General Sleep and RLS (WED)

Post by stjohnh »

One other comment: Sleep is VERY complicated, in spite of our tendency to think difficulty sleeping is just one group. LOTS of different reasons for poor sleep, so it is only somewhat helpful to categorize interventions as helpful vs not helpful, when the causes are so varied.
Blessings,
Holland

badnights
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Re: Published Research - General Sleep and RLS (WED)

Post by badnights »

Nice comments, both of you.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

ViewsAskew
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Gut, levadopa, and Parkinson's

Post by ViewsAskew »

https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2019/01 ... udy-shows/

"Levodopa, one of the main medicines used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms, can be converted into dopamine by gut bacteria, researchers report. The findings might explain why levodopa treatment is less effective in some patients. The study, “Gut bacterial tyrosine decarboxylases restrict levels of levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,” was published in Nature Communications."

I wonder how this will play out with any medications...and those we take. So many questions...
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

badnights
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Willis-Ekbom in the abdomen?

Post by badnights »

https://assets.researchsquare.com/files ... 896883.pdf

A description of "restless abdomen" in patients with and without leg symptoms. Some of these patients meet all the criteria for WED/RLS except the location of their symptoms is the abdomen, not the legs, so it does not qualify as WED/RLS. Others have symptoms in both the legs and the abdomen. None of these patients is thought to have been experiencing augmentation.

The authors (who include William Ondo) conclude that neurologists should be aware that RLS symptoms can occur in the abdomen in the absence of worsening or augmentation, that the main symptom will be severe insomnia, and that the patient may seek a gastroenterologist rather than a sleep specialist or neurologist. I would think they would want gastroenterologists and GPs and sleep specialists to be aware of this, too...
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

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