Efficacy of cannabis on endometriosis symptoms

Efficacy of cannabis on endometriosis symptoms

Canadian women are also utilizing legally obtained and quality-assured products to manage endometriosis symptoms

Key Points


  • The consumption of cannabis may be helpful in relieving gastrointestinal symptoms and pain in endometriosis patients.


  • With its debilitating symptoms, endometriosis is a disease that affects a patient’s everyday life in many aspects.
  • Controlling the symptoms in an efficient and easy way could help patients.

What’s done here

  • This is a research study that investigated the efficacy of cannabis ingestion on self-reported endometriosis patients.
  • To track the data, a smartphone application called Strainprint was followed.
  • A total of 252 participants shared their data on this application and used it to record the dosage, usage methods, and symptoms.

Key results

  • Orally ingested cannabis products were shown to be effective in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms related to endometriosis.
  • Inhalation methods provided fast responses therefore were more frequently preferred by the patients for pain relief.
  • Topical forms were used less commonly but were found to be very effective.
  • Inhaled methods had a high delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to cannabidiol ratio.
  • As the age increased, the efficacy of cannabis also increased.


  • The data was cross-sectional, included regular users rather than de novo use longitudinally and patients are not surgical-pathologically diagnosed endometriosis.
  • The predominant dosage form reported by the application was the dried cannabis flower.

Lay Summary

Endometriosis is related to a wide range of symptoms that affect the quality of life of patients in many aspects. Studies have shown malfunctions in the endocannabinoid system in endometriosis patients which led to the idea to target this pathway in the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain.

In a research study performed by Sinclair et al. from Australia and the United Kingdom the consumption of cannabis in order to alleviate endometriosis-related symptoms was analyzed. The data was tracked using a smartphone application called Stainprint. The study was published in the October 2021 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

A total of 252 participants who identified themselves as having endometriosis were included in the study. They used the Stainprint application to record their sessions of cannabis use. The dosage, the method of usage (inhaled, orally ingested, or topical), and the symptoms were all recorded on the application by the patients. The results revealed the mean age to be 35. The most commonly used method for cannabis consumption was found to be the inhaled forms(64.7%) with vaporizers being the first choice followed by orally ingested forms.

The recorded symptoms included pelvic pain, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, cramps, depression, and low libido. In terms of the reason for usage, pelvic pain had the highest rate with 42.4% of all patients followed by gastrointestinal symptoms and cramps. The highest median dosage was seen to be used with inhaled forms whereas the lowest was seen with oral forms.

The application database included data about the licensed medicinal Cannabis producers, with the records of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations and ratios. Even though THC/CBD ratios varied between different methods, the inhaled methods showed a high ratio compared to the others whereas ingestion methods had a high opposite ratio (CBD/THC).

The usage of cannabis had its most prominent effect on gastrointestinal symptoms and this result was particularly higher with the usage of ingestion methods. Ingestion methods were also proven to be effective in mood swings. Inhaled forms worked better for pain symptoms. Older women were found to have better efficacy which the authors thought to be a result of the change in hormone levels and pain perception by age. Authors also argued that inhalation of cannabis products may have been chosen for acute symptom relief however endometriosis is a condition where acute and chronic pain occurs simultaneously but patients may have chosen the inhalation method because they wanted immediate action and it was easier to use. They conclude by saying that clinical trials investigating the efficacy and tolerability of cannabis products are needed.

Research Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34699540/

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EndoNews highlights the latest peer-reviewed scientific research and medical literature that focuses on endometriosis. We are unbiased in our summaries of recently-published endometriosis research. EndoNews does not provide medical advice or opinions on the best form of treatment. We highly stress the importance of not using EndoNews as a substitute for seeking an experienced physician.