Two on the subject "medical cannabis" published studies suggest that cannabinoids do not play a role in cancer-related pain as far as we know today. Chronic pain is thought to affect between 19% and 37% of adults in developed countries. They are often associated with insomnia, including difficulty achieving latency and waking up early.
Use for medical cannabis
In the first study, the researchers wanted to find out what impact medical cannabis could have on sleep problems in people over 50 with chronic pain lasting at least a year. They rated the sleep quality and pain scores of 128 people who were treated in a special pain clinic. 66 of them used medicinal cannabis to treat their sleep problems and 62 didn’t.
Overall, around one in four (24%) stated that they always woke up early and could no longer fall asleep. One in five respondents (20%) said they always find it difficult to fall asleep. Around one in five (27%) reported waking up at night. The users had taken the drug at an amount of approximately 31 g per month for an average of 4 years. Most (69%) smoked it, with around 20% using either cannabis oil or steam.
After considering potentially influential factors such as average pain factor, age, gender, use of other sleeping pills or antidepressants, marijuana smokers were less likely to wake up at night than non-users. However, there were no differences between the two groups in terms of time to sleep or frequency of early awakening.
Data analysis of the two studies
Another analysis of cannabis users’ sleep patterns found that the frequency of use was associated with greater difficulty falling asleep and waking up more frequently during the night. "This could indicate the development of tolerance. " That’s what the researchers suggest, although they acknowledge that more frequent users may experience more pain. They are also depressed or anxious, which in turn can be linked to more sleep problems.
This was primarily an observational study. As such, it cannot determine any reason why the number of people involved was small. There were no details of the time of day people used cannabis. "The results have huge public health implications, given the aging population, the relatively high prevalence of sleep problems in this population, and the increasing use of medical marijuana. "
In the second study, the researchers wanted to find out whether THC extract and approved drugs containing cannabis could be effective in relieving cancer pain. They looked for data from clinical trials comparing the use of cannabinoids with opioids for the relief of cancer pain in adults.
The scientists pooled the data from five relevant studies with 1,442 people. The resulting analysis showed that the changes in mean pain intensity scores did not differ between those taking cannabinoids and those taking opioids. In addition, cannabinoids were associated with a significantly higher risk of side effects such as drowsiness and drowsiness.
The researchers accept that a pain rating may not be the best measure to adequately capture the complexity of long-lasting pain. Even so, they conclude that the benefits of drugs must outweigh the disadvantages if they are to be useful. "This systematic review provides good evidence that cannabinoids play no role in cancer-related pain ", you write.