A brand new cannabis inhaler is making waves in Britain for its ability to put insomnia sufferers to sleep in just a few short minutes.
Cannabis To The Rescue
The hand-held inhaler aptly named the ICANsleep device, squirts a small amount of cannabis into the user’s lungs without getting them high. The creators say there’s just enough of the drug to creative a sedative effect without any psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis. It reportedly contains less than a quarter amount of THC found in a typical joint.
Human trials have already begun, with up to 50 participants involved. This comes on the heels of animal tests that proved that the inhaler worked in 10 minutes or less. Researchers claim just one single puff of the inhaler is necessary for a deep sleep.
ICAN, the Israeli company that makes the device, claims the puffer is not only safe, but it doesn’t leave its users with a groggy feeling in the morning, typical of most sleeping pills.
“Insomnia is mostly an anxiety disorder, and cannabis can be very effective at reducing anxiety,” CEO Saul Kaye said. “Also, it does not leave you feeling like you have a hangover.”
One investor, William Levine of CannRx, also believes in the puffers effectiveness in insomnia sufferers and echoed a similar sentiment.
“You take a puff or two depending on the dosage and in 10 minutes you will be drowsy enough to sleep,” he said.
The device is priced around £100 and could be available within a year if approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority. It is currently available in Israel and California.
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It has been estimated that around one in three adults suffers from insomnia, with millions forced to take various forms of sleeping pills to combat the disorder. However, most sleeping pills leave users in a groggy state the morning after, and some have even been linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart attack, dementia and broken bones.
Arizona State University sleep researcher Shawn Youngstedt told CNN that sleeping pills are just as hazardous as smoking cigarettes and confirmed its laundry list of side-effects.
“Sleeping pills are extremely hazardous. They are as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day,” he explained. “Not to mention, they cause infections, falling and dementia in the elderly, and they lose their effectiveness after a few weeks.”
Youngstedt added that exercise is one of the best (not to mention cheapest) ways of exploiting insomnia.
“It’s less expensive, healthier and just as easy to exercise and there’s an added bonus: research suggests those who are physically active have a lower risk of developing insomnia in the first place,” he said.
The ex-head of sleep research at Surrey University, Dr. Neil Stanley, believes that cannabis can also be an effective way to fight insomnia because it’s ability to alleviate anxiety.
“Anything that helps you relax will also help you sleep,” Stanley said.
However, the doctor added he thinks there needs to be more research on the plant before making any wholehearted declarations.
“We need bigger and better studies to confirm it really does make a difference,” Stanley added.