Study: Oral THC Effective at Reducing Pain in Geriatric Patients

Potsdam, Germany: The administration of oral THC (dronabinol) safely and effectively reduces pain in geriatric patients, according to clinical trial data published in the German journal Schmerz.

A team of German researchers assessed the use of dronabinol in elderly (over 80 years of age) subjects with chronic pain. Oral THC administration was associated with a pain reduction of 30 percent or greater in over half of the patients. Ten percent of subjects experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in their pain.

Authors concluded: "This study is one of the few analyses of the use of dronabinol in geriatric patients. We show that cannabis-based drugs (in this case dronabinol) are an effective, low-risk treatment option that should be considered early in therapy."

Dronabinol has been FDA-approved in the United States since 1985 as an anti-emetic and as an appetite stimulant.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Dronabinol in geriatric pain and palliative care patients: A retrospective evaluation of statutory-health-insurance-covered outpatient medical treatment," appears in Schmerz.