Medical researchers are constantly searching for new treatments to alleviate the symptoms of cancer and its treatments.
One area of growing interest is the use of cannabis products for pain relief, but there is still limited research in this area. Recently, a new study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management investigated the use of legal market cannabis edibles by cancer patients to manage pain, cognition, and quality of life.
The study was observational, which means that researchers did not randomly assign patients to different treatments. Instead, they simply observed how patients used cannabis products that were legally available on the market. Participants in the study reported improvements in pain, sleep quality, and subjective cognitive function following a two-week period of ad libitum cannabis use, meaning they could use as much or as little cannabis as they wanted.
Interestingly, the study found that patients used a variety of edible forms of cannabis and a wide range of doses of both THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that produces the “high” sensation, while CBD is non-psychoactive and is thought to have potential therapeutic benefits.
In 2018, the World Health Organization released a report called “CBD a Critical Review” [PDF]. The 28-page report is worth a read in its entirety if you have the time, but if not here are the main findings:
- In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.
- CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.
- To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD
The study found that higher CBD use during the two-week period was associated with steeper improvements in pain intensity and sleep quality, while acute cannabis use decreased pain intensity and increased feelings of subjective high.
While the study has some limitations, such as a small sample size and lack of random assignment to product condition, it provides insights into how cancer patients are using legal market cannabis edibles to manage pain, cognition, and quality of life. It suggests that high CBD use may be associated with steeper improvements in pain intensity and sleep quality, while acute cannabis use may decrease pain intensity and increase feelings of subjective high.
The findings of this study highlight the need for more research in this area, with larger sample sizes, longer timeframes, and placebo-control conditions. Such research could help identify the potential benefits and harms of cannabis use for palliative care in cancer patients.
As always, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider before using cannabis products to manage your symptoms. Or you can set up a free online consultation with our team at HelloMD.
While there is some evidence to suggest that cannabis may be effective in managing pain, sleep, and cognition, it is important to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with its use, as well as the potential for drug interactions with other medications. Your healthcare provider can help you make informed decisions about whether cannabis products may be appropriate for your specific needs and circumstances.
Are you tired of dealing with constant health issues and feeling like you’ve tried everything without success?
Are you struggling with health symptoms that are affecting your quality of life? Do you want to explore the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis products but don’t know where to start? Look no further than our team at HelloMD. Our experienced health team can provide you with personalized recommendations on the best products and dosages to address your unique needs.
Setting up an appointment is quick and easy, taking only one minute of your time. And unlike long waits at the doctor’s office, our consultations typically take no longer than an average trip to the family doctor.