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Study: Medical Cannabis Increases Pain Relief, Decreases Opiate Use

In recent years, pundits and politicians have declared the uptick in opiate addiction and overdoses an epidemic.  Recent studies have shown in the 23 states where medical cannabis is implemented there has been a 25% drop in opium overdoses. Now an international study has shown that medical cannabis can reduce opium addiction, while at the same time improving pain relief.

The open label study published ahead of print in the Clinical Journal of Pain conducted in Israel title “The Effect of Medicinal Cannabis on Pain and Quality of Life Outcomes in Chronic Pain”, shows a decrease in opium use for treatment resistant chronic pain.

In addition to the lower dependence on opiates, 176 of 274 patients who completed follow up surveys also reported an increase in quality of life due to pain relief. Upon followup, the median score on the short form pain symptom survey dropped from 83.3 to 75.0. The pain severity score dropped from 7.50 to 6.25. Finally the pain interference score reduced from 8.14 to 6.71, and most impressive, the use of opiates dropped by 44%.  

The study reports, “cannabis in this open-label, prospective cohort resulted in improved pain and functional outcomes, and significant reduction in opioid use. The results suggest long-term benefit of cannabis treatment in this group of patients.”

Although medical cannabis is not for everyone: two individuals were removed from the study for adverse effects.

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