Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients who utilize medicinal cannabis require fewer hospitalizations as compared to SCD patients who refrain from the substance, according to clinical data published in the journal Blood.
Investigators from Yale University in Connecticut and from the Sackler School of Medicine in Israel compared rates of hospital admissions over a six-month period in a cohort of SCD patients. Authors reported no differences in patients’ hospital admission rates prior to their use of medical cannabis, but reported a decrease in admissions among those who elected to use medical cannabis over the following months as compared to controls.
“We suggest that MM (medical marijuana) allowed patients to improve their pain relief and thereby reduce admission rates,” authors concluded.
While the use of medical cannabis is relatively common among patients with SCD, it has yet to be clinically evaluated for efficacy in those with the disease.