Late 2022 Study: 76% of chronic pain patients reduced painkiller use with cannabis

Published online ahead of print in November 2022 in Cannabis & Cannabinoid Research, this study examined if cannabis has any effects on patients diagnosed with chronic pain, specifically on inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

56 adult chronic pain patients (64% women) with a medical authorization to use cannabis were enrolled. Patients self-reported the effectiveness of cannabis for managing their chronic pain symptoms.

The study also analyzed the patient's blood and their cannabis products for the presence of four major cannabinoids, two major cannabinoid metabolites, 29 different cytokines/chemokines, and cortisol.

53% of the patients used dried flower, likely smoked or vaporized. The authors noticed differences in the internal effects of cannabinoids on men and women. Several recent studies have noticed a difference in effects between men and women: "Females had significantly lower eotaxin (a type of chemokine) levels (p=0.04) in comparison to male patients".

The authors summary conclusions:

The majority of patients (96%) self-reported effective pain management

76% reported a significant decrease in analgesic [pain] medication usage

This study provides further support for the patient-perceived effectiveness of cannabis in managing CP [chronic pain] symptoms and reducing analgesic medication consumption.

The results suggest a potential sex difference in metabolizing cannabinoids, and the varying immune marker concentrations may support a possible immunomodulatory effect associated with patient sex and cannabis product type.

The article abstract is here at LiebertPub.com.