Study: Medical Cannabis Linked to Improved Health-Related Quality of Life

Horticulturalist Justin Sheffield inspects cannabis plants in the grow room at the Beleaf Medical Grow Facility in Earth City, Missouri, on Feb. 7.A new study in Australia seems to support the benefits of medical cannabis for quality of life issues.File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

May 9 (UPI) — A new Australian study released Tuesday seems to support previous findings that medical cannabis treatments improve quality of life for patients with a wide range of health conditions.

The results of this study, led by Thomas R. Arkell of the Center for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorne, Australia, were published in the JAMA Open Network.


The findings are from a case series of 3,148 patients, many of whom showed significant improvement in all eight conditions described in a brief health survey.

The study assessed health-related quality-of-life issues when subjects began treatment with medical cannabis and found significant sustained improvements over time.

“This study suggests a favorable association between medical cannabis treatment and quality of life in patients with various conditions,” the authors said in their study. “However, clinical evidence for the efficacy of cannabinoids remains limited and more high-quality trials are needed.

Although this study suggested a positive correlation with medical cannabis use, the authors cannot rule out the possibility that adverse events were wholly or partially caused by medical conditions and concomitant medications. said.

“The relatively high incidence of adverse events continues to confirm the need for caution in prescribing THC and careful identification of contraindicated patients,” the authors said. .

53.6% of participants were female, 30.2% were employed, and the average age of the group was 55.9 years. Most of the participants (68.6%) reported that chronic non-cancer pain was the most common indication for treatment, followed by cancer pain (6.0%), insomnia (4.8%) and anxiety. (4.2%) followed.

Most cannabis prescriptions were for orally administered products such as oils and capsules.

“CBD-dominant products are [the] The greatest improvement was seen in the physical role domain, while THC-predominant products were associated with the greatest improvement in the physical function domain,” the authors wrote.

However, the authors noted that the study was limited by the use of a retrospective case series design with no control group, limiting the conclusions that could be drawn about treatment efficacy.

“Given the continued rise in medical cannabis prescriptions, other clinics are similarly rigorous to monitor the clinical safety and patient-reported outcomes associated with medical cannabis use. Implementation of a more robust clinical data collection protocol should be strongly considered,” said the authors.

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