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Title: Medical Cannabis Superior to Opioids for Chronic Pain, Study Finds
Source: Waking Times/European Journal of Internal Medicine
URL Source: https://www.wakingtimes.com/2018/11 ... -for-chronic-pain-study-finds/
Published: Nov 8, 2018
Author: Staff
Post Date: 2018-11-16 21:19:31 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 204
Comments: 10

Sufferers of chronic pain have been faced with a perilous decision—risk a crippling addiction to opioids or find a way to live with the pain. A new clinical study has focused on medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids, and the results may be a turning point towards a safe, plant-based option for easing pain

A new study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine represents hope for millions of sufferers of chronic pain. Researchers at the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), found that medical cannabis can significantly reduce chronic pain without adverse effects, particularly among adults aged 65 and older. Use of cannabis, aka medical marijuana, was found to be both safe and effective for elderly patients experiencing pain because of another medical condition, such as cancer, multiple sclerosisParkinson’s diseaseCrohn’s diseaseulcerative colitis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

One of the head researchers in this study, Prof. Victor Novack, M.D., is a professor of medicine in the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS), as well as BGU’s Chair in Internal Medicine. He also heads the Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute. According to Prof. Novack, M.D.:

“Older patients represent a large and growing population of medical cannabis users, [yet] few studies have addressed how it affects this particular group, which also suffers from dementia, frequent falls, mobility problems, and hearing and visual impairments.”[1]

The study surveyed 2,736 patients aged 65 years and older, at the inception of medical cannabis treatment, and throughout the 33-month study period. Surveys indicated the most common reasons for using cannabis were pain (66.6%) and cancer (60.8%). Methods of ingestion included cannabis-infused oils and smoking or vaporizing the herb. After six months of cannabis therapy, researchers provided a follow-up questionnaire which sought to determine any changes to pain intensity and quality of life, as well as any adverse events that were experienced. 901 of the original respondents replied.

After 6-months of medical marijuana treatment (all statistics are +/-):

  • 94% reported an improved overall condition, and a 50% reduction in pain
  • 60% reported improved quality of life, from “bad” or “very bad” to “good” or “very good”
  • 70% reported moderate to significant improvement in their condition
  • 20% of respondents stopped using opioids or reduced their dose

Notably, the most common side effects reported were mild: dizziness (9.7%) and dry mouth (7.1%), a far cry from the high-percentage of opioid-related deaths that are linked to chronic pain.[2] BGU researchers believe that utilizing cannabis may decrease the use of other prescription medications, including opioids, and encourage further research into this plant-based alternative, especially as it relates to an aging population.

Chronic pain is a problem that affects an estimated 100 million Americans.[3] It is also one of the most significant public health problems in the United States, with an estimated cost to society of $560-$635 billion annually, an amount equal to about $2,000 for every person living in the U.S.[4] Meanwhile, the nation’s growing opioid epidemic sees 1 of every 550 chronic opioid users dying within three years of their first opioid prescription.[5] While natural alternatives to deadly opiates are rarely offered by medical doctors, medical marijuana may be the drug that bridges this senseless gap. Research is beginning to mount that shows more promise than the medical establishment can long ignore.

Neuropathy is a type of chronic pain that presents as tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, often due to nerve damage from complications of cancer or diabetes, among other causes. A 2017 meta-analysis of prior studies on neuropathy found that cannabis, particularly selected isolates called cannabinoids, can provide analgesic benefit in patients with chronic neuropathy. Cannabis can also be used as an adjunct to other pain therapies, potentially lowering the amount of dangerous synthetic medication that is required to relieve pain. A recent study on the Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids found that when cannabinoids were administered with opioids, specifically morphine, nearly four times less morphine was needed to achieve the same analgesic effect. This presents further evidence for cannabis as a means of reducing cases of opiate dependency and death.

While the politics of cannabis are exceedingly complex, the truth of this miraculous plant is becoming increasingly obvious: it heals the human body. The fact that it does so without the need for a black-box warning of Serious Adverse Events ensures that cannabis is the future of medicine. While clinical studies in the United States have been impeded due to cannabis’s classification as a Schedule One Controlled Substance (meaning the substance has no medicinal value), other countries have taken the lead. A UK study seeking to reduce chronic pain in advanced cancer patients not fully relieved from use of opioids, found that a cannabis extract composed of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol), two of the active constituents in cannabis, reduced pain by more than 30% from baseline when compared with placebo, with no serious adverse effects.

Beyond the realm of chronic pain, cannabis has been shown to positively support individuals dealing with post-traumatic stress. It has demonstrated effectiveness at calming the often-debilitating side effects of inflammatory bowel disease, aka Crohn’s disease. Isolates from the cannabis plant have shown promise at treating “incurable” diseases such as Grave’s disease and brain cancer, and work better than traditional medications for Alzheimer’s disease. With so much evidence of profound medicinal value, legislation based on old systems of control will not long hold back the tide. There are simply too many health benefits to be obtained from the cannabis plant.

For additional research on the medical benefits of cannabis, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

This is a headline I can well believe. The problem with CHRONIC pain is that it never goes away. You have to treat it in perpetuity. Opioids are stronger than cannabis, and so they rapidly and fully suppress the pain very effectively.

BUT opioids are stronger than cannabis, so in the process of suppressing the pain, the create a strong addiction, which then requires more and more and more opioids. And at a certain point, the heart stops or the mind stops, from opioid addiction.

By contrast, cannabis is weaker. Contrary to the pretense, it absolutely IS addictive - we all see that and we all know it. Who are we gonna believe, these "studies" our our lyin' eyes? Our lyin' eyes. We know better. When people say it's not addictive, they're blowing sunshine up their own asses - everybody with any common sense has seen in the real world that it is.

But here's the thing, with CHRONIC pain, the patient is going to get addicted to SOMETHING. He's going to have to take painkiller for life, so he's going to be addicted to opioids or he's going to be addicted to cannabis, or to something else. It is inevitable.

And if you have to pick a drug to be addicted to, cannabis is the winner by a country mile. Opioids will turn you into a corpse. Cannabis will simply dull you a bit, but ANY painkiller will do that.

So yes, without a doubt, cannabis is better for treating chronic pain. The patient will become an addict to the painkiller, and cannabis addiction is on a par with nicotine addiction, with the added benefit of killing a lot of pain. Opioids will eventually kill the patient. Cannabis won't. Easy choice.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-11-17   6:47:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Sucking noxious smoke from a weed is always good for one's lungs and well-being. I doubt very much that this nonsense regarding inhaling a narcotic into your lungs is somehow beneficial.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-11-17   8:09:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Deckard (#0)

Researchers at the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center ....

Oh yeah? Well researchers at the Tylenol Clinical Research Institute at Babushka University Medical Center found that Tylenol was just as effective as marijuana, was less expensive, legal, and well-studied with known side effects and drug interactions.

Meanwhile, at the Advil Clinical Research Institute, researchers found ...

misterwhite  posted on  2018-11-17   11:11:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: IbJensen (#2)

It’s not beneficial. It’s less destructive than opioids. Chronic pain sufferers already have a condition so severe they need a form of relief that is not healthy. Cannabis is less bad, that’s all.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-11-18   17:18:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Vicomte13 (#4)

Vilifying Oxycontin was a first step in getting approval of marijuana in every state of the union. Oxycontin works for severe pain as it has helped me through several painful recoveries from surgery. I never became addicted to it as I am a stronger person perhaps who had no need to be lulled into la la land after the pain subsided. Weaker persons who have no present or future find the numbing of their feeble brains to be a real pleasure.

Governments love pot because it can be taxed and I consider the approval of this noxious weed to be yet another act of government greed and evil.

Check out the results of wholesale use of this narcotic in several more years.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-11-19   7:50:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: IbJensen (#5) (Edited)

I never became addicted to it as I am a stronger person

I don't get addicted to things because I seem to lack most of the receptors that the body likes that drives addiction.

Nicotine literally does nothing for me. I don't know why people smoke or vape. Whatever that feeling it is supposed to give, I cannot experience it.

Similarly, Percocet and the other painkillers I've been given over the years for injuries. I understand that these things are addictive because I can read. But I myself literally felt nothing, no change of state. I guess the pain dulled, a little bit. Tylenol does nothing for me either. Aspirin - regular salicylic acid - THAT actually works very well for me. So whatever the receptors are for THAT, I have. Aspirin's a powerful drug, and it makes me feel pretty good to take one - the tension goes away. Percocet and the other thing (can't remember the name) were not as effective as aspirin. Because when I had the Percocet, it would not make my headache go away or dull the pain of the injury that much. It would just make me sleepy. I still had to take aspirin to get rid of the headache.

Given the strong effect that aspirin has on me, I am surprised that it's not a regulated drug. It's close to being a cure-all, for me. Really strong stuff. I like the relaxation that aspirin gives, and I will take an aspirin if I see the jar, for that relaxation and de-stressing effect that it has. No other painkiller I've had does that.

Caffeine does not do anything for me. I'll drink half a pot of coffee after dinner and go right to sleep anyway.

I ran varsity track and cross country for six years in high school and college, but for all of those thousands of miles of road work, I never experienced anything remotely resembling a "runner's high". I would have liked to. Instead, I just got to experience the grinding weariness and pain of running 10, 12, 15 miles at a time. My teammates would be in their groove zone, and I'd be jealous to know what that felt like.

Alcohol makes me sleepy and eventually, when I have had a great deal of it, causes me to lose my coordination and really, really want to sleep. But I'm always lucid, even at the deepest point of being drunk.

When I was anesthetized for surgery it didn't really knock me out. The things being cut and crunched were numb, and I was listless, but I was awake in there, conscious of what was going on, hearing the crunches and feeling the tissues separating - numb but there. It was like a lucid dream, but I was still there.

I would not attribute any of this to strength on my part, just body chemistry.

I would not want to be executed by lethal injection, because the anesthesis would not work. Guillotine seems best.

If they ever outlaw aspirin, I will be with Deckard on his drug war bit. Smuggling aspirin from Canada... When I was a kid down in the swamp by the creek, I'd pull a fresh willow frond off the tree and chew it. It was bitter but it made me feel good. Natural aspirin.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-11-19   8:25:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: Vicomte13 (#4)

Puff away and when there's little satisfaction there, try heroin.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-11-19   8:40:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: IbJensen (#7)

Puff away and when there's little satisfaction there, try heroin.

I don't really care what people do as long as they don't do it in the street and disturb the horses.

Hands off my aspirin!

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-11-19   8:46:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: Vicomte13 (#8)

They'll suck it up when they're driving cars coming towards you and in your lane.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-11-19   8:58:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: IbJensen (#9)

Yep, some risk is the price we have to pay for liberty. Some high people will crash cars. Some gun owners will shoot up schools. Doesn't mean ban the drugs and ban the guns.

It means that you have to remember we all die and there's something afterwards, and trust in providence. The laws won't save you.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-11-19   9:50:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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