Conventionally, people believe medical marijuana gives relief from pain. However, the common perception was rejected by the world’s longest study on the effect of marijuana on pain. The study, conducted by researchers from Australia’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales and published in the Lancet Public Health in July 2018, revealed that cannabis does not change the level of pain in the body, albeit it helps the patient sleep so that the pain is more tolerable the next day.
As the study was one of the world’s longest in-depth community studies on pharmaceutical opioids and chronic non-cancer pain, the researchers followed 1,500 people over four years to observe how pain interfered with their everyday lives. These people suffered from pain for a median of 10 years and were taking prescribed opioids for a median of four years. The participants also reported high rates of physical and mental health problems, such as anxiety. They were observed for their use of medical cannabis and if it altered their use of prescribed opioids in any way.
No clear evidence to suggest relief from pain
The study was conducted following the rise in the number of people experimenting with medical marijuana in an effort to achieve relief from their chronic non-cancer pain. However, the researchers could not find any apparent effect of cannabis on pain or in reduction of opioid dosage. Chronic non-cancer pain is a complex problem, so for most people it is unlikely that a single effective treatment would work, said lead author Dr. Gabrielle Campbell.
Accordingly, the researchers emphasized on the need to create awareness to communicate that there were “no strong findings supporting a clear role for cannabis” in changing or subsiding the levels of pain. “One of the things we think happens when people report benefits is the sleep and sedation effects it has. Often, when you get a good night’s sleep, your pain is a lot more tolerable,” said NDARC director Prof. Michael Farrell.
Status of medicinal cannabis
Despite growing marijuana legalization across the globe, the drug remains under the scanner in many countries because of its high potential for abuse. As a result, pot has limited accessibility in Australia as the country does not allow casual use of medicinal marijuana. Also, its cultivation for medicinal or scientific purposes is strictly controlled under the Australian government’s licensing scheme, which came into effect on Oct. 30, 2016.
However, researchers have so far identified marijuana’s positive effects on conditions including pain, nausea, loss of appetite, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Notably, studies highlighting the benefits of medicinal marijuana are less in number as conducting them is difficult due to the banned status of the drug and the need for prioir approval from federal government.
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved marijuana as a safe or effective drug for any indication. However, it recently cleared a specific drug product containing cannabidiol – one of the nearly 80 active chemicals in marijuana – for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Marijuana remains banned in the country under the federal law even as medicinal marijuana has been legalized in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
Treatment for marijuana addiction
Marijuana is rather known for its recreational effects. As a result, many people use the drug to get a high or experience its euphoric effects. In fact, according to the Naional Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most commonly used addictive drug leading to a marijuana use disorder (MUD) in 4 million Americans aged 12 years or more in 2015.
Marijuana addiction can be treated beginning with marijuana detox treatment. If you are looking for a reliable marijuana addiction treatment, Sovereign Health can help. We offer addiction treatment programs focusing on both physical and psychological effects of drug withdrawal. Call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives for more information on marijuana addiction and effective treatment programs.
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