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Metabolic effects of medical cannabis treatment


Cannabis has a wide range of favorable clinical effects on pain, sleep, mood, gastrointestinal symptom, appetite and physical activity, factors that may affect the metabolic profile of the consumer. In this study, we prospectively evaluated patients recently starting medical cannabis treatment. All patients from the rheumatology clinic, who were just approved for medical cannabis treatment for resistant chronic pain, were recruited. After consent, demographic and clinical parameters were documented, including indication for medical cannabis treatment, way of consumption, type of cannabis and monthly dose of medical cannabis. Fasting morning blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, lipid profile, cortisol and uric acid levels, in addition to body weight, were obtained just prior to and 3 months following cannabis consumption. Wilcoxon’ sign rank test was used to compare baseline levels to those obtained 3 months later. Twenty-eight patients completed the study. Mean age of the patients was 47.8±9.1 years and ~70% were female patients. 75% of all the patients had fibromyalgia. Mean monthly consumed cannabis amount was 22.21±3.6 g, and 21 (75%) patients used extracts (oil). There was no significant change in any parameter evaluated. The results of our study seem to indicate that medical cannabis, mainly extracts, have no significant effect on any parameter of the metabolic profile of patients with chronic pain syndrome, during 3 months of initial use.

  • glucose
  • insulin
  • lipids
  • cannabinoids
  • glycated hemoglobin A

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