We’ve already reported on five medical diseases that respond better to medical marijuana than prescription drugs. Now, we want to dive into the effects of medical marijuana on pain management. Is pot truly better or worse when it comes to long-term pain management medications?
Medical Marijuana and Pain Management
Medical marijuana for chronic pain: Current research
WebMD reports that “medical marijuana appears to be mostly safe for treating chronic pain.” They go on to describe a Canadian marijuana pain relief study that researched the safety of medical marijuana. This was the first and largest study done that focused on long-term safety of medical marijuana for patients with chronic pain. Although the study was focused on safety, researchers did note that participants appeared to experience relief from their pain and improvements in mood and quality of life.
In another Harvard-led systematic review of studies examining exo-cannabinoids for pain relief, the author concluded that using marijuana for chronic pain is “supported by high-quality evidence.”
Medical marijuana for chronic pain: Future research
One researcher was given a grant to study and compare the effects of cannabis and opioid pain pills over two years ago. After bureaucratic hurdles and lots of paperwork, the research study was finally given the green light to go ahead.
Two issues will be addressed during this study. One being whether or not marijuana can actually help treat chronic pain, and the second being how these results will affect the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic.
Opioid painkillers for chronic pain
Since 1999, prescriptions for opioid painkillers have increased 400%. This prescription epidemic has led to an even worse overdose epidemic, with approximately 40 people dying from an opioid overdose every day. This epidemic has become so bad, in part because patients must consistently up their dosage to feel the same pain relief over time.
Researchers are learning that the higher the dose patients take, the higher the risk of overdose and death. Many people who are given opioid painkillers for long-term chronic pain can wind up becoming addicted to heroin, because it’s easier for them to find, and it’s cheaper and more potent.
We’ve already seen evidence of how medical marijuana has affected the opioid epidemic in a positive way. In fact, states with legalized medical marijuana have seen a 25% decline in opioid painkiller overdoses. Another study done by the University of Michigan found that medical marijuana helped decrease the side effects of other medications and reduced opioid use by 64% on average.
At the end of the day, the researchers behind these studies and many other professionals and public officials agree “we need to do the research” before deciding one way or another on the benefits of medical marijuana for chronic pain management.
In the meantime, many states (including Nevada) have already approved the use of medical marijuana for chronic pain. Here at Las Vegas ReLeaf dispensary, we carry marijuana strains and other medical marijuana products that will help local and traveling patients combat chronic pain. Click here to see a list of strains recommended for chronic pain relief.
While the professionals take their time figuring out how effective medical marijuana is for pain management, our patients will already know which medical marijuana strains will work best for their pain. Stop by Las Vegas ReLeaf seven days a week, located just 500 feet from The Strip, to access legal medical marijuana for your pain management and other medical conditions. ,