Study: Cannabis Associated with Reduced Opioid Use, Prolonged Benefits in Pain Patients

Study: Cannabis Associated with Reduced Opioid Use, Prolonged Benefits in Pain Patients

The daily use of cannabis by patients with chronic pain conditions is associated with prolonged improvements in pain management and subjects’ overall quality of life, as well as sustained reductions in the use of opioids, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Pain Medicine. A team of Canadian researchers assessed the short-term and long-term impacts of medical cannabis treatment in 751 chronic pain subjects. Participants in the study consumed cannabis daily for a period of 12 months. Sixty percent of subjects reported having no previous experience with cannabis prior to their involvement in the study. Investigators observed clinically significant improvements in patients’ pain severity “as early as one month after initiating treatment and [these improvements] were maintained over the course of the 12-month observation period.” In addition, patients’ “reported frequencies of fatigue, headaches, feelings of anxiety, and nausea decreased compared with baseline.” Patients who were taking opioids prior to their enrollment in the study reduced their daily intake of opiates over the trial period — a finding that is consistent with those of several other longitudinal studies, such as those here, here, and here. Investigators observed initial reductions in patients’ opioid consumption at three months. Patients further reduced their opioid intake at six months and again at twelve months. Authors concluded, “Taken together, the results of this study add to the cumulative evidence in support of plant-based MC (medical cannabis) as a safe and effective treatment option and potential opioid substitute or augmentation therapy for the management of chronic…

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Source : norml
Link to original : Study: Cannabis Associated with Reduced Opioid Use, Prolonged Benefits in Pain Patients
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