Endometriosis is one of the main gynecological disorders that affect women of reproductive age. Patients often suffer from chronic, diffuse, poorly localized pain.Strategies to fight the disease involve drugs and hormone therapy – some cases also require surgical intervention.
However, this treatment is often insufficient and associated with high recurrence rates. Medical Cannabis emerges in this context, as a promising alternative for refractory patients, relieving the symptoms of endometriosis to provide more quality of life and well-being to these women.
In this content, we will talk about what we already know scientifically about the relationship between medical Cannabis and endometriosis, bringing evidence that shows the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in this clinical condition.
Scientific evidence on Cannabis and endometriosis
The Medical Cannabis analgesic,, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anxiolytic properties justify its use in the management of different gynecological disorders, such as menstrual pain, climacteric discomforts and complications from endometriosis.
Pelvic pain is the main symptom of patients affected by endometriosis. In many cases the pain is severe and cyclical, coinciding with the menstrual period and associated with heavy menstruation. Although Cannabis has a long tradition of use in gynecology and obstetrics, it was only with the consolidation of studies on the Endocannabinoid System that scientific researches have deepened on the subject.
An example is this extensive literature review, which presents the history of the millennial use of medical Cannabis in gynecology and compares it with ethnobotanical, clinical, and epidemiological reports related to the scientific exploitation of phytocannabinoids. The studies infer the therapeutic properties of the chemical elements of this plant for several conditions common to women, such as dysmenorrhea, dysuria, hyperemesis gravidarum, and climacteric symptoms.
>> You can read the full review here: Cannabis Treatments in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Historical Review.
This bibliographical review also discusses the use of phytocannabinoids to treat the multiple mechanisms of pain associated with endometriosis, presenting data and theories on the connection between changes in the Endocannabinoid System and the pathophysiology of pain in women suffering from this disorder.
>> You can read the full review here: The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management.
Effects of cannabinoids on endometriosis
A study carried out by Australian investigators from Western Sydney University shows that Cannabis can be useful in the treatment of both endometriosis and other gynecological disorders. The scientists conducted an online survey with 213 valid responses.The average age of the respondents was 32 years, with 79,8% being Cannabis users
The most significant results with cannabinoid use showed that among the participants:
- 95,5% reported pain relief and improved sleep quality;
- 81% perceived a “much better” response to pain control;
- 79% reported improved sleep;
- 61% reported improved symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
- 81,4% of patients reported that Cannabis helped reduce their use of conventional drugs and,
- More than half of them (66%) were able to completely stop using these drugs, especially miscellaneous painkillers.
>> Check out the full study here: Illicit Cannabis Usage as a Management Strategy in New Zealand Women with Endometriosis: An Online Survey.
Another study brings similar results evaluated women between the ages of 18 and 45 diagnosed with endometriosis. The interview questions asked involved ways of self-managing the disease, improvements in symptoms, and reduction in the use of drugs commonly used for this purpose.
A total of 484 valid responses were received.The results point that self-management strategies related to self-care and lifestyle were quite common (76%) in these women with endometriosis. Among the most used resources were:
- heat/vaporization (70%);
- rest (68%) and
- heat/vaporization (47%).
In terms of self-reported efficacy in pain reduction, the top-rated resources included the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and dietary changes.On a 10-tier scale, the use of CBD for pain relief scored 6,33 pointswhile dietary changes scored 6,39 pointsPhysical interventions such as yoga/Pilates, stretching, and exercise were rated as less effective.
>> You can check out the full study here: Self-management strategies amongst Australian women with endometriosis: a national online survey.
Although there is promising scientific evidence regarding the attributes of Medical Cannabis in combating endometriosis, safe and assertive prescriptive practice requires qualified education in the area, to individualize treatment, potentiate therapeutic results, and modulate possible adverse effects.
To learn more about how to dose cannabinoid derivatives, enjoy this complete guide prepared by experts from WeCann Academy and learn how to enhance the therapeutic effects of medical Cannabis.
The WeCann Academy is committed to your learning journey, providing disruptive knowledge to physicians who wish to prepare for this new frontier of medicine through the International Certification in Endocannabinoid Medicine.
We connect experts from around the world in a global community of Endocannabinoid System research and studies to link scientific knowledge and practical experience in the medical use of Cannabis.
Would you like to join us? Contact us and get ready to transform your patients’ results!
Armour M, Sinclair J, Chalmers KJ, Smith CA. Self-management strategies amongst Australian women with endometriosis: a national online survey. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019.
Armour M, Sinclair J, Noller G, Girling J, Larcombe M, Al-Dabbas MA, Hollow E, Bush D, Johnson N. Illicit Cannabis Usage as a Management Strategy in New Zealand Women with Endometriosis: An Online Survey. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021.
Bouaziz J, Bar On A, Seidman DS, Soriano D. The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017.
Russo, E. Cannabis Treatments in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Historical Review. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 2002.