Editor's Choice| Volume 48, ISSUE 3, P257-262.e1, March 2023

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Assessment of Medical Cannabis in Patients With Osteoarthritis of the Thumb Basal Joint

Published:December 07, 2021DOI:


      With the increasingly widespread availability of cannabidiol-derived products, more patients with hand and wrist pain are seeking evidence for use of these products. We explored current utilization practices of medical cannabis for treatment of pain in patients with a diagnosis of thumb basal joint arthritis. Secondary aims were to determine patient and thumb arthritis disease characteristics of cannabis users and nonusers and to investigate patient perceptions of the efficacy of medical cannabis in various formulations for the treatment of thumb arthritis pain.


      Patients with thumb basal joint arthritis were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes between May and June 2020. All patients received an invitation to complete a survey regarding perceptions of cannabis and related products. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed to gather demographic information and thumb basal joint arthritis factors, including laterality, date of initial diagnosis, and prior treatment.


      The survey was completed by 103 patients. Twenty-five percent reported a history of oral medical cannabis use, and 21% reported topical medical cannabis use. Twelve of 25 oral users and 7 of 21 topical users believed that the product was effective in relieving pain and consequently worth the financial cost. Of the patients surveyed, 69% would be interested in trialing an oral formulation and 80% would be interested in trialing a topical formulation for treatment of their thumb pain.


      Patients with thumb basal joint arthritis use cannabis-related products, with mixed reports on efficacy. Large numbers of these patients would be interested in trialing either oral or topical formulations of medical cannabis for treatment of their thumb basal joint pain.

      Clinical relevance

      It is important for medical providers to understand the current data available regarding analgesic properties of cannabidiol-related products to respond to patient inquiries about the use of cannabinoids in treating medical conditions.

      Key words

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