Cannabis and chronic refractory pain, including arthritis

Published in the British Journal of Pain in December 2022, this observational study investigated self-reported adverse events (AEs) and changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes over time while using cannabinoid medicines.

Australian patients were prescribed cannabinoid medicines with varying ratios of THC to CBD. Their results seem to indicate that the ratio of THC to CBD is important. They generally observed that a more balanced THC:CBD ratio (similar amounts of THC and CBD) demonstrated the best results for chronic pain, including arthritis.

Roughly half of the participants experienced at least one adverse effect (AE) with dry mouth (24%), somnolence (19%) and fatigue (12%) the most common.

The authors' conclusions:

The overall chronic pain cohort, and specifically the balanced CBD:THC products, were associated with significantly reduced pain intensity scores 

Patients in the arthritis subset reported significantly reduced pain intensity scores overall, and specifically for those taking CBD-only and balanced [THC:CBD ratio close to 1] products

pain interference and pain impact scores were significantly improved depending on the CBD:THC ratio.

Products that contained a balanced ratio of CBD:THC were associated with improvements in the most number of PROMIS-29 domains [Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System]


The abstract is here at Sage Journals (full text is paywalled).