A recent study from Bath University, United Kingdom looking at the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis was published in the Journal of Pain.


Cannabidiol (CBD) Products for Pain: Ineffective, Expensive, and With Potential Harms – The Journal of Pain (jpain.org)


They looked at 16 studies looking at the use of medicinal cannabis in chronic pain published since 2021.


The article states,


“Cannabidiol (also referred to as cannabinoids, and abbreviated to CBD) attracts considerable attention for promoting good health and treating various conditions, predominantly pain, often in breach of advertising rules”.


They alluded to some issues of the quality of CBD products currently being used, saying,


“Examination of available CBD products in North America and Europe demonstrates that CBD content can vary from none to much more than advertised and that potentially harmful other chemicals are often included. Serious harm is associated with chemicals found in CBD products and reported in children, adults, and the elderly”.


They looked tat 16 randomised control trials (i.e., the highest level of scientific evidence) and stated the following,


“16 CBD randomized trials using pharmaceutical-supplied CBD or making preparations from such a source and with pain as an outcome have been published subsequently. The trials were conducted in 12 different pain states, using 3 oral, topical, and buccal/sublingual administration, with CBD doses between 6 and 1,600 mg, and durations of treatment between a single dose and 12 weeks”.


They reported the following results,


“15 of the 16 showed no benefit of CBD over placebo”.


They also expressed concerns over safety saying,


Small clinical trials using verified CBD suggest the drug to be largely benign; while large-scale evidence of safety is lacking, there is growing evidence linking CBD to increased rates of serious adverse events and hepatotoxicity (i.e., liver problems)”.


They further commented on the impact of these type of findings,


“In January 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a new regulatory pathway for CBD was needed. Consumers and health care providers should rely on evidence-based sources of information on CBD, not just advertisements. Current evidence is that CBD for pain is expensive, ineffective, and possibly harmful”.


They gave the following perspective, concluding

“There is no good reason for thinking that CBD relieves pain, but there are good reasons for doubting the contents of CBD products in terms of CBD content and purity”.