In Canada and around the world, researchers are delving into cannabis and its medical applications.
Although it’s been studied for a while, in 2015, international cannabis research took a major leap forward, with 22,000 papers published worldwide, according to a 2017 report by the Salar Media Group. While not all studies make headlines, here are a few that have.
Cannabis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease¹
Several studies into cannabis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are underway, but patients are way ahead of them: in a 2014 Canadian population study of 319 IBD patients consuming cannabis, 83.9 per cent had less pain, 76.8 per cent had fewer cramps and 48.2 per cent reported improved joint pain.
Cannabis and Fibromyalgia²
Israel is considered a pioneer in cannabis research and this 2018 study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology proves it. Of 30 fibromyalgia patients from two hospitals given monthly doses of cannabis, all reported significant improvement. Half stopped taking any other medication.
Cannabis and Seizures³
Anecdotally, CBD to control seizures associated with childhood Dravet syndrome is well-known. But last year, a group of researchers used the gold standard – randomized double-blinded trials – to prove its efficacy. In the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators reported that of 120 children and young adults tested, 39 per cent who received cannabinoids had a reduction of seizures from 12.4 to 5.9 per month.
CBD and Autism⁴
Shortly after the the Dravet syndrome trial, University of Washington researchers published a mouse study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Seizures and autistic-like social deficits in mice with Dravet syndrome were substantially reduced, they reported.
THC and Stress⁵
Job interviews are stressful, which is why University of Illinois researchers used them as a psychological tool investigating THC and anxiety. Volunteers took either a 7.5 ml dose, 12.5 ml or a placebo, then did a challenging job interview scenario. Of 42 participants, those taking the low dose reported less stress; those on the higher dose described the tests as “challenging” and “threatening.”
Cannabis and skin conditions⁶
Is cannabis effective for skin disorders? A meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology last summer says yes. Amongst studies examined: After twice daily application of a topical cream, patients with chronic itchy skin from kidney disease were symptom free. Another study on contact dermatitis in mice found topical THC reduced swelling and inflammation. Other research included melanoma, acne, scleroderma and sclerosis.