Cannabis appears to be a safe and potentially very effective treatment for the chronic pain that affects people with sickle cell anemia, according to a new clinical trial co-led by researcher Kalpna Gupta of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Dr. Donald Abrams of UC. San Francisco.
The results of the study, published July 17, 2020, could have far-reaching implications in that opioids are currently the primary treatment to relieve chronic and acute pain suffered by people affected by sickle cell disease (SCD).
SCD is a common inherited blood disorder, also called sickle cell anemia in its more severe stages. The disease affects an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Americans and more than 100 million people worldwide.
The only cure for SCD is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The rise in opioid-related deaths and addiction has forced doctors to prescribe them less frequently, leaving sickle cell anemia patients with fewer and fewer treatment options.
Sickle cell disease and cannabis
“The results of these studies show that vaporized cannabis appears to be generally safe”, says Kalpna Gupta, a professor of medicine on the faculty of Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California.
Gupta said that in addition to the study being available, the trial opened the door to testing different forms of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain
“Studies also suggest that patients with sickle cell anemia may be able to relieve their pain with cannabis – and that cannabis may help society address the opioid-related public health crisis. Of course, we still need more studies with more participants to get a better idea of how cannabis could benefit people with chronic pain.”
Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trials were the first to use such gold-standard methods to assess the potential of cannabis for pain relief in people with sickle cell anemia, noted a press release from the UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis.
Researchers assessed participants’ pain levels throughout the treatment period and found that the effectiveness of the cannabis, which contained equal parts THC and CBD, increased over time.
As the five-day study period progressed, twenty-three subjects reported that pain interfered less and less with their activities, including walking and sleeping, and there was a statistically significant decrease in how much pain affected their mood.
We all know very well that cannabis works for all kinds of pain, but more clinical trials and scientific research is needed to make even the most die-hard cannabis opponent say “Wow, I didn’t see that coming”. So fingers crossed for scientists to get more money into their accounts for research into this wonderful herb called cannabis.
Nukaseeds offer several models that have strong analgesic properties and significantly reduce the level of pain felt.
You may find whole study at JAMA Network.
Published by Jan Veselý22/11/2021