This study will obtain preliminary information about whether, and at what dose, cannabidiol (CBD) may help with insomnia in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The study will be a 5-week randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled phase II trial using daily oral CBD doses between 50mg and 600mg. Sleep problems will be measured using a wrist-worn device and by self-report. Performance on tests of thinking skills will be compared before and after CBD/placebo treatment. Positive study results will provide support for the use of CBD as a potential treatment for insomnia.
Sleep problems are highly prevalent in people with HIV, and traditional treatment with sedative/hypnotic medications can compound neurocognitive dysfunction. A treatment option without cognitive side effects would be highly desirable for use with this vulnerable population. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid component of the marijuana plant that is considered devoid of euphoriant or other psychoactive properties. A small literature demonstrates a broad range of CBD doses at which sleepiness is reported to occur, and also not occur, which indicates the need for controlled studies to ascertain the lowest efficacious dose, as well as the sustainability of effects over a period of repeated use. The proposed clinical trial will seek to 1) Ascertain the dose range of CBD that is useful in managing symptoms of insomnia and improving sleep quality, and 2) determine whether CBD use has any next-morning cognitive sequelae measured objectively with a neuropsychological test battery.
In the proposed five-week clinical trial, investigators will use a liquid solution that is 100 mg/mL of CBD formed from semi synthetic CBD powder suspended in sesame oil. Eligible participants will be randomized into either a CBD or Placebo group. At the baseline visit, participants will be fitted with a wrist-worn actigraph to measure activity and light exposure, which they were wear for 5 weeks to estimate their rest/ activity cycle.
After a 7-day baseline period, participants will be instructed to take 50mg of CBD/placebo to begin the titration phase. They will slowly increase their daily dose by 50mg/day until they achieve relief from symptoms of insomnia. This includes the option to remain on the minimum study dose of 50 mg daily to a maximum medication limit of 600 mg daily. Participants will return weekly to monitor vital signs, download actigraphy data, and receive the next allotment of study medication. Clinical labs, self-reported sleep, fatigue, and mood, as well neuropsychological test performance will be be measured at baseline and at the end of the medication maintenance phase. Participants will also be instructed to use a daily diary to record sleep and other health related items, as well as adherence to the study regimen for the duration of the study.