Objectives: Headache disorders are a common cause of disability and reduced health-related quality of life globally. Growing evidence supports the use of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) for chronic pain; however, a paucity of research specifically focuses on CBMPs' efficacy and safety in headache disorders. This study aims to assess changes in validated patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in patients with headaches prescribed CBMPs and investigate the clinical safety in this population.
Methods: A case series of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was conducted. Primary outcomes were changes from baseline in PROMs (Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6), Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS), EQ-5D-5L, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire and Single-Item Sleep Quality Scale (SQS)) at 1-, 3-, and 6-months follow-up. P-values <0.050 were deemed statistically significant.
Results: Ninety-seven patients were identified for inclusion. Improvements in HIT-6, MIDAS, EQ-5D-5L and SQS were observed at 1-, 3-, and 6-months (p < 0.005) follow-up. GAD-7 improved at 1- and 3-months (p < 0.050). Seventeen (17.5%) patients experienced a total of 113 (116.5%) adverse events.
Conclusion: Improvements in headache/migraine-specific PROMs and general health-related quality of life were associated with the initiation of CBMPs in patients with headache disorders. Cautious interpretation of results is necessary, and randomized control trials are required to ascertain causality.
Keywords: Medical cannabis; cannabidiol; headache; migraine; tetrahydrocannabinol.