The Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research has released the initial results from the study Health Utilization and Characterization of Patients Using Medical Cannabis in Israel. The study intended to follow-up with new users of medical cannabis for the treatment of pain for four months, specifically looking at socio-demographic and disease profile, indications for cannabis prescription, methods of administration, exposure and dose, past treatments up until cannabis authorization, long-term side-effects and safety, compliance and drop-out, and effectiveness of treatment in accordance with initial indications.
The study involved 213 patients, 65 of them cancer patients, who had tried various treatment options before deciding to try cannabis. The most common side effects of cannabis treatment included increased frequency of hunger, dry mouth, elevated mood, and tiredness. 79.9% of cancer patients and 67.1% of non-cancer patients reporting these side effects. 79 of the non-cancer patients reported a decrease in their worst pain reported in the last 24 hours. Before treatment, pain within the last 24 hours was reported as 8.5±1.6. In the first interviewer, this pain was reduced to 7.1±2.7, and by the second interview it was reduced to 6.7±2.8 (p<0.0001). Throughout the study, only 9% discontinued the use of medical cannabis.
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