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Does Medical Marijuana Truly Soothe Chronic Pain?

California, in 1996, became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Today, marijuana is legalized in 38 states, three territories, and Washington, DC, to treat health conditions. As several states in the United States have legalized marijuana, the percentage of people with doctor’s authorization to consume marijuana has doubled in the past few years, increasing from 1.2% to 2.5% from 2013 to 2020. 

But firstly, if you want to get relief from your medical ailments with the help of medical marijuana. In that case, you can contact an MMJ Doctor Newport Beach and get your medical marijuana recommendation for legal access. 

2 out of 3 Individuals Use Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain

For studies, researchers have analyzed data from 3,148 patients. Around 30% were employed, and 54% were female, with an average age of 56 years. 

Hardly two-thirds of the individuals were consuming marijuana for treating chronic noncancer pain, followed by cancer pain(6%), anxiety (4.2%), and insomnia (5%). 

As described in previous research, this study used a standardized questionnaire that was frequently used for health-related quality-of-life assessments among patients with chronic diseases. It shall include issues relating to general health, limitations in activity, problems of internal and external health, pain, energy, emotions, and social activities. The test comprises scale scores for eight domains, translated to various score levels ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the score is, the more inabilities there are.

Medical marijuana use offers genuine improvement, studies say.

After beginning treatment with medical marijuana, patients reported substantial improvements compared to baseline on all eight questionnaire domains. For the most part, the authors sustained those improvements after controlling for potential confounders, including the number of other medicines taken by the patient, the number of comorbid diseases reported, age, sex, and employment status. Approximately 6 to 18 percentage points of improvement can be attributed to medical cannabis treatment, depending on the domain.

Potential Side Effects of Medical Marijuana

During the study, 2,919 undesirable effects were reported, including 86 severe ones, with two considered serious. Adverse events are common, so we must be aware of the risks of THC prescribing and possible side effects. These potential risks must be considered within the framework of a patient’s medication regimen, possibly influencing the optimal THC dosage for that individual.

Most unfavorable occurrences contained typical and short-lived effects of THC (the component in marijuana responsible for its “high”), with only a small portion being severe.

The design of the study might overstate the advantages of medical marijuana.

Professor Keith Humphreys, of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who did not contribute to the study, points out that this research design has some flaws. First, the study didn’t consider every person who started with that product and hasn’t returned. Even less than half of them returned in their most successful follow-ups,” said Dr. Humphreys.

He says many people “removed themselves” from the study by not returning, and there was no follow-up with these participants. “Maybe it’ll make us think, ‘Well, they’re getting better.’ However, suppose we exclude all those people who are not responding to treatment or have an affirmative experience. In that case, the data can be really helpful for a study of any therapy,” he says.

Humphreys says the second problem with this study, which the authors acknowledge, is that there is no placebo control. “So it turns out that people who take this product are more satisfied than a subset of the population that is still being investigated, but if we give them some sugar pills, they’ll be much happier.”

“The available data are still extremely limited; the limitations of this study do not allow for new findings,” Humphreys pointed out, “and there is considerable difficulty in gaining further information as to the impact of medicinal marijuana on health and quality of life.” Multiple authors disclosed financial associations with the pharmaceutical and marijuana sectors, while the data collection and study were supported by a profit-driven enterprise engaged in medical cannabis product sales.

Lastly, you should remember that excessive use of marijuana can lead to several side effects. Still, controlled usage of marijuana can offer relief from your medical issues, studies say. To get legal access to medical marijuana in Newport Beach, California, you should have a medical marijuana card. With an MMJ card, you can buy marijuana from the dispensaries in your state. To find out the top dispensaries in your area, search for a dispensary near me.