Cannabis In The Treatment Of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Cannabis In The Treatment Of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

The tremendous prevalence of the usage of medicinal cannabis in the United States warranted the exploration of its economic feasibility. This content is a summary of the research from Cannabis and Cannabinoid research. It is however crucial to intimate that every information that you will be reading in this content is not our idea, and the full research can be read here (

A reproducible efficacy of cannabis in treating different medical conditions was however demonstrated by a growing body of scientific literature. The use of medicinal cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain is not well known to many, but it is now quite a fact. With several meticulous studies, one of which is in cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) model, there is ample data to buttress an exploratory study of the cost-effectiveness of smoking medicinal cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain as an adjunctive therapy.

The CEA model involved the adding of adjunctive cannabis to treat arms of published individual-patient simulation model of pDPN, also known as painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. We proceeded to adapt this model in the estimation of costs, QALYs, and the cost-effectiveness of augmenting standard therapy agents for the pains that accompany neuropathy with smoked medicinal cannabis, by including parameters for the stimulation of adjunctive cannabis usage.

Quite simply, the model entailed the stimulation of the cost and QALY results of one million different treatment-naive patients that were recently diagnosed with neuropathic pain. To analyze the cost-effectiveness of medicinal cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain, these patients were distinctly assessed for pain relief, mortality, adverse events, and adherence. Patients that failed to adhere to adjunctive cannabis had the experience of execrable pain relief via 2 cycles of adjunctive cannabis treatment.

Also, patients that had experience of unbearable or SAEs over the course of consuming adjunctive cannabis, were agreed to have failed cannabis and there is no room for a restart.
The effectiveness all treatment strategies, which lasted for a 6-week cycle each, were represented in QALYs. For the sake of clarity, 1 QALY is equal to 1 year in very good health. Evidently, costs, health state, time spent in that health state, pain relief, and adverse effects were all considered. The analysis aimed at evaluating if an adjunctive cannabis strategy was cost-effective in comparison with the conventional care, and also ascertaining the strategy with the utmost value.

In the analyses, adjunctive cannabis continued proving to be cost-effective using five and ten years’ horizons. However, despite successfully proving the effectiveness of cannabis to treat neuropathic pain, the model faced some limitations. There was the limitation of the overestimation of consumed cannabis. In addition, there was the limitation of failing to study the long term effects and tolerance of inhaled medicinal cannabis.
Our analysis resulted that as long as the efficacy and long-term effects are similar to our observations, the use of cannabis to treat neuropathic pain, in the aspect of cost-effectiveness, is to a considerable degree. In conclusion, judiciously using medicinal cannabis, together with effective therapy agents, can be quite beneficial to you if you have refractory pain


Citation: Tyree GA, Sarkar R, Bellows BK, Ellis RJ, Atkinson JH, Marcotte TD, Wallace MS, Grant I, Shi Y, Murphy JD, Grelotti DJ (2019) A cost-effectiveness model for adjunctive smoked cannabis in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 4:1, 62–72, DOI: 10.1089/can.2018.0027.

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