JUL 19, 2020 9:47 AM PDT

Cannabis May Relieve Pain from Sickle Cell Disease

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Due to the rise in opioid-associated deaths, physicians and researchers are on the constant lookout for new, healthier options for pain relief for those with chronic pain. Now, from preliminary trials, researchers from the University of California have found that cannabis may be effective in relieving chronic pain from sickle cell disease. 

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 23 patients with sickle cell disease-related pain inhaled either vaporized cannabis or a placebo during two five-day inpatient sessions over a month apart. This way, the same patients could act as 'their own control group', meaning that all patients involved in the trial could access the cannabis treatment. 

Assessing the participants' pain levels throughout the study period, the researchers found that the efficacy of cannabis for relieving pain appeared to increase over time. Towards the end of the five-day trial period, subjects tended to report less and less pain while engaging in everyday activities like walking and sleeping. The researchers also reported statistically significant declines in pain affecting the patients' mood while using cannabis in comparison to the placebo. 

However, the researchers note that although pain levels were generally lower in patients given cannabis than those on a placebo, the difference was not statistically significant. Thus, they say that further research is needed to confirm whether cannabis is really effective in suppressing chronic pain from sickle cell disease. 

"These trial results show that vaporized cannabis appears to be generally safe." says Kalpna Gypter, one of the study's authors. "They also suggest that sickle cell patients may be able to mitigate their pain with cannabis - and that cannabis might help society address the public health crisis related to opioids. Of course, we still need larger studies with more participants to give us a better picture of how cannabis could benefit people with chronic pain."

 

Sources: News MedicalJAMA Network Open

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
MAY 13, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis May Reverse Aging in the Brain
MAY 13, 2020
Cannabis May Reverse Aging in the Brain
Cannabis is usually associated with cognitive deficits such as short term memory loss, and problems maintaining attentio ...
JUL 07, 2020
Health & Medicine
Recreational Cannabis: Is There a Heart Health Caution?
JUL 07, 2020
Recreational Cannabis: Is There a Heart Health Caution?
As of May 2020, Cannabis is fully legal in 20 states and has partial legality (e.g. it may be legal as a medicine b ...
JUL 29, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
CBD Tablets Help People Quit Cannabis
JUL 29, 2020
CBD Tablets Help People Quit Cannabis
Cannabis use disorder is essentially cannabis addiction. Although research suggests that it affects 9% of peop ...
SEP 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
SEP 20, 2020
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
Currently, the consensus on whether cannabis may be used to treat autism is mixed. While some papers show signs of its p ...
SEP 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
Pregnancy Cannabis Use Linked With Psychotic Behaviors in Offspring
SEP 24, 2020
Pregnancy Cannabis Use Linked With Psychotic Behaviors in Offspring
Women are already warned that using marijuana during pregnancy might affect their baby’s growth in the womb, but a ...
SEP 25, 2020
Health & Medicine
Does Cannabis Affect Brain Health in Older People?
SEP 25, 2020
Does Cannabis Affect Brain Health in Older People?
Demographic data shows rising cannabis use among older people, so what is the likely effect on cognitive funct ...
Loading Comments...