A survey of cannabis (marijuana) use and self-reported benefit in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

Dean A Tripp, J Curtis Nickel, Laura Katz, Adrijana Krsmanovic, Mark A Ware, Darcy Santor

Abstract


Introduction: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a chronic pelvic pain condition largely refractory to treatment. Cannabis (marijuana) use has been reported for a wide variety of chronic pain conditions, but no study has examined prevalence of cannabis use, symptom benefit or side effects, or frequency in CP/CPPS.

Methods: Participants were recruited from an outpatient CP/CPPS urology clinic (n = 98) and online through the Prostatitis Foundation website (n = 244). Participants completed questionnaires (demographics, CP/CPPS, depression, cannabis).

Results: The clinic sample included Canadian patients and the online sample included primarily American patients. Due to differences, groups were examined separately. Almost 50% of respondents reported using cannabis (clinic n = 49; online n = 89). Of the cannabis users, 36.8% of clinic and 75% of online respondents reported that it improved their symptoms. Most of the respondents (from the clinic and online groups) reported that cannabis improved their mood, pain, muscle spasms, and sleep. However, they did not note any improvements for weakness, fatigue, numbness, ambulation, and urination. Overall, the effectiveness of cannabis for CP/CPPS was “somewhat/very effective” (57% clinic; 63% online). There were no differences between side effects or choice of consumptionand most reported using cannabis rarely.

Conclusions: These are the first estimates in men suffering from CP/CPPS and suggest that while cannabis use is prevalent, its medical use and benefit are unknown. This is an understudied area and the benefit or hazard for cannabis use awaits further study.


Keywords


chronic prostatitis; chronic pelvic pain syndrome; cannabis; quality of life; depression

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.2268

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