Study: A Quarter of People With Chronic Pain Use Cannabis

Study: A Quarter of People With Chronic Pain Use Cannabis
High Times

With medical cannabis legal in the majority of states in the country, the number of adults who have turned to the treatment for chronic pain has likewise increased. That is the finding of a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan that was published in JAMA Network Open last week.  The researchers contacted 1,724 adults, 96% of whom (1,661) completed the full survey.  Among them, “31.0%…of adults with chronic pain reported having ever used cannabis to manage their pain; 25.9%… reported using cannabis to manage their chronic pain in the past 12 months, and 23.2%… reported using cannabis in the past 30 days,” the researchers wrote.  The researchers said that “more than half of adults who used cannabis to manage their chronic pain reported that use of cannabis led them to decrease use of prescription opioid, prescription nonopioid, and over-the-counter pain medications, and less than 1% reported that use of cannabis increased their use of these medications.”  “Fewer than half of respondents reported that cannabis use changed their use of nonpharmacologic pain treatments,” they wrote in their findings. “Among adults with chronic pain in this study, 38.7% reported that their used of cannabis led to decreased use of physical therapy (5.9% reported it led to increased use), 19.1% reported it led to decreased use of meditation (23.7% reported it led to increased use), and 26.0% reported it led to decreased used of cognitive behavioral therapy (17.1% reported it led to increased use).”  Thirty-seven states in the U.S. have medical cannabis programs on the books. Among adults living with chronic pain in those states, “3 in 10 persons reported using cannabis to manage their pain,” according to the new study. “Most persons who used cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain reported substituting cannabis in place of other pain…

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