Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects around 700,000 women in Australia and dealing with symptoms can be very challenging. Patients report difficulty in managing symptoms and pain, however, studies are continuously being conducted to research the benefits of medical cannabis treatment for endometriosis and its symptoms. 

What’s Endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity.[i] When the tissue grows and bleeds, it results in painful menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis, intestinal pain, bleeding or spotting, and even infertility. 

 Unfortunately, 1 in 9 women have their lives changed by Endometriosis in Australia.[ii] The government estimates that the problem is more common in women aged 30 to 39 years,[iii] and an early diagnosis can reduce the long term impact of the condition.  

There’s no exact cure for Endometriosis, but symptoms can be managed with surgical procedures, hormone therapy, pain killers, and even medical cannabis. Due to the lack of effective treatment options, many women with Endometriosis are often open to try anything, and the cannabinoids THC and CBD have shown some promising results. 

What does the research say about using Medical Cannabis to treat Endometriosis?  

Research by the NICM Health Research Institute, found that 1 in 10 women in Australia reported the use of cannabis to ease their Endometriosis pain. Participants experienced improvements in inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, depression and sleep disorders, apart from reducing the opioids intake.  

Another study determined that 64% of participants noticed a decrease in pain and anxiety, as well as improved sleepwhen using medical cannabis treatments. [iv]  

A study exploring the endocannabinoid pathway and the female reproductive organs discovered an association between an impaired Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and conditions involving these organsThis indicates that the ECS may play significant role in modulating reproduction. The activation of the endocannabinoid receptors can potentially prevent endometriotic tissue from proliferating. [v] 

CBD and Endometriosis: 

 CBD has been studied and proven to potentially: 

 Stop endometriotic cells from migrating [vi] 

  • Interfere with innervation, [vii]indicating that the nerve pain can be alleviated
  •  Regulate hormonal balance
  • Inhibit vascularization 

 The reason that CBD has been prescribed as a treatment option for Endometriosis is mainly due to the fact that it’s not addictive, and the side effects tend to be mild in comparison to those of opioids and pain killers. 

 THC and Endometriosis:  

The University of Barcelona studied the effects of THC in female mice. Apart from the pain relief, it found a surprising result: cyst inhibition. THC can also control inflammation by activating the CB2 receptors in our body. 

 Scientific evidence has shown how cannabis could be a safe and effective medication for patients suffering from EndometriosisCBD and THC can be prescribed for this condition and can bring hope to many women suffering from Endometriosis. 

 It’s important to note that both THC and CBD can present side effects such as: difficulty concentrating, dizziness, drowsiness, problems with balance, dry mouth, anxiety and more. 

CanView does not endorse the use of Medicinal Cannabis without lawful prescription. Just like any Medicine, Medicinal Cannabis may have both positive and negative side effects on the user, and should only be prescribed to patients by a Health Professional with the authority and expertise to do so. The information provided by CanView is for informational and educational purposes, and is of a general nature. If you are interested in accessing Medicinal Cannabis please talk to your doctor and request a referral to a Medicinal Cannabis clinic.  

 End note:

Mohamed, A. (1971, July 17). Endometriosis: Causes, Complications, and Treatment. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/endometriosis

 One in nine Australian women live with endometriosis. (2019, August 29). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://public-health.uq.edu.au/article/2019/08/one-nine-australian-women-live-endometriosis 

Webb, C., & Webb, S. (2014, April). Therapeutic benefits of cannabis: A patient survey. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3998228/  Blasio, A., Vignali, M., & Gentilini, D. (2018, August 09). The endocannabinoid pathway and the female reproductive organs in: Journal of Molecular Endocrinology Volume 50 Issue 1 (2013). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://jme.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/jme/50/1/R1.xml   McHugh, D., Page, J., Dunn, E., & Bradshaw, H. (2012, March 23). BPS Publications. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01497.x

  Han, H., Liang, X., Wang, J., Zhao, Q., Yang, M., Rong, W., & Zhang, G. (2017, March 18). Cannabinoid receptor 1 contributes to sprouted innervation in endometrial ectopic growth through mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899317301245 

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