The following study provides information on the efficacy of cannabis in endometriosis.
The research team led by Justin Sinclair of Western Sydney University in Australia conducted an online survey to investigate what strategies women with endometriosis use to manage their pain.
In addition, the self-perceived efficacy and tolerability of cannabis in endometriosis was to be determined. To do this, a total of 484 completed questionnaires from Australian women between the ages of 25 and 36 were analyzed.
The researchers divided symptom management strategies into three categories: physical (for example, through exercise or stretching exercises), psychological (such as meditation or targeted breathing exercises), and changes in daily life (which included dietary changes, alcohol consumption, or cannabis use).
Seventy-six percent of women reported using symptom management strategies within the past 6 months. Among these women, 48 (13%) reported having used cannabis. This online questionnaire did not report the composition of cannabis products used (ratio of THC/CBD). To assess symptom severity, a questionnaire was used that assessed impairment due to abdominal pain in several domains: energy level, mood, sleep quality, digestion, sitting, working or studying, physical activity, and wearing tight clothing.
The women who used cannabis for symptom management also reported higher levels of impairment when responding to these questionnaires. Assessments of cannabis efficacy were examined on a scale of 0 to 10. Here, women reported a perceived efficacy of 7.6 on average, with 10 reflecting the strongest efficacy. Among the 48 women who used cannabis for symptom management, all women were able to reduce their use of other pain medications, with 27 women reducing their use by more than half. In addition, cannabis use was able to improve other symptoms common to endometriosis apart from abdominal pain (sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, nausea, and gastrointestinal system problems).
Sinclair and colleagues showed that cannabis use resulted in significant subjective improvement in abdominal pain, sleep, anxiety, and depression, as well as gastrointestinal system problems. In addition, cannabis reduced the use of other pain medications.
This study provides evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of endometriosis.
Sinclair, J., Smith, C. A., Abbott, J., Chalmers, K. J., Pate, D. W., & Armour, M. (2020). Cannabis use, a self-management strategy among Australian women with endometriosis: results from a national online survey. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 42(3), 256-261.