Graham Gulbransen, William Xu and Bruce Arroll
Published in BJGP open
4 February 2020
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-euphoriant component of cannabis. In 2017, the New Zealand Misuse of Drugs Regulations (1977) were amended, allowing doctors to prescribe CBD. Therapeutic benefit and tolerability of CBD remains unclear.
To review the changes in self-reported quality of life measurements, drug tolerability, and dose-dependent relationships in patients prescribed CBD oil for various conditions at a single institution.
DESIGN & SETTING:
An audit including all patients (n = 400) presenting to Cannabis Care, New Zealand, between 7 December 2017 and 7 December 2018 seeking CBD prescriptions METHOD: Indications for CBD use were recorded at baseline. Outcomes included EuroQol quality of life measures at baseline and after 3 weeks of use, patient-reported satisfaction, incidence of side effects, and patient-titrated dosage levels of CBD.
Four hundred patients were assessed for CBD and 397 received a prescription. Follow-up was completed on 253 patients (63.3%). Patients reported a mean increase of 13.6 points (P<0.001) on the EQ-VAS scale describing overall quality of health. Patients with non-cancer pain and mental-health symptoms achieved improvements to patient-reported pain and depression and anxiety symptoms (P<0.05). There were no major adverse effects. Positive side effects included improved sleep and appetite. No associations were found between CBD dose and patient-reported benefit.
There may be analgesic and anxiolytic benefits of CBD in patients with non-cancer chronic pain and mental health conditions such as anxiety. CBD is well tolerated, making it safe to trial for non-cancer chronic pain, mental health, neurological, and cancer symptoms.
Gulbransen G, Xu W, Arroll B. Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand. BJGP open. 2020. doi:10.3399/bjgpopen20X101010