Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain Management

Recent medical publications and conferences confirm that the active substances in medical cannabis called cannabinoids in addition to THC have a wide range of potential medical uses in conditions ranging from glaucoma, chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain; nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy; appetite stimulation for AIDS-related wasting; and muscular spasticity. The area of most scientific research is the use of cannabinoids as analgesics for chronic pain management, and as an anxiolytic for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Medicinal Cannabis Patient's Alliance of Canada (MCPAC) conducted recent surveys (2013, 2015) on Canadians who use cannabis to treat chronic pain. The data from over 300 patients with chronic pain that have been able to access legal medical cannabis is summarized as the following: (1) Less pharmaceutical use, if not complete cessation (2) Reduced burden on their provincial health care system with less visits to physicians and hospitals (3) A reduction in dependence on social systems (4) Improved health and wellness with some even regaining their ability to attain gainful employment. An astounding 91% reported greatly improved quality of life since starting use of medical cannabis and not one responded with any comments of worsening or poorer health with cannabis use.