International forskning

A Retrospective Medical Record Review of Adults with Non-Cancer Diagnoses Prescribed Medicinal Cannabis

Michael Morris 1, Richard Chye 2, Zhixin Liu 3, Meera Agar 1 4 5, Valentina Razmovski-Naumovski 1 2 4 5

  • 1South West Sydney Clinical Campuses, Faculty of Medicine & Health, University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW), Sydney, NSW 2170, Australia.
  • 2Sacred Heart Health Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia.
  • 3Stats Central, University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW), Sydney, NSW 2170, Australia.
  • 4Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia.
  • 5Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care through Clinical Research and Translation (IMPACCT), Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.


Research describing patients using medicinal cannabis and its effectiveness is lacking. We aimed to describe adults with non-cancer diagnoses who are prescribed medicinal cannabis via a retrospective medical record review and assess its effectiveness and safety. From 157 Australian records, most were female (63.7%; mean age 63.0 years). Most patients had neurological (58.0%) or musculoskeletal (24.8%) conditions. Medicinal cannabis was perceived beneficial by 53.5% of patients. Mixed-effects modelling and post hoc multiple comparisons analysis showed significant changes overtime for pain, bowel problems, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood, quality of life (all p < 0.0001), breathing problems (p = 0.0035), and appetite (p = 0.0465) Symptom Assessment Scale scores. For the conditions, neuropathic pain/peripheral neuropathy had the highest rate of perceived benefit (66.6%), followed by Parkinson’s disease (60.9%), multiple sclerosis (60.0%), migraine (43.8%), chronic pain syndrome (42.1%), and spondylosis (40.0%). For the indications, medicinal cannabis had the greatest perceived effect on sleep (80.0%), followed by pain (51.5%), and muscle spasm (50%). Oral oil preparations of balanced delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (average post-titration dose of 16.9 mg and 34.8 mg per day, respectively) were mainly prescribed. Somnolence was the most frequently reported side effect (21%). This study supports medicinal cannabis’ potential to safely treat non-cancer chronic conditions and indications.

Keywords: conditions; indications; medicinal cannabis; non-cancer; pain; retrospective review; symptoms.