Aussie medicinal cannabis study gives hope to chronic pain patients

Dr Leon Warne, Head of Research and Innovation at Little Green Pharma

Little Green Pharma reported findings of a national study showing the positive effect of oral medicinal cannabis on chronic refractory pain in patients who have not experienced relief with existing pain medications including opioids, anti-inflammatories, and steroid treatments.

This research provides promising results for long-suffering patients with pain and is the first of its kind using Australian-made, GMP cannabis medicines. The study included 151 participants with common chronic pain conditions including arthritis, neuropathic pain and other musculoskeletal pain who had tried other pain therapies and failed to see improvement.

What were the findings of the LGP study?

Patients receiving LGP Classic 10:10 (with a balanced ratio of THC and CBD) were monitored for an average observational period of 133 days. The observational, open-label study found almost half of all patients benefitted from oral medicinal cannabis. 47.9% of patients reported a statistically significant improvement in pain impact scores, suggesting an improvement in their quality of life, which is ultimately what matters to patients affected by chronic pain.

The majority of patients surveyed by LGP also reported meaningful improvements in sleep (49.3%) and fatigue (35.6%), two common problems for those with chronic pain.

The study also assessed the safety, tolerability, and self-reported effectiveness of the pharmaceutical-grade cannabis product (LGP Classic 10:10) in relieving pain and other symptoms in adult patients diagnosed with chronic pain resistant to other treatments. The severity analysis revealed the majority of adverse events (AEs) reported were mild.

Somnolence and dry mouth/throat were the most common AEs experienced and no severe adverse effects were reported within the observational period for this cohort of patients. This proportion of AEs is consistent with existing studies of registered medicinal cannabis products and analgesics. The research was conducted within the independent network of CA Clinics.

Findings from this study were published in February 2022 in the scientific journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Open Access to the published article is freely available online.

What are the thoughts of LGP on the study?

LGP Head of Research and Innovation and study author Dr Leon Warne said: “LGP is pleased with these results that show the Classic 10:10 formulation has been scientifically validated and showed a positive effect on the impact of chronic refractory pain. This study is vital as it provides an option for those patients who haven’t had success with other pain therapies and gives doctors vital research they’ve been requesting since medicinal cannabis was legalised.”

Chronic pain affects can negatively impact a person’s quality of life such as sleep patterns, social engagement, as well as their ability to work and conduct daily activities. It can also cause emotional distress and lead to serious mental health problems including depression. Patients undertaking the study were prescribed LGP Classic 10:10 medicinal cannabis oil.