The New Mexico Department of Health has recently expanded its medical cannabis program by including insomnia as a qualifying condition. Effective from June 1, patients suffering from insomnia will be able to enroll in the program, providing them with a legal alternative to expensive medications commonly used for sleep disorders. This decision aims to promote health equity and increase opportunities for patients to explore how cannabis can help improve their sleep quality. Insomnia is now the 30th condition approved for medical cannabis in the state, following the addition of anxiety in December 2022.
According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia symptoms affect one in three adults worldwide, with approximately 10% being diagnosed with insomnia. The consequences of insomnia are far-reaching and can include depression, impaired work performance, work-related accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and overall poor quality of life. Despite being a condition that can be easily diagnosed using self-answerable questionnaires, it often goes unrecognized when patients seek medical assistance for other comorbid conditions.
The decision to add insomnia to New Mexico’s medical cannabis program recognizes the potential of cannabis as a treatment option for sleep disorders. By incorporating cannabis into the list of qualifying conditions, patients gain an increased opportunity to discuss with their medical providers how cannabis can be utilized to address their insomnia and promote better sleep. This move aligns with a growing body of research that suggests cannabis may have sleep-inducing and anxiety-reducing properties, making it a viable alternative to traditional medications.
Secretary Patrick M. Allen of the New Mexico Department of Health highlights the health equity perspective of including insomnia in the medical cannabis program. This addition allows individuals who may not have access to costly medications to explore a legal and potentially more affordable alternative. By reducing financial barriers, patients can have greater control over their treatment options and explore the potential benefits of medical cannabis for managing insomnia.
Insomnia can significantly impact an individual’s well-being, leading to a range of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. By expanding the medical cannabis program to include insomnia, the New Mexico Department of Health is prioritizing the overall quality of life for patients suffering from sleep disorders. The decision provides patients with an additional tool to combat the detrimental effects of insomnia, potentially leading to improved sleep patterns, reduced daytime fatigue, enhanced cognitive function, and an overall sense of well-being.