Study: THC/CBD Spray Effective for Patients with Refractory Back and Neck Pain

Sydney, Australia: The oral administration of a cannabinoid spray containing standardized ratios of THC and CBD produces clinically significant reductions in pain among patients with chronic back and neck pain, according to open-label trial data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids

Australian researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of an oromucosal spray containing 10 mg of THC and 25 mg of CBD in a cohort of 28 patients with moderate to severe back or neck pain. Participants in the study were unresponsive to over-the-counter non-opioid analgesics. Patients administered escalating doses of the spray daily for four weeks. 

Investigators documented decreases in patients’ pain at even the lowest doses. Patients experienced further reductions in pain and improvements in mood in a dose-dependent manner over the course of the trial. Overall, side-effects from the spray were mild and well-tolerated. 

“There were significant reductions in pain [at] all doses,” authors concluded. “There was also a reduction in pain interference in all domains including general activity, mood, walking ability, normal work, relationships, sleep, and enjoyment of life by dose.”

Australian law permits physicians to authorize cannabis products to patients unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments.

Full text of the study, “Tolerability and efficacy of a 10:25 preparation of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol for treatment of chronic back or neck pain: A multiple-dose escalation study,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information on cannabis and chronic pain is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids.