Study Summary: Experiences of Pain Patients Using Cannabis

A January 2022 study entitled "What are the Experiences of Patients Using Cannabis for Pain? A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies" that was published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine explored the potential therapeutic role of cannabis as an analgesic agent (pain reducer).

The study reported that "cannabis is used by over 250 million individuals worldwide for a wide range of medical and recreational purposes," and that the most common health condition for which medical cannabis is used by patients is pain.


The Study

The research stated that it's objective was to conduct a review "to understand patients' subjective experiences with cannabis for pain management," noted the study's authors, who added that, to date, no other study had pursued this particular goal.


The research stated that it's objective was to conduct a review "to understand patients' subjective experiences with cannabis for pain management."

The design of the study was that of a literature review involving use of online databases, including "MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED and CINAHL" that were "systematically searched from database inception to May 15, 2020." Eligible studies for review included those that were English language and that "reported qualitative data surrounding patients' experiences with using cannabis for pain."


Of 1,741 previous studies and abstracts considered, eight were included for review and analysis by the researchers for this study. Within these, "relevant data were extracted and a thematic analysis was conducted."


Results

The study's literature review and analysis of prior studies on the topic of cannabis for pain produced a variety of findings. It found that pain patients who use cannabis reported "perceptions of pain reduction."


Pain patients who use cannabis reported "perceptions of pain reduction."

The research emphasized the importance of pain patients having a comfort level when it comes to inquiring about medical cannabis "should they choose to pursue it as a therapeutic option." To better deal with patients who might seek their guidance regarding the use of cannabis to treat their pain, the study's authors recommended that healthcare providers should "be aware of the stigma that exists surrounding its use."


The study reported that future research should "aim to understand patients' experiences with using different strains, dosages, and methods of cannabis administration." Interestingly, the study also suggested that future studies should gauge the "attitudes and concerns associated with cannabis legalization" held by pain patients.


View the original study.


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