Research suggests cannabis can improve quality of life for patients who suffer from pain and neurological disorders.
Medical cannabis may improve the symptoms of neurological disorders and pain-related ailments, according to research published in Frontiers in Pharmacology. In the large, online study conducted by Realm of Caring and researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, medical cannabis was found to improve quality of life in patients who did not find relief using traditional treatment.1
Cannabis refers to any product that comes from the Cannabis sativa plant.2 In a 2018 review, researchers looked at 16 studies on cannabis-based medicines for neuropathic pain, finding that cannabis-based products alleviated pain better than the placebo. In a 2015 review of cannabinoids for chronic pain, investigators observed that pain was reduced by 30%.2
Researchers at Realm of Caring conducted a qualitative study in the form of a survey to gain insight on the daily benefits and challenges of medical cannabis for consumers. Among 808 anonymous respondents, 77% reported positive effects from cannabis, 28% had less pain, 18% of respondents experienced improved sleep, and 22% experienced less anxiety.1
Medical cannabis consumers did report difficulties, such as finding a practitioner who could provide patients the proper dose of cannabis. Additionally, they noted issues about identifying the best strains to combat their specific ailments and what the best consumption methods would be.1
However, 12% of participants raised concerns about prohibitive costs. Another 16% of patients expressed concern about limited research supporting medical cannabis as a valid treatment option. Robert Yeilding, a clinical psychologist in Newport Beach, California, affirms these concerns when it relates to cannabis and anxiety treatment.
“A lot of clients are under the impression that there is an evidence base for what they are doing…there isn’t,” he said.3
Kalcheff-Korn concluded thatcurrent research “spotlights several concerns that we actively address,” such as having accurate information available, providing more affordable options through partnerships with quality cannabis companies, and offering free individualized support that can help patients reduce unwanted adverse effects.1
“Realm of Caring will continue to collect and publish data to ensure we fulfill our mission,” Kalceff-Korn concluded in the press release.”1