Medical Cannabis Could Enhance Quality Of Life In Individuals With Chronic Health Conditions, Study Shows

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Individuals with chronic health conditions who used medical marijuana in a recent Australian study reported notable enhancements in their quality of life and reduced fatigue. Additionally, the study identified a link between cannabis therapy and reduced anxiety, depression, and pain within the initial three months of usage.

Medical cannabis enhances quality of life

Medical marijuana, available in Australia since 2016 for patients unresponsive to conventional treatments, did not show significant improvement in insomnia symptoms and caused some participants to discontinue use due to side-effects.

The study led by Margaret-Ann Tait and University of Sydney researchers surveyed over 2,300 Australians suffering from chronic health conditions, prescribed a combination of CBD and THC in carrier oil from November 2020 to December 2021. The participants, aged 18 to 97 with an average age of 51, were mostly women, comprising approximately two-thirds of the sample.

Cannabis was predominantly used to address various health issues, with chronic pain being the most common (69%), followed by insomnia (23%), anxiety (22%), and combination of depression or anxiety (11%). Most of the participants sought treatment for multiple conditions.

Study authors said that within three months of using medicinal cannabis, individuals experienced enhanced health-related quality of life, reduced fatigue, and relief from depression, anxiety, and pain-related health issues.

Medical marijuana didn’t improve sleep quality

Over the three-month period, patients experienced noteworthy and clinically significant quality of life improvements and reduced fatigue levels. They also witnessed substantial reductions in pain and notable benefit in moderate-to-severe depression and anxiety. Although many participants were prescribed cannabis for insomnia, there was no notable improvement in overall sleep quality.

The study did not directly evaluate any negative effects of medical cannabis but 30 individuals decided to discontinue their participation, attributing their decision to “undesirable side effects.”

The study published in PLoS ONE indicates that medical cannabis could be beneficial in treating previously difficult-to-treat chronic conditions. The study’s author, Tait, also suggested that further research and development may be needed to improve cannabis oil products’ efficacy for addressing insomnia and associated sleep disorders.

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