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
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
APR 22, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Home Genetic Tests That Can Tailor the Best Cannabis Strains for You
APR 22, 2021
Home Genetic Tests That Can Tailor the Best Cannabis Strains for You
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is claimed to be as individual as our fingerprint or iris, with different cannabis ingr ...
JUN 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
Teenagers With Sleep Issues More Likely to Use Cannabis
JUN 12, 2021
Teenagers With Sleep Issues More Likely to Use Cannabis
Teenagers are renowned for going to bed late and sleeping in. But if disrupted sleep gets out of hand for young people, ...
JUN 17, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Over Half of Delta-8 Products Contain Illegal Levels of Delta-9 THC
JUN 17, 2021
Over Half of Delta-8 Products Contain Illegal Levels of Delta-9 THC
A new study conducted by Leafreport has found that over half of Delta-8 THC hemp-derived products contain ille ...
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have found that cannabis use among young adults may be linked ...
JUL 08, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
High-potency Cannabis Impacts Memory, but not Decision-Making
JUL 08, 2021
High-potency Cannabis Impacts Memory, but not Decision-Making
High-potency cannabis products impair memory in various ways, according to new research published in Scientific Rep ...
AUG 04, 2021
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Drug Sativex to Be Tested in Phase II Brain Tumor Trial
AUG 04, 2021
Cannabis Drug Sativex to Be Tested in Phase II Brain Tumor Trial
  A phase II trial is being planned to test the cannabis-derived drug Sativex, in patients with aggressive brain tu ...
Loading Comments...