Vancouver, Canada: Patients with recurrent pain, post-traumatic stress, and sleep disorders typically report improvements in their condition after starting medical cannabis therapy, according to data published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.
A team of researchers from Canada and Italy evaluated the safety and efficacy of cannabis in a cohort of 214 Canadian patients legally authorized to use marijuana products. Investigators assessed patients’ symptoms and quality of life before using medical cannabis and six weeks after starting treatment. The majority of the patients participating in the study were over 50 years old.
Among the patients suffering from chronic pain conditions, 76 percent reported an improvement in their symptoms after six weeks. Patients with post-traumatic stress also reported significant improvements in their quality of life after short-term use of medical cannabis. Subjects diagnosed primarily with sleep disorders also reported a marked improvement in their symptoms.
Patients with arthritis and / or other rheumatic diseases reported less pain but no general improvements in their condition. Patients with anxiety reported improvements in their quality of life, but no significant changes in their levels of anxiety.
The most commonly reported side effects associated with medicinal cannabis were dry mouth (22 percent) and drowsiness (15 percent).
The authors concluded, “In line with previously published studies, we report that over 60 percent of the medical cannabis cohort reported improvements in their health. … Overall, we have presented new real-world evidence of the use of medical cannabis in a range of different medical conditions in order to immediately provide the scientific evidence routinely requested by healthcare professionals and to inform of the future clinical studies required to produce it Efficacy and safety data that will ultimately support the formulation of future regulatory guidelines on medical cannabis use. “
The full text of the study, “Evaluation of Patient-Reported Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis from a Survey of Medical Cannabis Patients in Canada” appears in Frontiers in Public Health. Additional information on the use of cannabinoids in different patient populations is available from NORML.