Medicinal cannabis effective for cancer pain relief

Medicinal Cannabis is an effective pain relief method research suggests

Medicinal Cannabis is an effective pain relief method research suggests. Credit: BiW99/

Medicinal cannabis can help cancer patients manage their pain a report has said.

Using a cannabis product with an equal amount of THC and CBD is a safe method of providing pain relief to cancer patients and can complement other pain relief drugs.

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and the Medical Cannabis Programme in Oncology at Cedars Cancer Centre in Canada carried out a study with 358 adults.

Their research led the study to conclude that using equal amounts of cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is responsible for the ‘high’ users get, and cannabidiol (CBD) helped cancer patients with their pain.

At the present time, only specialist doctors can prescribe cannabis-based medicines through the NHS, but only for a few conditions such as rare and severe epilepsy.

Fewer than five people have received NHS prescriptions as of April and many people are forced to buy cannabis illegally.

The study monitored around a quarter of the cancer patients taking THC-dominated cannabis, while 38 per cent took the product with a balance of THC and CBD and 17 per cent took CBD-dominant cannabis.

Pain intensity, total number of drugs taken, symptoms and daily morphine injections were monitored every quarter for a year. It was at the six and nine-month stages that doctors discovered the balanced THC and CBD cannabis product gave the best pain relief.

Currently, in the UK, there is a clinical trial being carried out at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester of an oral spray containing cannabis to treat glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain tumour.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.