A group of U.S. scientists from Florida has made another leap forward in terms of the effectiveness of medical cannabis for chronic pain. Analysis of Real World Data showed improvement in anxiety/depression, sleep, and quality of life.
The Florida research team examined data of 46 adults (half of which male/female, average age 55 years) who had started treatment with medical cannabis for chronic pain. A feature of the prospective study: The survey on the factors pain intensity, anxiety/depression, sleep and quality of life took place under so-called real-life conditions, i.e. the patients transmitted their data via smartphone directly from their natural environment to the scientists.
In order to test the effectiveness of the medication, a baseline survey, an EMA (Ecological Momentary Assessment: diagnostic access to the behavior and experience of the subjects) was conducted after one or three weeks, as well as a follow-up survey after three months towards the end of the study.
First effects already visible after a few weeks of therapy
The results are clear: shortly after a few weeks of therapy, the self-reported data showed a significant reduction in momentary pain intensity and a similar increase in daily sleep duration.
After three months, a significant change in the most severe pain as well as in the depressive experience of the patients was observed. In addition, an increase in sleep duration, an improvement in sleep quality, and an increase in quality of life were observed compared to the baseline survey.
Florida is among the fastest growing markets for medical cannabis within the United States.
Wang Y, Jean Jacques J, Li Z, Sibille KT, Cook RL. Health Outcomes among Adults Initiating Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain: A 3-month Prospective Study Incorporating Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). Cannabis. 2021 Oct;4(2):69-83. doi: 10.26828/cannabis/2021.02.006. PMID: 34671723; PMCID: PMC8525881.