By Amanda Labbe, PharmD
We as pharmacists at The Healing Corner in Bristol, Connecticut have collected data from our patients to give more insight on the possible therapeutic benefits of marijuana, particularly pain relief. Information was received through surveys completed by our medical marijuana patients. Such information includes dosing, onset of action, duration of action, side effects, pain level before and after marijuana use and additional symptoms marijuana helped improve.
- Sample Selection: From January 26, 2018 to August 30, 2018 we hand delivered 200 surveys to patients receiving an ingestible cannabis product for pain and had been a certified patient for a minimum of 6 months. Ingestible forms include capsules, tablets, edibles, oral solutions, or pure cannabis oil.
- Survey Design and Administration: Our medical marijuana patients were hand delivered a survey with a stamped envelope for return. They were kindly asked to complete the survey in a timely manner to the best of their ability and submit anonymously through the mail.
The data was retrieved from a total of 78 completed surveys. Patients include 45 females (58%) and 33 males (42%) ages ranging from 27 years old to 91 years old, average age being 49. Of these patients who had reported previous opiate use (43 total), 51% reported stopping all opiate use, 33% reported decreasing dose of opiates, 16% reported same dose and no need to increase overtime. The average dose of THC used was 25 mg. Overall 81% (61/75) reported needing to use the cannabis only once or twice daily. The average onset of the ingestible cannabis was 57.2 minutes (from 75 completed responses) with an average duration of 4.69 hours (from 70 completed responses). The average decrease in pain level from 75 patients was 5.07 points from before using the cannabis product to after onset. (Highest level of pain being 10 points and lowest level of pain being 0 points).
Other reported uses for medical marijuana included relief from anxiety, depression, inflammation, arthritic pain, neuropathic pain, insomnia, tremors, aggression, nausea, migraines, headaches, focus, acne, temperature intolerance, seizures, stomach issues, digestion and respiratory issues.
Reported side effects from marijuana use were worsened anxiety, short-term memory loss, nausea, dizziness, paranoia, increased appetite, weight gain, dry mouth, fatigue, perspiration and increased GERD. Overall 50% of patients (38/76 responses) reported no side effects from marijuana use.