Lan Kluwe, Christian Scholze, Lisa Marie Schmidberg, Julian Lukas Wichmann, Mihail Gemkov, Martin Julian Keller, Said C. Farschtschi
August 17, 2023
Medical cannabis may provide a treatment option for chronic neuropathic pain. However, empirical disease-specific data are scarce.
This is a retrospective observational study including 99 patients with chronic neuropathic pain. These patients received medical cannabis by means of inhaling dried flowers with tetrahydrocannabinol content of <12–22% at a maximal daily dose of 0.15–1 g. Up to six follow-ups were carried out at intervals of 4–6 weeks. Pain severity, sleep disturbance, general improvement, side effects, and therapy tolerance at the follow-up consultations were assessed in interviews and compared with the baseline data using non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Within 6 weeks on the therapy, median of the pain scores decreased significantly from 7.5 to 4.0 (p < 0.001). The proportion of patients with severe pain (score >6) decreased from 96% to 16% (p < 0.001). Sleep disturbance was significantly improved with the median of the scores decreased from 8.0 to 2.0 (p < 0.001). These improvements were sustained over a period of up to 6 months. There were no severe adverse events reported. Mild side effects reported were dryness in mucous tissue (5.4%), fatigue (4.8%), and increased appetite (2.7%). Therapy tolerance was reported in 91% of the interviews.
Medical cannabis is safe and highly effective for treating neuropathic pain and concomitant sleep disturbance.
Kluwe, L., Scholze, C., Schmidberg, L. M., Wichmann, J. L., Gemkov, M., Keller, M. J., & Farschtschi, S. C. (2023). Medical Cannabis Alleviates Chronic Neuropathic Pain Effectively and Sustainably without Severe Adverse Effect: A Retrospective Study on 99 Cases. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 6(1), 89-96.