Cannabis Reduces Cancer Pain

  • 2 Min To Read
  • a year ago

A recent study published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care suggests that medicinal cannabis can help relieve cancer pain and reduce the need for opioids and other medications. The study followed 358 adults with cancer over a period of 3.5 years, and found that patients' pain symptoms decreased over the year-long follow-up. Products that had a balance of THC and CBD were associated with stronger pain relief compared to THC-dominant or CBD-dominant products. The study also found that the total number of medications that patients took decreased at each quarterly check-up. Opioid use was lower at the first three check-ups. Medicinal cannabis appeared to be safe, with sleepiness and fatigue the most commonly reported side effects. The study was observational, so it cannot show a direct relationship between cannabis use and lower pain symptoms or medication use.

Other research also supports the use of cannabis for pain relief. A study involving 25 cancer patients who used cannabis products over two weeks found that patients reported improvements in pain, sleep quality, and some aspects of cognitive function such as reaction time. Patients used a variety of cannabis products, including chocolates, gummies, tinctures, pills, and baked goods, with a range of potencies and varying ratios of THC and CBD. However, after two weeks of sustained use, patients reported feeling "high" and some impairment of cognition. Patients who took products with higher levels of CBD reported larger improvements in pain intensity and sleep quality. Researchers are planning a larger randomized controlled trial that will test the impact of hemp-derived CBD on patient's pain.

While cannabis appears to have some pain-relieving benefits for cancer patients, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and potential risks.


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