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
MAY 23, 2021
Neuroscience
Depressed People Have Different Levels of Lithium in Their Brains
MAY 23, 2021
Depressed People Have Different Levels of Lithium in Their Brains
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have found that lithium is distributed differently in the brains of pe ...
MAY 25, 2021
Health & Medicine
Cannabis: Could it Help Chronic Itch?
MAY 25, 2021
Cannabis: Could it Help Chronic Itch?
Chronic itch —clinically known as chronic pruritus — is characterized as an unrelenting sensation to scratch ...
MAY 27, 2021
Technology
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
MAY 27, 2021
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
How often do you watch T.V. each week? Each day? It turns out, the amount of T.V. you watch as a middle-aged adult could ...
JUN 01, 2021
Microbiology
A Closer Look at a Potential Bioweapon
JUN 01, 2021
A Closer Look at a Potential Bioweapon
Francisella tularensis is a naturally occurring bacterium found throughout the Northern Hemisphere that is extremely vir ...
JUN 01, 2021
Neuroscience
Low Levels Omega-3 Linked to Higher Risk of Psychosis
JUN 01, 2021
Low Levels Omega-3 Linked to Higher Risk of Psychosis
Researchers have found that adolescents with lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are more likley to devel ...
JUN 04, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Tiny Bone Marrow Models Help Tailor Treatments for Platelet Disorder Patients
JUN 04, 2021
Tiny Bone Marrow Models Help Tailor Treatments for Platelet Disorder Patients
  Scientists have developed miniaturized 3-dimensional bone marrow models that could help physicians to predict whi ...
Loading Comments...