Study: Medical marijuana associated with fewer hospitalizations for individuals with sickle cell disease



Individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) who obtain medical marijuana to deal with ache could require fewer visits to the hospital, in accordance with a brand new examine in Blood Advances. Adults with SCD who requested and obtained medical marijuana have been admitted to the hospital much less incessantly than those that didn’t acquire it.

SCD is the commonest inherited pink blood cell dysfunction within the United States, affecting an estimated 100,000 individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SCD impacts one out of each 365 Black or African American births and one out of each 16,300 Hispanic American births. SCD is characterised by irregular, sickle-shaped that may adhere to and block blood vessels, stopping oxygen from reaching the tissues. When this happens, individuals dwelling with SCD expertise extreme ache occasions which can drive them to hunt emergency care. It is estimated that there are greater than 100,000 SCD-related hospital stays within the United States annually.

There is a necessity for different choices for administration of ache in order that individuals with SCD do not need to undergo the time, hardship, and expense of hospitalization and might handle their signs at dwelling. Previous research have proven that hashish and cannabinoid merchandise can successfully deal with continual ache associated different circumstances akin to most cancers. More managed research of marijuana for the remedy of ache in SCD are nonetheless wanted.

“When we offered as an option to our patients with sickle cell disease, we found the majority of people who were interested were already using illicit marijuana to treat pain,” stated the examine’s lead creator Susanna Curtis, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. “Illicit marijuana is not regulated, so its quality and contents are not standardized. And particularly for people with , many of whom identify as Black, we know that while Black and white people use marijuana at similar rates, Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for possession. We didn’t want our patients using unsafe products or being arrested for trying to control the pain of their condition.”

Dr. Curtis and her staff examined information from 50 individuals with SCD on the Adult Sickle Cell Program at Yale New Haven Hospital who have been licensed for medical marijuana use. Of these licensed, 29 obtained medical marijuana and 21 didn’t. Those who obtained medical marijuana visited the hospital much less incessantly on common over the next six months. Several sufferers even decreased their hospital admission charges by three, 4, or 5 visits. Receiving medical marijuana was not associated with a change in emergency room or infusion middle visits, complete well being care utilization, or opioid use. Researchers didn’t observe any change to hospitalization charges in individuals who didn’t acquire medical marijuana.

Dr. Curtis instructed a potential purpose for the decreased hospitalization charges may very well be that medical marijuana helps individuals higher tolerate their ache at dwelling.

The researchers additionally sought to know why many sufferers have been unable to entry medical marijuana, and why some continued to sometimes use illicit hashish regardless of acquiring medical marijuana. In a survey, individuals who obtained medical marijuana reported that they felt it was safer than illicit marijuana and so they felt it was efficient at controlling their ache; nonetheless, they did additionally report obstacles akin to higher expense and issue of entry.

Race and socioeconomic standing may additionally be obstacles for sufferers with SCD. “About 80% of our clinic population identifies as Black, and another 15% as Latinx, and unfortunately people of color who visit the hospital with pain are often not believed or accused of being drug-seeking. Medical marijuana is associated with significant stigma, and stigma is already a big part of the life of a person with sickle cell,” stated Dr. Curtis.

Cannabis and cannabinoid merchandise additionally current authorized and medical challenges. While 33 states have medical marijuana legal guidelines, solely 5 of these states checklist SCD as a qualifying situation. Medical marijuana merchandise range drastically of their chemical content material and types of administration. In the examine, sufferers who obtained medical have been extra possible to make use of edible merchandise versus inhaled merchandise. Previous analysis suggests the pain-relieving impact of edible merchandise has a slower onset however an extended length than that of inhaled merchandise. This variability between totally different merchandise may cause issue for sufferers making an attempt to handle their signs.

Dr. Curtis highlighted the necessity for additional analysis to know the efficacy, unintended effects, and drug interactions of varied hashish merchandise on SCD remedy. “My patients are living with a very difficult disease that causes them a lot of . We need controlled trials to look at each product, and the effects of how it is taken, so that we can offer regulated, pharmaceutical-grade treatment options.”

Whether marijuana helps with pain is unclear, study suggests

Study: Medical marijuana associated with fewer hospitalizations for individuals with sickle cell disease (2020, August 13)
retrieved 13 August 2020

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