Haifa, Israel: The inhalation of THC-dominant cannabis flower long-term safely mitigates symptoms of chronic lower back pain in a manner that is more effective than the use of CBD-dominant extracts, according to observational trial data published in the Israeli journal Rambam Maimonides.
Israeli researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of THC-dominant flowers and CBD-dominant sublingual extracts in a cohort of patients with low back pain. Study participants engaged in the daily use of extracts for one year, followed by the use of cannabis flower in year two.
Researchers reported, “THC-rich smoked cannabis inflorescence was more effective than CBD-rich cannabis-extracts for inducing symptom relief in LBP [lower back pain],” as assessed on a visual analogue scale and by a disability index. Additionally, patients’ use of analgesic medicines fell significantly during year two of the trial. No serious adverse events were reported.
Authors concluded: “Our findings indicate that inhaled THC-rich therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating low back pain and that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for chronic low back pain.”
An estimated 111,000 Israelis are currently licensed to use medical cannabis products. More than half of those patients utilize cannabis to treat chronic pain conditions.
Full text of the study, “Comparing sublingual and inhaled cannabis therapies for low back pain: An observational open-label study,” appears in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal. Additional information on the use of cannabis for chronic pain is available from NORML.