Press Release

New Sheba Medical Center Study Reviews the Benefits of  Cannabis in Rheumatic and Autoimmune Disorders

Peer-Reviewed Study Published in the Israel Medical Association Journal Finds Cannabis to be a Promising Agent for Pain Alleviation with a Favorable Safety Profile.


RAMAT GAN – June 27, 2022 – Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest medical center and a Newsweek top-10 ranked world’s best hospital for the last four years, announced today the publication  of a study reviewing the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis consumption for the treatment of  chronic pain and inflammation in patients with autoimmune and rheumatic diseases.  

Cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids are compounds extracted from the cannabis plant that are known  in the scientific community to exert various physiological effects on humans. These effects vary depending  on the type of phytocannabinoid; the two main compounds being CBD and THC. This study examined the  literature on the effects of both compounds separately and together.  

“Proper clinical studies in the field of cannabis clinical research and the use of medicinal cannabis for the  alleviation of rheumatic and autoimmune symptoms should be promoted,” said Prof. Amital, MD. “Given  this overview of the relevant literature, cannabis therapy should be considered more strongly in  rheumatological conditions where inflammation and chronic pain coexist.” 

The study, Cannabis and Autoimmune Diseases, was led by primary investigator Prof. Howard Amital, MD MHA, head of Department of Medicine B’ and the Zabludowitcz Center for Autoimmune Diseases at Sheba Medical Center, and published in the Israel Medical Association Journal.  

The review investigated the impact of CBD and THC on many autoimmune and rheumatic diseases, such  as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, systemic sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Several studies included in  this meta-analysis showed a decrease in levels of inflammatory cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis with the  administration of cannabinoids leading to decreased inflammation as well as a significant analgesic (pain  relief) effect. Additionally, the positive impact of cannabis on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and sleep  disturbance for fibromyalgia patients were also observed.  

The study concludes with a cautionary statement that while there is much evidence of cannabis and  cannabinoid benefits in helping patients with autoimmune conditions, every individual patient’s situation must be carefully examined to determine their personal risk level in relation to odds for addiction and  interactions with pre-existing drugs.

About Sheba medical Center

The largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East, Sheba Medical Center, Tel  Hashomer is generating global impact through its medical care, research and healthcare transformation.  Sheba’s City of Health boasts an acute-care hospital, rehabilitation hospital, research and innovation  hubs, medical simulation center and center for disaster response on one comprehensive campus in the  center of Israel. A university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv  University, Sheba is shaping the future of healthcare, educating the next generation of care providers.  Sheba serves as a true hospital without borders, welcoming patients and healthcare professionals from  all over the world and consistently providing the highest-level medical care to all in need. Sheba has  been ranked a top-ten hospital in the world by Newsweek four years in a row (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022). 

For more information, visit: 

Media Contact: 

Steve Walz

[email protected]