Pain lasting for several months, or persisting after an injury has healed, is considered chronic. Chronic pain affects not only individuals, but also their families, the health care system, and society as a whole. It may lead to other health concerns such as eating problems, sleep disturbances and fatigue Absences from school, work and social activities have been linked to chronic pain.People may lose or change jobs, and in more extreme cases, cannot work at all. Mental health may be compromised; chronic pain has been associated with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and suicide attempts. (Stats Canada)
The treatment options available for chronic pain are only marginally effective, and even worse the type of pain medication Doctors are prescribing such as opioids, are highly addictive and potentially toxic, with a myriad of negative side effects. So what is the alternative for chronic pain sufferers?
There may be some hope… Recently a small study (published in The Journal of Pain 2016) by researchers at the University of Michigan involved 185 subjects who required chronic pain management. The patients were given an online questionnaire focusing on their use of medicinal cannabis and pain medications.
The results of the 185 subjects surveyed demonstrated that…
- Medicinal Cannabis use was associated with 64% lower opioid use in patients with chronic pain.
- Medicinal Cannabis use was associated with better quality of life in patients with chronic pain.
- Medicinal Cannabis use was associated with fewer medication side effects and medications used.
As quoted by the lead author of the study, Kevin Boehnke ( a doctoral student in the School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences)“We’re in the midst of an opioid epidemic and we need to figure out what to do about it, “I’m hoping our research continues a conversation of cannabis as a potential alternative for opioids.”
Also watch informational video with Dr. Sulak who talks about how medical cannabis can significantly help chronic pain patients.