A study by a team of researchers in France has found that 17% of patients with rheumatologic diseases consume cannabis. A report on the study, “Cannabis use assessment and its impact on pain in rheumatologic diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” was posted online this month prior to its publication in the journal Rheumatology.
To conduct the study, researchers in Clermont-Ferrand, France, performed a systematic review of scientific literature published through June 2020 on the use of cannabis to treat rheumatologic diseases. Rheumatologic diseases include conditions such as fibromyalgia (FM), lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The studies reviewed covered a total of 10,873 patients, including 2,900 who said that they consumed cannabis. The incidence of cannabis use was then calculated by meta-proportion.
“Nearly 20% of patients suffering from rheumatologic diseases actively consume cannabis, with an improvement in pain,” the authors of the study concluded.
Patients Often Self-Medicate With Cannabis
The researchers noted in their rationale for the study that despite the use of classic analgesics and other medications including disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs to treat rheumatologic conditions, many patients continue to experience pain and often turn to non-prescribed pharmacological alternatives such as cannabis for self-therapeutic use. However, the medicinal use of cannabis