28th January 2022
By Roland Sebestyén

The UK’s largest registry of medical cannabis patients has shown a statistically significant improvement in health-related quality of life following the prescription of medical cannabis.

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a leading scientific journal, has published new data this week from The UK Medical Cannabis Registry. The registry assesses real-world evidence from the largest patient sample in the UK to have received medical cannabis treatment since the law change in November 2018.

The researchers found statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life in patients at one, three, and six months following treatment. The most common primary diagnoses were chronic pain and neuropathic pain.

Across all patients at baseline, the average anxiety score was consistent with a diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder.

At follow up, the average score reduced to below clinically relevant levels. This builds on previously published data from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry which demonstrated a clinically significant reduction in anxiety with a specific cohort of patients with generalised anxiety disorder.

Approximately one in four patients with a chronic illness report experiencing symptoms of anxiety in the previous two weeks. This suggests that, in addition to condition-specific changes, medical cannabis may also affect the experience of symptoms that often trouble those with chronic health problems.

Adverse event incidence was 30%, with nausea being the most frequent (3.8%). In addition, patients also experienced improvements in self-reported sleep quality. Due to the study design, it was unable to definitively prove that CBMPs were the cause of the resultant change.

There were more male participants, compared to females (55% and 45% respectively) with a mean age of 45. A minority of patients (36%) used cannabis daily before treatment via Sapphire Medical. Findings from this research build upon data from Canada and New Zealand, respectively.

Dr Simon Erridge, Head of Research and Access at Sapphire Medical Clinics, said: “Real-World Evidence of patient safety and outcomes of patients prescribed medical cannabis is expanding rapidly.

“Whilst we now can identify condition-specific responses, understanding how all patients are responding to treatment, and considering the very wide range of conditions that include, is important as we review holistically the safety and efficacy of this treatment.”

A total of 312 patients were included in the final analysis detailing the medium-term quality of life and safety outcomes in patients prescribed Cannabis-based medicinal products by specialists at Sapphire Medical Clinics.

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