Cannabis as medicine: Scientific studies

Medicinal cannabis has a number of mechanisms of action that can contribute to improving the quality of life of critically ill patients. Of particular relevance are the analgesic, antiemetic and appetite-inducing potentials.

The potential of cannabis in medicine has been demonstrated by numerous empirical studies and meta-analytical reviews. In the following we give an overview of the current scientific studies in relation to various indications.


  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • HIV-associated sensory neuropathy
  • Palliative Oncology
  • Nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy
  • Anorexia and cachexia: HIV/AIDS associated
  • Anorexia and Cachexia: In Chemotherapy
  • Spasticity in multiple sclerosis
  • Central nervous pain in multiple sclerosis
Chronic pain

STUDY
Carter et al. (2014). Re-branding cannabis: the next generation of chronic pain medicine? Pain Management, 5(1), 13-21.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/Review

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Evidence of therapeutic options in chronic pain patients with cannabis or cannabis as a supplement to low opiate dose.


 

STUDY
Romero-Sandoval et al. (2017). Cannabis and Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain. Current Rheumatology Reports, 19(11), 67.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/Review

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Inhaled cannabis is better tolerated
Application can be better controlled pulmonarily than orally administered cannabinoids
 Inhaled cannabis blossoms lead to a decrease in non-tumor pain


 

STUDY
Bellnier et al. (2018). Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis. Mental Health Clinician, 8(3), 110-115.

STUDY DESIGN
Mirror-Image study (retrospective), N=29  

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
 Medical cannabis improves quality of life
Decrease of chronic pain and associated opiate intake

Neuropathic pain

STUDY
Wilsey et al. (2013). Lowdose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain. The Journal of Pain, 14(2), 136-148.

STUDY DESIGN
Cross-Over study (placebo-controlled, double-blind), N=39

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Significant pain reduction compared to placebo subjekts
Low side effects due to cannabis-based therapy


 

STUDY
Eisenberg et al. (2014). The Pharmacokinetics, Efficacy, Safety, and Ease of Use of a Novel Portable Metered-Dose Cannabis Inhaler in Patients With Chronic Neuropathic Pain: A Phase 1a Study. Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, 23(3), 216-225.

STUDY DESIGN

Phase-I-study, N=8

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Significant reduction of pain intensy
Measured using visual analogue scale (VAS scale)


 

STUDY
Nugent et al. (2017). The Effects of Cannabis Among Adults with Chronic Pain and an Overview of General Harms: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med, 167, 319-331.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/Review

INVESTIGATION PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Cannabinoids can effectively relieve neuropathic pain.


 

STUDY
Lee et al. (2018). Medical Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 22(1), 8.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/Review of randomized and controlled studies, N=234

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis extracts (inhaled)

RESULTS
Effective reduction of pain through cannabis-based therapy.

HIV-associated sensory neuropathy

STUDY
Abrams et al. (2007). Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Neurology, 68(7), 515-521.

STUDY
Randomized, placebo-controlled study (prospective), N=50

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
The cannabis therapy could reduce the pain sensation by 30% compared to the control group with placebo.

Palliative Oncology

STUDY
Johnson et al. (2010). Multicenter, doubleblind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. J Pain Symptom Manage, 39:167-179.

STUDY DESIGN
Parallel group study (randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled), N=177

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Drugs containing cannabis

RESULTS
The cannabis therapy was able to significantly reduce the pain in cancer patients. In particular, patients who cannot be sufficiently painlessly treated with opioids benefit from additional medication with cannabinoids.


 

STUDY
Bar-Sela et al. (2013). The medical necessity for medicinal cannabis: prospective, observational study evaluating treatment in cancer patients on supportive or palliative care. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 510392.

STUDY DESIGN
Observational study (prospective), N=131

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
The cannabis therapy could significantly reduce the symptoms (CTAE scale).


 

STUDY
Waissengrin et al. (2015). Patterns of use of medical cannabis among Israeli cancer patients: a single institution experience. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 49(2), 223-230.

STUDY DESIGN
Observational study, N=69

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
The cannabis therapy could:

reduce pain
improve general well-being
relieve nausea
stimulate appetite

Nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy

STUDY
Sallan SE, Zinberg NE, Frei E. (1975). Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. New England Journal of Medicine, 293(16), 795-797.

STUDY DESIGN
Cross-over study (randomized, double-blind, placebo-kontrolled), N=20

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis-based drugs

RESULTS
Antiemetic effect in subjects with cannabis compared to placebo.


 

STUDY
Duran et al. (2010). Preliminary efficacy and safety of an oromucosal standardized cannabis extract in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 70(5), 656-663.

STUDY DESIGN
Phase-II-study (randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled), N=7

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis extract, CBD

RESULTS
The cannabis therapy increases the antiemetic effect of the standard therapy compared to the placebo.

Anorexia and cachexia: HIV/AIDS associated

STUDY
Beal et al. (1995). Dronabinol as a treatment for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS. Journal of pain and symptom management, 10(2), 89-97.

STUDY DESIGN
Parallel group study (randomizes, double-blind, placebo-controlled), N=139

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Dronabinol/THC (oral)

RESULTS
increase in appetite
Reduction of nausea
Twice as much weight gain was observed compared to pkacebo


 

STUDY
Haney et al. (2007). Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV-positive marijuana smokers: caloric intake, mood, and sleep. JAIDS Journal Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 45(5), 545-554.

STUDY DESIGN
Within-Subject study (randomized, placebo-controlled), N=10

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms and Dronabinol

RESULTS
Cannabis therapy leads to increased calorie intake.

Anorexia and Cachexia: In Chemotherapy

STUDY
Regelson et al. (1976). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an effective antidepressant and appetite-stimulating agent in advanced cancer patients. Pharmacology of Marihuana, 2, 763-776.

STUDY DESIGN
Cross-over study (randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled), N=10

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
THC (oral)

RESULTS
Cannabis therapy led to increased appetite.


 

STUDY
Whiting et al. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313:2456-2473.

STUDY DESIGN
Meta-analysis/review from 34 Studies

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms and cannabis extract

RESULTS
Cannabis therapy led to:
Reduction of central nervous pain in MS
– Reduction of pain caused by spasticity

Spasticity in multiple sclerosis

STUDY
Collin et al. (2010). A doubleblind, randomized, placebocontrolled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Neurological Research, 32(5), 451-459.

STUDY DESIGN
Between-Subject study (placebo-controlled, double-blind), N=337

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis extract

RESULTS
Reduction of therapy-resistant spasticity.


 

STUDY
Corey-Bloom et al. (2012). Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(10), 1143-1150.

STUDY DESIGN
Cross-Over study (placebo-controlled), N=30

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms

RESULTS
Therapy with cannabis blossoms led to reduction of spasticity, pain and exhaustion.


 

STUDY
Nielsen et al. (2018). The Use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Treating Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review of Reviews. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, 18(2), 8.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/review from 32 Studien

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis-based drugs

RESULTS
Evidence for reduction of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Central nervous pain in multiple sclerosis

STUDY
Whiting et al. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313:2456-2473.

STUDY DESIGN
Metaanalysis/review from 34 Studien

INVESTIGATIONAL PRODUCT
Cannabis blossoms and cannabis extract

RESULTS
Cannabis therapy led to:

Reduction of central nervous pain in multiple sclerosis
– Reduction of pain caused by spasticity


Do you have any questions or suggestions?

If you have any questions or suggestions, our team of experts will be happy to assist you and advise you further and individually on the scientific study situation regarding cannabis as medicine. We look forward to hearing from you!










*Required fields





Copyright Medical CNBS GmbH 2018. All rights reserved.