Medical cannabis and synthetic marijuana extracts should not be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has advised in a position statement.
In November 2017, the Minnesota State Department of Health (MDH) added OSA to the state’s list of qualifying conditions for use of medical cannabis.
However, on the basis of currently available evidence, the AASM has concluded that medical cannabis and/or its synthetic extracts should not be used for the treatment of OSA because of unreliable delivery methods and a lack of sufficient evidence of effectiveness, tolerability, and safety. It is their position that OSA should be excluded from the list of chronic medical conditions for state medical cannabis programs.
The AASM position statement on medical cannabis for treatment of OSA is published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Health Department Misstep
The MDH decided to authorize medical marijuana for the treatment of OSA “despite very limited evidence on its efficacy published to date,” lead author, Kannan Ramar, MD, told Medscape Medical News.