APR 12, 2021 11:14 AM PDT

Chronic Pain Patients Can Find Long-Term Success Using Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

Many users report immediate pain relief from using medical cannabis, but now a recently published study suggests chronic pain patients can find longer-term success using the drug.

The research by Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core collaborators at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Boston, was published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. It observed 37 patients with chronic pain who were evaluated prior to initiation of medicinal cannabis treatment and then 3 and 6 months down the road.

Analyses of the patients, many of whom had musculoskeletal pain or neuropathy, included their pain levels, clinical state, sleep, quality of life, and conventional medication use. It found a sustained improvement in the participants’ symptoms.

“Relative to baseline, following 3 and 6 months of treatment, MC patients exhibited improvements in pain which were accompanied by improved sleep, mood, anxiety, and quality of life, and stable conventional medication use,” the researchers wrote.“Reduced pain was associated with improvements in aspects of mood and anxiety.”

The authors also found that many subjects reduced their use of opioids over the trial period, though not to a degree that reached statistical significance. They concluded, “[These] findings are promising, as they underscore previous survey studies also reporting the reduced use of conventional medications, specifically opioids, following the initiation of MC treatment.”

Alongside this study, the researchers also studied a pilot group of nine patients with similar chronic pain conditions who did not use medical cannabis to treat their symptoms during the study period. Data from those patients “did not reveal a similar pattern of improvement as the medical cannabis patients on measures of pain or clinical measures between baseline and follow-up,” the researcher wrote.

Interestingly, the research also found different effects of different cannabinoids, with the results suggesting increased THC exposure was related to pain-related improvement, while increased CBD exposure was related to improved mood.

“[These] findings highlight the potential efficacy of MC treatment for pain and underscore the unique impact of individual cannabinoids on specific aspects of pain and comorbid symptoms,” the researchers concluded.

Sources: High Times, NORML, Pub Med

 

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
You May Also Like
OCT 19, 2021
Immunology
Mild COVID Produces Better Than Expected Antibody Responses
OCT 19, 2021
Mild COVID Produces Better Than Expected Antibody Responses
Over millions of years, the immune system has evolved to shield us against disease-causing pathogens that we encounter e ...
OCT 14, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
RSV Infections Can Modify Host Immune Gene Activity
OCT 14, 2021
RSV Infections Can Modify Host Immune Gene Activity
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are thought to be incredibly common; research has suggested that almost everyone is ev ...
OCT 15, 2021
Health & Medicine
Over Half of Patients Infected in the Pandemic Experience 'Long COVID'
OCT 15, 2021
Over Half of Patients Infected in the Pandemic Experience 'Long COVID'
About 236 million people are known to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVD-19. Researchers hav ...
OCT 19, 2021
Cardiology
Can Optimism Save Lives?
OCT 19, 2021
Can Optimism Save Lives?
Throughout history, optimism has been viewed as a cornerstone of resilience. In the words of Helen Keller, optimism is t ...
OCT 21, 2021
Microbiology
Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Onions
OCT 21, 2021
Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Onions
On October 20, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that an outbreak of Salmonella food ...
OCT 26, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
AI Diagnostic Looks for Bad Blood
OCT 26, 2021
AI Diagnostic Looks for Bad Blood
Blood cells originate from stem cell progenitors in the bone marrow, differentiating into an array of specialized cell t ...
Loading Comments...