Cannabinoid Medicine for Sleep Apnea Is On The Way

Oral cannabinoid sleep disorder medicines that dissolve in patients’ cheeks are being developed by CURE Pharmaceutical and Therapix Biosciences.

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep, affects more than 18 million Americans according to the American Association for Respiratory Care. Over 50 million Americans have a sleep disorder, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Sleep apnea is frequently correlated with heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and snoring.

California-based CURE Pharmaceutical, a disruptive drug delivery technology company, and Therapix Biosciences, a pharmaceutical company for cannabinoid-based drugs headquartered in Israel, announced their partnership for sleep disorder drugs this July.

CURE CEO Rob Davidson said “Our main goal at CURE is to improve people’s lives by redefining how medications are delivered, and sleep disorders is a medical indication with high unmet need that I think we can significantly impact.”

The sleep disorder formulation will combine 2.5mg of dronabinol, a synthetic therapeutic cannabinoid, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and 200mg of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA).

CURE’s oral thin film CureFilm, which delivers active drug ingredients by dissolving inside the cheek, will be used for the new cannabinoid sleep product.

Research has shown dronabinol to be an effective treatment for sleep apnea.

A 2013 University of Illinois study found that administering varying doses of dronabinol to 17 test subjects prior to bedtime over a three-week period showed an overall reduction in apnea indexes of 32 percent.

A previous study by the same team of researchers found “Dronabinol treatment is safe and well-tolerated in Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients at doses of 2.5-10 mg daily.”

Cannabinoid medicine could be an alternative to the commonly used medical device called Constant Positive Airway Pressure. “While CPAP therapy can be effective in reducing sleep apnea, about half of patients on CPAP are non-adherent. This suggests a clear market need for a safe, effective pharmaceutical treatment for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders,” according to a release.

Another cannabinoid sleep disorder medicine being developed is AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc.’s cannabidiol (CBD)-based chewing gum to treat Restless Leg Syndrome.

CURE is also partnering with CannaKids and Technion Israel Institute of Technology to research how cannabinoids can be used to help children with cancer.

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