Study: Daily Cannabis Use For Chronic Pain Is Safe and Effective

kushBy Paul Armentano, NORML

Chronic pain patients who use herbal cannabis daily for one-year report reduced discomfort and increased quality of life compared to controls, and do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal assessed the long-term health of 216 medicinal cannabis users with chronic non-cancer pain who consumed a daily standardized dose (12.5 percent THC) of herbal cannabis compared to 215 controls (chronic pain suffers who did not use cannabis). Subjects in study were approved by Health Canada to legally use medicinal cannabis and consumed, on average, 2.5 grams of herb per day, typically via inhalation or vaporization.

Investigators reported that daily cannabis consumers possessed no greater risk than non-users to experience “serious adverse events.” Specifically, researchers identified no significant adverse changes in consumers’ cognitive skills, pulmonary function, or blood work following one-year of daily cannabis consumption. Medical cannabis consumers did report elevated risk of experiencing “non-serious adverse events” (e.g., cough, dizziness, paranoia) compared to controls; however, authors classified these to be “mild to moderate.”

Pain patients who used cannabis reported a reduced sense of pain compared to controls, as well as reduced anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

“Quality-controlled herbal cannabis, when used by cannabis-experienced patients as part of a monitored treatment program over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile,” authors concluded.

The study is one of the first to ever assess the long-term safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis. A prior health review of patients receiving medical cannabis monthly from the US federal government as part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program similarly reported that cannabis possesses therapeutic efficacy and an acceptable side-effect profile.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study,” appears online here.

TheJointBlog

5 comments

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    • kenny on November 30, 2015 at 8:59 am
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    I would like to sing up for this study I have conic back paine for years and have smoked pot for it and would like to study it with you

    • Bob on September 22, 2015 at 6:45 am
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    I have been smoking weed since 1968,in fact was introduced to its medicinal properties at the Woodstock.I do suffer from non cancerous chronic pain.I realized after a few months that it did not kill the pain but made it much easier to deal with.I recommend to anyone for almost any malady.Still though so many people,although legal for all adults in Colorado,some people here still judge and so conditioned to think it’s bad for anything,ignorant people are everwhere,ver scary that even though they know it may cure disease,thry still won’t touch it,sad bee sad….

    • Bob on September 22, 2015 at 6:45 am
    • Reply

    I have been smoking weed since 1968,in fact was introduced to its medicinal properties at the Woodstock.I do suffer from non cancerous chronic pain.I realized after a few months that it did not kill the pain but made it much easier to deal with.I recommend to anyone for almost any malady.Still though so many people,although legal for all adults in Colorado,some people here still judge and so conditioned to think it’s bad for anything,ignorant people are everwhere,ver scary that even though they know it may cure disease,thry still won’t touch it,sad bee sad….

    • Lisa Jackson on September 22, 2015 at 6:38 am
    • Reply

    Would it help with the pain of MS and Type 1 diabetes? Does it do anything for diabetes? I already have memory issues from my MS and brain making connections, how would it affect that? When will it be leagal in Missouri,?

      • kenny on November 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm
      • Reply

      Yes It would look at montel williams

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