Chronic pain patients report significant reductions in their pain scores following the use of cannabis, according to survey data published in the Open Journal of Anesthesiology.
Investigators affiliated with Hofstra University in New York and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane surveyed patients receiving care in a pain clinic setting.
Respondents’ average pain scores fell from 8.4 prior to using medical cannabis to 4.275 afterward. Participants also reported improvements in sleep and overall daily functioning.
The study’s authors reported: “Medical marijuana offers numerous benefits such as better management of pain as demonstrated by the participants of this study. The responses in this study showed a 50 percent reduction in pain levels after use of medical marijuana. Other benefits that we observed include decreased levels of anxiety, increased appetite, decreased migraines, reduced swelling, improvement in mood as well as an increased quality of life as reported on the surveys.”
They concluded, “[This] survey shows that medical marijuana is efficacious in chronic pain patients and further studies need to be done and access to the medication needs to be improved so as to benefit more patients.”
Those who consume cannabis medicinally are most likely to report doing so to address chronic pain conditions. Dozens of studies further report that pain patients typically reduce or eliminate their use of opioids following their initiation of cannabis therapy.
Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana efficacy: A survey,” appears in the Open Journal of Anesthesiology. Additional information on cannabis and pain management is available from NORML.