Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Survey of Patients' Perspectives and Attitudes

J Pain Res. 2021 May 5;14:1241-1250. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S278718. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Introduction: Cannabis products have become easily available and accessible after decriminalization of cannabis for recreational and medicinal use in many states. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been of increasing interest to patients and is being used to self-medicate a variety of ailments. However, very limited information is available to patients and providers to form an educated opinion regarding its indicated use to treat the many conditions this substance has been implied to be helpful for. The aim of this survey was to learn about participants' attitudes and views towards cannabis-based medicine (CBM) with a focus on perception of "CBD" and its potential role for pain management.

Materials and methods: We recruited survey participants from seven pain management clinics in Southern California to learn about their knowledge, beliefs, and personal experience with CBD products. After Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, an internet survey platform was utilized to administer the survey online.

Results: A total of 253 participants answered the survey. Participants were 45.4 ± 13.8 (Mean ± SD) years of age, the majority identified as white (56.1%), had an annual household income of less than $20,000, and were primarily insured by Medicare (22.5%) or Medicaid (43.9%). Among participants, 62.0% reported trying a CBD product [including products containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)]. The majority responded that these products have helped their pain (59.0%) and allowed them to reduce their pain medications (67.6%), including opioids (53.7%). They reported believing that CBD was a good treatment option (71.1%), not harmful (74.9%), and not addictive (65.3%). About half of participants (51.9%) report that they would be more comfortable with their physician prescribing CBD products. The overall attitude and experience of participants regarding CBD is reported as positive, while 91.9% of people expressed a desire to learn more about it.

Summary: In summary, most participants expressed a positive attitude about CBD products as a treatment option, reported positive outcomes when used for multiple different conditions, and would prefer to obtain information about and prescription for CBD from their physicians.

Keywords: CBD; cannabidiol; cannabis; medical marijuana; survey.