Can medical cannabis help with chronic pain? #PainAwarenessMonth

Cannabis has long been used as a form of pain relief. As part of #PainAwarenessMonth, we’re taking a look at some of the available research out there to see how medical cannabis can help in the treatment, and reduction of symptoms associated with pain – today we’re looking at chronic pain conditions.

What is chronic pain

Chronic pain, or persistent pain as it’s also known, is the term for pain or pain symptoms that endure for longer than 3 months. It affects one in four adults in the UK in some shape or form and can have far-reaching effects on both physical and mental health.

Can medical cannabis help the symptoms of chronic pain

In a 2018 American study titled ‘Chronic Pain Patients’ Perspectives of Medical Cannabis’ researchers looked into the effects of medical cannabis use among patients who were diagnosed with pain and chronic pain conditions.

Two thirds of those involved with the study had been diagnosed by a specialist with chronic pain, with a mixture of neck/back pain, neuropathic pain, post surgical pain being the most prevalent. Patients diagnosed with other forms of pain including migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer and IBS among others were also included in the study.

“Overall, respondents described in great depth how medical cannabis improved their treatment of chronic pain and enhanced their quality of life.”

75% of those that took part in the study reported that medical cannabis was effective in treating their conditions. We know from our own patient survey that 94% of patients surveyed found medical cannabis was effective in treating their conditions.

The majority of respondents in this study cited pain relief when answering the question ‘What do you like most about medical cannabis?’ Answers to this question included:

  • “It stops the pain,”
  • “Changes perception and experience of my chronic pain”
  • “It will break the cycle of chronic pain”
  • “It’s been life changing for my pain”

Some pain responses went into a little more detail:

  • “While it doesn’t take away the pain completely, it seems to numb some of it”
  • “I can tolerate the chronic pain a little better”
  • “I feel no pain…anyone who hasn’t had chronic pain would not even understand how good it feels to even have it gone for a few hours”

Overall, respondents described in great depth how medical cannabis improved their treatment of chronic-pain and enhanced their quality of life.

Medical cannabis could be an alternative form of treatment that offers much-needed relief. Alleviating symptoms of pain and discomfort can help patients enjoy a better quality of life, regaining independence and strength once more.

You can find more information on the types of chronic pain, symptoms and alternative treatment methods on our chronic pain page on our website.