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Cannabis provides pain relief for a range of gynaecological conditions – study

The vast majority of women reported pain relief from using medical cannabis.



Cannabis provides pain relief for gynaecological conditions

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Survey data shows that using cannabis may provide pain relief for a range of gynaecological conditions.

New data on cannabis and gynaecological pain has found that the vast majority of women report pain relief from medicinal use.

Researchers examined the results of a number of studies on adult women who used cannabinoids for gynaecological pain conditions, including chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia, endometriosis and interstitial cystitis. 

According to the findings the prevalence of cannabis use ranged from 13 per cent to 27 per cent, with 61 to 96 per cent of women reporting pain relief.

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Most women ingested or inhaled cannabis and used cannabis multiple times per week, with dosages of up to 70mg of THC and 2,000mg of CBD.

The study types included were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies, and cross-sectional studies.

All six cohort studies and one RCT, reported significant pain relief.

READ MORE: Why women in pain are turning to medical cannabis

The researchers concluded: “Survey data showed that most women reported that cannabis improved pain from numerous gynaecological conditions. Cohort studies and an RCT using PEA-combination medications reported pain reduction. 

“However, interpretation of the studies is limited due to varying cannabis formulations, delivery methods, and dosages that preclude a definitive statement about cannabis for gynaecological pain relief.”

Why does it matter?

Increasing numbers of women are turning to cannabis to manage the symptoms of gynaecological conditions, particularly those which are complex and debilitating such as endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain and vulvodynia.

These conditions are often difficult to diagnose and women may go for years without proper treatment. But even once they have that diagnosis treatment options can be limited, with many women relying on opioid painkillers.

In 2019, the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University revealed more than three quarters of Australian women with endometriosis were turning to self-management strategies, with cannabis being ranked as the most effective therapy.

There are a multitude of cannabis receptors and endocannabinoids in the uterus and female reproductive system, which could explain why cannabis affects men and women differently and why women report particular benefit from cannabis for gynaecological conditions.

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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