This study analyzed standardized assessments about chronic disease patients who tried medical cannabis in the UK and Channel Islands. The authors measured health-related quality of life, anxiety, and sleep quality among patients with various diagnoses. It was published in the journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology in February 2023.
2,833 patients from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry were assessed from December 2019 to February 2022 at baseline, 1, 3, 6, and 12 months; although just 208 completed the final 12-month follow-up. Patients were enrolled if they were prescribed medical cannabis for ANY condition and used oil, capsules, lozenges, or dried flower based on physician recommendations.
The patients' average age was 42. 43% were women, 57% were men. 31 different patient primary conditions were recorded - the top 4 were:
- Chronic non-cancer pain (32%)
- Anxiety (11%)
- Fibromyalgia (11%)
- PTSD (6%)
Approximately 30% of the patients used only oral or sublingual administration (tincture) and about 24% only vaporized dried flower. A combination of the two methods was prescribed to most patients (38%).
Participants completed the following standardized assessments to measure changes:
- the EQ-5D-5L to assess health-related quality of life
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire to measure anxiety severity
- the Single-item Sleep Quality Scale (SQS) to rate sleep quality
The greatest improvements were seen between the 1 month and 3 month assessments. The 6 and 12 month outcomes showed no additional improvement over the 3 month improvement level. 17% reported adverse events, however the vast majority of those adverse events were mild. Fatigue and dry mouth were the most common. Adverse events were more common in women and patients who had never tried cannabis.
The authors' conclusions:
This study suggests that CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] are associated with an improvement in health-related quality of life in UK patients with chronic diseases.
Treatment was tolerated well by most participants, but adverse events were more common in female and cannabis-naïve patients.
The full text article is here at Taylor & Francis Online.