Journal Club: Medical cannabis and palliative care

Journal Club: Medical cannabis and palliative care
Cannabis Health News

The latest issue of the Journal Club, by Grow Pharma, explores the research around medical cannabis use in older adults and for palliative care. To sign up to the Journal Club mailing list, click here   The latest issue of the Journal Club focuses on the potential usefulness of medical cannabis in the elderly, with a particular emphasis on palliative care. There has been substantial growth in the use of medical cannabis globally in recent years and with an ageing population it is now also increasingly being used by older adults. To date, there have only been a handful of medical cannabis studies looking at this patient population. One of the most cited is a 2018 prospective study by Abuhasira et al [1].  They surveyed over 2,500 patients over the age of 65 and found that after six months of medical cannabis treatment, 94 per cent of the respondents reported an improvement in their condition, and the median reported pain level was halved. In addition, 18 per cent either stopped taking opioids or reduced their dose. The study authors concluded that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in an elderly population, supporting further investigation into this patient group. In this issue of the Journal Club, we highlight two of the most recent studies investigating medical cannabis use in the elderly. The first study is a case series of 16 patients who were receiving medical cannabis for palliative care in the UK. Questionnaires were used to assess quality-of-life, anxiety, sleep, and pain, respectively, at baseline and after one and three. months. Mean sleep scores improved by 41 per cent from baseline to 1-month, and 47 per cent from baseline to three months. Mean pain scores were initially reported as ‘severe’ at baseline, however reduced to ‘mild to moderate’…

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