Study: Medical Cannabis Associated with Sustained Improvements in Patients’ Health-Related Quality of Life

Melbourne, Australia: Patients suffering from pain, cancer, anxiety, and insomnia report significant, sustained improvements in their health-related quality of life following the use of cannabis products, according to observational data published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Australian researchers evaluated cannabis-related outcomes in a cohort of more than 3,100 patients authorized to use medical cannabis. (Under Australian law, physicians may only authorize cannabis products to patients unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments.) Study participants consumed various formulations of cannabis, with most patients using products high in CBD content. Most patients in the cohort were over 50 years old.

Consistent with numerous other studies, authors reported, “Patients using medical cannabis reported improvements in health-related quality of life, which were mostly sustained over time. Adverse events were rarely serious.”

They concluded: “In this retrospective case series, patients reported improvements … after commencing treatment with medical cannabis … on all eight [of the] health-related quality of life domains assessed. … Further high-quality trials are required.”

Observational trial data from a cohort of nearly 3,000 chronically ill patients in the United Kingdom also recently reported that the use of medical cannabis products is well tolerated and improves subjects’ health-related quality of life.

Full text of the study, “Assessment of medical cannabis and health-related quality of life,” appears in JAMA Network Open. Information on medical cannabis use is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet,Cannabis Use by Older Adult Populations.’