A national study by Little Green Pharma (LGP) has shown the positive effect of oral medicinal cannabis on treatment-resistant chronic refractory pain.
LGP partnered with CA Clinics to study 151 patients with common chronic pain conditions including arthritis, neuropathic and other musculoskeletal pain. Participants had tried other pain medications such as opioids, anti-inflammatories, and steroids with no improvement.
Patients taking LGP’s Classic 10:10 THC/CBD medicine were monitored for an average period of 133 days.
The observational study found almost half benefited from oral medicinal cannabis, with 47.9% reporting a statistically significant improvement in pain impact scores, 49.3% benefiting from meaningful improvements in sleep and 35.6% feeling less fatigued.
The study also assessed the safety and tolerability of the medicine — the majority of adverse events reported were mild, with sleepiness and dry mouth/throat the most common. No severe adverse events were reported.
LGP head of research and innovation and study author Dr Leon Warne said: “This study is important as it provides an option for those patients who have not had success with other pain therapies and gives doctors some vital research they’ve been requesting since medicinal cannabis was legalised.”
Fibromyalgia patient Jenni Garland added: “I wasn’t able to control my intense nerve pain with prescription medication and had to give up working full time and the hobbies that I loved. Since taking medicinal cannabis my life has changed. I am able to walk and stand for long periods of time, I can exercise and enjoy my art and craft. I have my life back.”
LGP medical advisor Dr Joe Kosterich said such studies would help increase confidence among GPs in prescribing medicinal cannabis while CA Clinics medical director Dr Mark Hardy added: “This research demonstrates the real-world impact of medicinal cannabis [and] underscores the importance of ensuring that patients have access to affordable, reliable and quality [medicine].”
In November 2020, LGP formed a strategic partnership with private health insurer Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) to improve patient access.
HIF CEO Justin James said: “HIF was very proud to be the first major private health insurer to publicly declare support for medicinal cannabis and one of the first to offer rebates for treatment. This study reinforces the importance of alternative treatments for helping to ease chronic pain and the benefits of ongoing research.”