This article of the month presents results of a clinical study conducted in the UK and Romania,
which evaluated the efficacy of a THC:CBD cannabis extract (Sativex®) and a THC cannabis extract
in the treatment of 177 patients with cancer pain, who experienced inadequate pain reduction
despite intake of opioids [Johnson et al. J Pain Symptom Manage, 2010, in press]. Sativex resulted
in a significant improvement of mean pain scores on a primary outcome measure, a Numerical
Rating Scale (NRS) from 0 to 10 compared to placebo (improvement of -1.37 versus -0.69), while
the THC extract caused a non-significant improvement (-1.01). Conversely, there was a significant
improvement in total pain according to the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form in the THC-group
compared to placebo but a non-significant improvement following Sativex.
Keywords: cannabis, THC, cannabidiol, chronic pain, cancer, clinical trial.