Science & Medicine:Natural Sciences
George-Using various forms of Cannabis to treat Chronic Pain
George stopped by the house one night to have a chat with me. George suffers from chronic pain from a horrible construction accident that changed his life forever. George was taking Percocet for 8 years after his accident that left him walking with a cane and limp. After 5 years of the Percs left George's teeth rotting and his stomach in a constant state of nausea. After 8 years George was taking 90 pills a month. That totals to over 8000 pills his body had to process. That takes a toll on the entire body and mind. We got into the severe opiate epidemic on our hands in the U.S. as he has seen too many friends and family go down the dark road of no return. He wasn't going to be another number. Welcome to Georges story.
In a comprehensive, Harvard-led systematic review of 28 studies examining the efficacy of exo-cannabinoids (e.g. synthetic formulations or cannabinoids from the plant) to treat various pain and medical issues, the author concluded, "Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high quality evidence.”
Of the studies reviewed, six out of six general chronic pain studies and five out of five neuropathic pain studies found a significant improvement in symptoms among patients. Notably, while most of the studies were limited to synthetic preparations of cannabinoids, three of the five neuropathic pain studies investigated “smoked” cannabis, while two examined an oral spray preparation
Dr. Donald Abrams, a professor and Chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, supports cannabis to treat chronic pain, suggesting the following:
“Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer. However, if a patient is already using opioids, I would urge them not to make any drastic changes to their treatment protocol without close supervision by their physician."
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