Chronic pain patients say cannabis helps in many ways

This observational study was published in May 2023 in the journal Drug Science. They examined the effect of medical cannabis (MC) on chronic pain, quality of life, mood and sleep quality.

55 patients in Australia were included. 54% were female and 46% were male. The average age was 44 with a range from 23 to 74. This was an open label study so the patients were aware of the manufacturer and brand of product(s) they were taking. The products used were individualized for each patient, so all patients did not take the same product. 

The products used:

  • oils: 68.1% (89% CBD oil, 11% balanced CBD:THC)
  • high THC flower: 31.9%

This preliminary data includes results after 3 months of MC use, however the study will continue for at least 12 months. They used the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) to quantify the effects on pain, and several other standardized assessments for quality of life, sleep, etc. All patients reported a low quality of life at the start of MC treatment. 

The results in the authors' words:

Pain severity and interference improved significantly over three months of treatment with MC. 

Both measures of general health and quality of life improved after three months of MC treatment. The mean change in the EQ-5D-5L VAS scale describing overall perceived general health over three months was an increase of 11.46 points.

We found substantial improvements in depression with MC treatment over three months, with a significant effect size of 0.6 which is higher than those typically reported in meta-analyses for antidepressants 

At three months, sleep had significantly improved.

One adverse reaction was reported which was mild in nature.


Authors' conclusion:

Preliminary evidence suggests that MC may be effective in reducing both pain severity and pain interference while also improving quality of life, general health, mood and sleep in patients with chronic pain.


The full text article is here at Sage Journals.