Study: Cancer Patients with Refractory Pain May Find Relief With Oral Marijuana Spray

A new study published in the journal PLOS One has found that terminal cancer patients with refractory pain respond favorably to a marijuana spray containing equal parts THC and CBD.

“This pilot study aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and exploratory analgesic effect of a novel water-soluble oro-buccal nanoparticle spray of a cannabis-based medicine in patients with advanced incurable malignancy with unrelieved pain from opioid analgesic”, states the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.

For this multi-stage study, participants received a marijuana spray containing 2.5 mgs of THC and 2.5 mgs of CBD.

“During stage II a subgroup of patients diagnosed with breast and prostate cancers with bone metastases, had the highest mean pain score improvement from baseline of 40% (unadjusted) and 33% (adjusted for rescue medication use)”, says researchers. “The water-soluble cannabis-based medicine provided acceptable bioavailability for Δ9-THC/CBD, appeared safe and tolerable in advanced incurable cancers with uncontrolled pain with preliminary evidence of analgesic efficacy.”

“This study demonstrated that the administration of the investigative cannabis-based medicine was generally safe and tolerated in a short-term exposure in a cohort of patients with advanced incurable cancers with controlled pain or intractable pain despite opioid treatment,” states the study. “There was a reduction in pain overall for the study cohort of 12 percent by the end of the treatment phase.”

Researchers say this “is of significant clinical interest given that this formulation was a self-titrated medicine, that showed preliminary analgesic efficacy in a subgroup of patients.”

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