Study: Cannabis Beneficial in Treating Endometriosis

The use of cannabis or cannabis-related products is associated with subjective benefits in women with endometriosis. This is according to a new study, titled Self-reported efficacy of cannabis for endometriosis pain, which was published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Oncology.

For the study researchers surveyed the attitudes in 364 patients with endometriosis, and found that: “Use of medical marijuana and CBD amongst women with endometriosis is common. Both marijuana and CBD are reported as moderately or very effective for pelvic pain by the majority of women who have tried them, with marijuana reported as more effective than CBD.”

As noted by NORML, separate survey data published in January in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that the use of cannabis was the most effective self-management strategy engaged in by endometriosis patients.

A 2017 review paper on the subject of cannabinoids and endometriosis concluded: “Pain management for patients with endometriosis needs to be more effective, target the hormonal and immunologic environment, downregulate proliferation while enhancing apoptosis, and normalize the invasive mechanisms and neuroangiogenesis processes. ECS (endocannabinoid system) modulation appears to be a good therapeutic strategy by potentially combining all these factors.”

Below is the study’s full abstract:

Study Objective

To survey endometriosis patients about their experience with marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) for management of endometriosis and pelvic pain symptoms, and to identify the prevalence of medical marijuana use among women with endometriosis.

Design

Survey.

Setting

Online REDCap survey accessed through email invitation survey link.

Patients or Participants

137 clinic patients with an ICD-10 code for an endometriosis diagnosis, 347 patients from the mailing list of the Endometriosis Association (EA).

Interventions

A customized survey with 55 to 75 questions based on branching logic, inquiring about pelvic pain history, demographics, and experience with marijuana and CBD for management of pelvic pain.

Measurements and Main Results

Of 240 EA participants responding, 77 (32.1%) reported having tried marijuana, with the majority of these participants (52 of 77, 67.5%) reporting marijuana to be very or moderately effective. Of 124 clinic participants responding, 58 (46.8%) reported having tried marijuana, with the majority of patients (44 of 58, 75.9%) reporting marijuana to be very or moderately effective. 67 (27.8%) EA participants reported having tried CBD, with half (50%, 34 of 67) reporting CBD to be very or moderately effective. 57 (46.0%) clinic participants reported having tried CBD, with the majority (64.9%, 37 of 57) reporting CBD to be very or moderately effective. Amongst both participant groups, Marijuana was most likely to be reported as very effective (40.2% of EA participants, 53.4% of clinic participants), while CBD was most likely to be reported as moderately effective (31.4% of EA participants, 36.8% of clinic participants).

Conclusion

Use of medical marijuana and CBD amongst women with endometriosis is common. Both marijuana and CBD are reported as moderately or very effective for pelvic pain by the majority of women who have tried them, with marijuana reported as more effective than CBD.

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