Patients suffering from arthritis report decreased pain and improvements in their health-related quality of life following the use of cannabis products containing significant percentages of CBD, according to observational data published in the British Journal of Pain.
Australian investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of a variety of plant-derived cannabis products in a cohort of chronic pain patients, approximately one-third of whom suffered from arthritis, NORML noted. (Under Australian law, physicians may only authorize medical cannabis products to patients that have been unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments).
Researchers reported that pain patients were most likely to respond to products containing balanced ratios of THC and CBD. However, over half of the patients with arthritis reported “clinically meaningful improvements” following the use of products containing only CBD.
“Although the CBD-only products did not reach statistical significance in the overall chronic pain cohort, participants with arthritis did report significant improvements in pain intensity and pain impact scores,” authors reported. “With arthritis being an inflammatory condition, the anti-inflammatory actions of CBD may be resulting in improved outcomes in these patients.”
Patients who experienced side-effects from their use of cannabis products were most likely to report dry mouth, drowsiness, and fatigue.
“In this analysis, medicinal cannabis, depending on the ratio of CBD to THC, appeared to be associated with significant improvements in pain intensity, pain interference, social functioning and pain impact scores,” investigators concluded. “Balanced and CBD-only products [were] associated with the highest HRQoL [health-related quality of life] improvements.”
Survey data published last year in the Journal of Cannabis Research similarly reported that arthritis patients typically experience symptom improvements and reduce their use of prescription medications following the use of CBD. The results of a randomized clinical trial published in June in the Journal of Hand Surgery concluded that the administration of a topical formula containing hemp-derived CBD is associated with significant improvements in patients with thumb basal joint arthritis.