(HealthDay News) — There may be significant and clinically meaningful improvements in overall health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and fatigue in patients with chronic health conditions during the first three months of prescribed medical cannabis use, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in PLOS ONE.

Margaret-Ann Tait, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues assessed overall HRQoL, pain, fatigue, sleep, anxiety and depression in a large real-world sample of patients using prescribed medicinal cannabis. The analysis included responses from 2,327 participants who had assessments before starting therapy, at two-week titration, then monthly for three months.

The researchers found that across the whole cohort, both EuroQol Group EQ-5D-5L utility scores and European Organization for Research & Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life questionnaire summary scores showed clinically meaningful improvement in HRQoL from baseline to mean follow-up. Additionally, clinically meaningful improvement in fatigue was seen, as was clinically meaningful reduction of pain for those with chronic pain. There were significant improvements for those with moderately to extremely severe anxiety and depression. No changes in sleep disturbance were seen.

“The study continues to follow patients over 12 months to determine whether improvements in patient-reported outcomes are maintained long-term,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text