Cannabis Becoming the Go-To for Chronic Pain Patients

Cannabis is known for being a great anti-inflammatory. So it should be no surprise that the plant is becoming increasingly popular amongst chronic pain patients - but a Harvard study tells a lot more.

cannabis for chronic pain

Recent research from the Harvard Medical School has found that cannabis consumption for roughly 250 000 chronic pain patients more than doubled during the timeframe of the study. 

Almost 1 in 5 South Africans suffer from chronic pain, and research conducted by the Harvard Medical School is suggesting that more people are turning to cannabis for chronic pain relief than ever before. 

Authors of the study commented that although “cannabis use was a taboo just a decade ago, increased widespread availability of medical and recreational cannabis coupled with social acceptability and its potential medicinal value has led to a normalization of its use in everyday life,”. 

The study was published in early July in a peer-review journal called Advances in Therapy perused data from nearly 250 000 chronic pain patients from 2011 to 2015. What they discovered was that cannabis consumption by these patients nearly doubled during the study window. 

“We found that cannabis use is increasing among chronic pain patients and a subpopulation of chronic pain patients (tobacco users, men, low household income, Medicaid insurance coverage, and certain chronic pain syndromes),” authors of the study commented. 

Authors did notice that this isn’t all that surprising, especially since there is an increasing body of evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in reducing inflammation and improving the quality of life of chronic pain patients. 

“With chronic pain projected to increase over the next two decades to a rate of one in three people from the current rate of one in five people, our findings foretell that cannabis use can be projected to increase even more rapidly.”

The study noted that cannabis has fewer side effects than common pharmaceuticals and offers greater symptom relief than opioids do. The study even suggested that cannabis may help people decrease opioid dependency. The authors believe that cannabis will become more commonly used in a medicinal sphere as we see greater worldwide acceptance. 

“As a whole, our results show that cannabis use is on the rise in patients with chronic pain and can be expected to continue to trend upwards in the face of increasing societal awareness and availability of legal cannabis.”

Now that we’re in the year 2020, surely these numbers have increased dramatically due to large scale acceptance in recent years.

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