Cannabis Associated With Significant Decreases In Pain Patient Prescription Drug Use

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Sixty five percent of chronic pain patients at 3 pain centers in Germany reported ceasing opioid use after starting medical cannabis treatment according to the results of a recent survey published in the German science journal Schmerz. Additionally, 60 percent reported ceasing the use of antidepressants, and 58 percent reported ceasing their use of anticonvulsants according to the survey.

In addition to the patients themselves, physicians also separately completed the self-developed questionnaire. Participating physicians reported that 61 percent of the study’s participants achieved “substantial pain relief,” 66 percent achieved better sleep, and 34 percent achieved improvements in their mental well-being.

The survey involved 187 patients from three pain centers in the German federal state of Saarland, all of which received at least one treatment of a prescribed medical cannabis-based product (CbMs). The cross-sectional study’s data was collected from January 1 to December 31, 2021.

“CbMs can contribute to a clinically relevant reduction in pain, sleep problems and muscle tension and can improve daily functioning in carefully selected and supervised patients with chronic pain.” the study’s authors stated.

“CbM can contribute to the reduction or complete cessation of other pain medications (antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids).” the researchers concluded. This particular survey builds on the results of previous research.

Data published earlier this month in the journal JAMA Network Open reports that nearly one in four pain patients residing in states where medical cannabis access is legal self-identify as cannabis consumers.

Numerous placebo-controlled trials document the ability of either inhaled or vaporized herbal cannabis to significantly mitigate pain in various patient populations, including those suffering from HIVdiabetesspinal cord injury, or with severe treatment-resistant neuropathy (nerve pain). These positive results have been replicated in clinical trials utilizing relatively low doses of cannabis as well as in trials using plant-derived cannabis extracts.

A 2017 report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, stating, “Patients who [are] treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.”


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