The Uses Of Medical Marijuana In Treating Pain

2012-11-23 | |
Last updated: 2015-01-09

Managing Nerve Pain Using Cannabis

Another condition for which marijuana is beneficial in managing pain is in the case of nerve pain or neuropathy. The condition develops when nerves begin sending pain signals even without an injury. The pain is typically hard to treat and chronic, but research from the University of California, San Francisco found that marijuana did offer pain relief. Their study found that smoking marijuana reduced pain by one third compared to patients who did not use the drug. More than 50% of patients in the study were able to reduce their level of pain by more than 30%.

These findings are significant considering that neuropathic pain is common and poorly treated amongst patients with HIV and Diabetes.

Preventing The Pain From Chemotherapy Through Marijuana Use

One last way in which marijuana can aid in reducing pain is amongst cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some of these chemotherapy drugs can cause nerve pain or neuropathy over time. Researchers from Temple University found that the second most common chemical that is extracted from marijuana may actually prevent the development of neuropathy when such chemotherapy drugs are used. There studies saw significant decreases in the development of neuropathy between patient that took the drug and those who did not.

Conclusions

While few of us would intentionally prevent the use of medication by those in pain, the use of medical marijuana is an example where belief systems interfere with individual health. The limited research to date indicates that marijuana has potential in the treatment of disease and the management of pain. If our governments would simply separate the illegal use of drugs from their legitimate uses, many patients might benefit. At the same time, many in the medical community would agree that managing cannabis abuse among patients would be easier than managing abuse of morphine-like pain medications.

Fortunately, researchers are pushing on governments to better manage marijuana so that legitimate study may take place. Just last month, the Massachusetts Medical Society requested to the US Drug Enforcement Administration that marijuana be reclassified. This would allow the now illegal substance to be studied by many more organizations. If such research were allowed to occur, it could eventually lead to medications in pill format that could be far easier for the concerned segments of our society to swallow.

Related Links

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acr.21732/abstract
http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/10/18/research-into-marijuana-medical-benefits-limited-scientists-cite-challenge-studying-illegal-drug/f6Ydip4xF5VfFWEV9mpwYJ/story.html
http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/05/14/cmaj.110837
http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/83/11/1125.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17974490
http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/images/pdfs/Abrams_2007.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249239/
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1477-7517-9-1.pdf

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Category: Healthcare Politics, Medical Research, Medical Treatment

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