Members of the EndoFrance and Espoir (Im)patient associations, in collaboration with representatives of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, have come together to develop a survey aimed at better understanding the methods of self-treatment that women are using to alleviate menstrual and endometriosis-associated pain, including cannabis and other techniques. The survey is available in English, French, and Spanish.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic disease caused by the development of tissue similar to that of the uterine lining. This tissue, called endometrial tissue, grows outside the uterus and forms lesions, adhesions, and cysts in various organs. Endometriosis can cause crippling pelvic pain, painful periods, digestive and urinary disorders, chronic fatigue, and pain during and after intercourse. In 30-40% of cases, endometriosis can lead to infertility. 1
In the United States, 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 are affected by endometriosis according to the National Institute of Health in Maryland. 2 In France, endometriosis affects at least 3 million women. Although 1 in 10 women are diagnosed, many more suffer from undiagnosed, severe pain. 3
Can cannabis help?
In vivo research with rodents, for example from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain, shows that cannabis can help to manage pain, inflammation, and other symptoms of endometriosis. Gregor Zorn, a scientist from the European Cannabinoid Therapy Association, explains: “Phyto-cannabinoid preparations have been shown to effectively treat symptoms, including pain, to stop disease progression, and help the regeneration of tissues in many patients with endometriosis.” 4
In addition to gathering patient input on the subject of endometriosis, menstrual pain, and cannabis use, this survey will help to explore avenues for the launch of future clinical trials. The greater the dissemination of this survey, the more evidence there will be to share with public authorities. And this will validate the establishment of clinical trials for pain associated with endometriosis.
EndoFrance is the first association to fight against endometriosis created in France in 2001. It is approved by the French Ministry of Health. They are actively involved in local events, medical conferences, financial support for scientific research projects, and garnering media exposure on this important topic. The association is run by a team of volunteers, a scientific committee made up of expert specialist physicians, and its godmother Laëtitia Milot and godfather Thomas Ramos, who campaign together to raise awareness of this disease.
Espoir (Im) patient was established in March 2019 in the context of the ongoing process in France to regulate therapeutic cannabis. This process is led by the French authorities, in particular with the appointment of a Scientific Committee (CSST) by the French health agency (ANSM). The organization exists to combat the stigmatization of the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, and advocate on behalf of patients, committed citizens, and health professionals.
- Illinois Department of Public Health. “Facts About Endometriosis“. Accessed on 9/14/2020.
- Office on Women’s Health. (2019). “Endometriosis“. Accessed on 9/14/2020.
- INSERM. “Endometriosis“. Accessed on 9/14/2020.
- Escudero-Lara, A., Argerich, J., Cabañero, D., & Maldonado, R. (2020). Disease-modifying effects of natural Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in endometriosis-associated pain. Elife, 9, e50356.