Cannabis could be helpful in reducing the pain associated with endometriosis, according to a small study by Australian and international researchers.
The team collected data from 252 endometriosis sufferers between April 2017 and February 2020, recording 16,193 cannabis use sessions.
The participants self-reported cannabis was effective in relieving endometriosis symptoms such as pelvic pain and gastrointestinal issues and in improving mood.
Inhaled forms seemed to perform better for pain, probably due to rapid onset, while edibles, with slower onset, were better for mood and gastrointestinal symptoms.
The most common method of ingestion was inhalation at 67.4%, with pain the most commonly reported symptom (57.3%).
Although a less common reason for cannabis usage at 15.2%, gastrointestinal symptoms led to the greatest self-reported improvement after use.
Dosage varied across ingestion methods, with a median dose of nine inhalations for inhaled dosage forms and 1mg/ml for other ingested dosage forms. The ratio of THC to CBD had a statistically significant, yet clinically small, differential effect on efficacy, depending on method of ingestion.
The study concludes: “Cannabis appears to be effective for pelvic pain, gastrointestinal issues and mood, with effectiveness differing based on method of ingestion.
“The greater propensity for use of an inhaled dosage delivery may be due to the rapid onset of pain-relieving effects versus the slower onset of oral products.
“Oral forms appeared to be superior compared to inhaled forms in the less commonly reported mood or gastrointestinal categories.”
The researchers added clinical trials investigating the tolerability and effectiveness of cannabis for endometriosis pain and associated symptoms are “urgently required”.
Among the study authors was Justin Sinclair from NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.