Medicinal Cannabis Use in Sickle Cell Anemia
Approximately 100,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell anemia (SCA), a severe hereditary form of anemia in which red blood cells can mutate into a sickled shape causing severe pain crises that can lead to ED visits, hospitalization, and negatively impact multiple organ systems. Pain crises greatly impact the quality of life for SCA patients. Living with SCA can be stressful and often affects patients’ mental health, causing anxiety or depression (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2016). Opioids have been a treatment mainstay for the severe pain caused by SCA but the side effects of opioids, plus the risk of dependence, are issues that have led both patients and researchers to consider medicinal cannabis as a treatment option. While there is limited research addressing the treatment of sickle cell pain with cannabis some research does suggest that cannabis could have a beneficial effect on the management of both chronic pain and acute pain (Choo, Feldstein Ewing, & Lovejoy, 2016; Kroenke & Cheville, 2017). The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between medicinal cannabis use and quality of life for individuals with SCA. The primary goal of this pilot study is to gather a cohort of participants and administer a baseline survey that will be used in a larger study. The goal of the larger study is to assess the impact of medicinal cannabis available through Pennsylvania’s Department of Health-approved dispensaries in Philadelphia on the quality of life for individuals with sickle cell anemia (SCA).
Recommended CitationCarey, MPHc, Kelsey; Pollack, MD, Charles V.; Axelrod, MD, JD, David; and McAna, PhD, John F, "Medicinal Cannabis Use in Sickle Cell Anemia" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 269.