Research findings reveal that the use of medical cannabis is not promising for the treatment of people suffering from insomnia and chronic pain. People eventually build up a tolerance because of its frequent use.
The findings of the study are published in the journal, BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
The researchers tried to check the impact of medical cannabis on people above the age of 50 facing sleep problems and having chronic pain which lasted for a year at least.
The researchers evaluated 128 people who were under treatment at the pain clinic. They assessed their pain scores and the quality of sleep. 66 of those people used medical cannabis for sleep management and 62 didn’t use it.
Among them, 24% said that they woke up early and were not to fall asleep, 20% said they always face difficulty in falling asleep and 27% of them said that they woke up at night during sleep.
People using medical cannabis said that they had consumed the drug for almost 4 years. Most of them smoke it and some used cannabis oil.
In the developed world, around 19 to 37% of adults are affected by chronic pain and mostly accompanied by sleep relevant problems which include difficulty in staying asleep, sleep deprivation, improper sleep cycle and waking up early.
On checking the potentially influential factors which include age, pain score, gender, antidepressants, and other sleep aids. People using medical cannabis were unlikely to wake during sleep at night than non-users.
But researchers observed no difference in the time taken for falling asleep and frequency of waking up early between the two groups.
Further observation and analysis of sleep patterns of people using medical cannabis showed the frequency of application was linked with the difficulty in getting sleep and more frequent waking up at night during sleep.
The researcher suggested that this signals the development of resistance although they recognize that the people using it more frequently experienced more pain and depression which in turn associated with more and severe sleep problems.
It is an observational study and can’t develop cause, included fewer participants and there were no as such details about the time people used medical cannabis.
The researchers such that these findings have greater impacts on public health considering the population aging, the relatively increased prevalence of sleep-related problems along with the increased use of medical cannabis.
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Another study was conducted to check the beneficial effects of cannabinoids (the active compound in medical cannabis) for cancer pain management. The results of the study suggest that recent evidence shows that medical cannabis doesn’t ease cancer-related pains.
The findings of this study are also published in the same BMJ journal.
In this study, researchers focused to check the pain-reducing effects of cannabinoids. The pooled the data from the five clinical trials on the application of cannabinoids with placebo or when used with opioids for cancer pain management in adults. The outcomes showed that the changes in scores of pain intensity were the same between both group of people using cannabinoids and those consuming placebo
Moreover, the cannabinoids showed association with the increased risk of adverse effects like dizziness and drowsiness.
The researchers said that the pain intensity score is not the best measure for understanding the complexity of pain.
However, the researchers concluded that to use anything as medication its benefits should be more than its adverse effects. This systematic review of medical cannabis provides evidence that it has no role in controlling cancer pain and therefore it is not recommended.