Marijuana As Pain Therapy

Marijuana As Pain Therapy

With increasing numbers of chronic pain patients experimenting with marijuana to get relief, physicians need to learn more about the plant and its constituents to counsel patients appropriately about its safety and possible analgesic benefits, according to a leading medical marijuana researcher.

“Much of what we know about medical marijuana is anecdotal, so the challenge is to recognize that patients who say they get pain relief by self-medicating with marijuana may be right, and move forward in conducting more scientific studies to better understand its analgesic benefits and overall safety,” said Mark Ware M.D.

The New York Times has reported that worldwide about 15 trials of medical marijuana have been conducted. Tests have shown effectiveness in reducing pain from neuropathy, diabetes and fibromyalgia

The FDA has approved two cannabinoid medications, dronabinal and nabilone. They are prescribed for controlling nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and to treat anorexia in HIV patients. Other cannabinoid-based medications are under FDA review for treating cancer pain and other conditions.

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