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Tag: pain

back pain

Inhaled Cannabis “Safe And Effective” For Treating Lower Back Pain According To New Study

Since at least 1990, and likely prior, lower back pain is the leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, roughly 7.5% of the world’s population experiences some level of lower back pain.

The study defined lower back pain as, “pain in the area on the posterior aspect of the body from the lower margin of the twelfth ribs to the lower gluteal folds with or without pain referred into one or both lower limbs that lasts for at least one day.”

Lower back pain can be caused by a number of factors, including work-related injuries. For some suffering patients, lower back pain comes and goes. However, for many others, the lower back pain is chronic in nature and continues for weeks or months on end. In severe cases, the pain never goes away at all.

A growing number of patients suffering from chronic lower back pain are turning to cannabis for relief, including via inhaled consumption methods. According to a new study out of Israel, inhaled cannabis is safe and effective in those instances. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Haifa, Israel: The inhalation of THC-dominant cannabis flower long-term safely mitigates symptoms of chronic lower back pain in a manner that is more effective than the use of CBD-dominant extracts, according to observational trial data published in the Israeli journal Rambam Maimonides.

Israeli researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of THC-dominant flowers and CBD-dominant sublingual extracts in a cohort of patients with low back pain. Study participants engaged in the daily use of extracts for one year, followed by the use of cannabis flower in year two.

Researchers reported, “THC-rich smoked cannabis inflorescence was more effective than CBD-rich cannabis-extracts for inducing symptom relief in LBP [lower back pain],” as assessed on a visual analogue scale and by a disability index. Additionally, patients’ use of analgesic medicines fell significantly during year two of the trial. No serious adverse events were reported.

Authors concluded: “Our findings indicate that inhaled THC-rich therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating low back pain and that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for chronic low back pain.”

An estimated 111,000 Israelis are currently licensed to use medical cannabis products. More than half of those patients utilize cannabis to treat chronic pain conditions.

Several prior studies have similarly demonstrated that cannabis use is associated with reduced opioid consumption in patients with chronic back pain.

Full text of the study, “Comparing sublingual and inhaled cannabis therapies for low back pain: An observational open-label study,” appears in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal. Additional information on the use of cannabis for chronic pain is available from NORML.

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back pain

Study Finds Cannabis Extract Effective For Refractory Chronic Pain Patients

The most common health condition that people use cannabis to treat is pain. Patients can experience pain for any number of reasons, and to varying degrees of severity. For some patients the pain is only temporary, and medical cannabis helps during flare ups.

For others, pain can be so common in their lives that the pain becomes chronic, and in the worst cases, the pain can prove to be completely debilitating and not able to be treated by pharmaceutical medications (refractory chronic pain).

Pharmaceutical medications geared towards treating pain, even when they work, are often extremely addictive and the use of them can cause major health issues, including death. Cannabinoids alone, on the other hand, have never killed anyone in recorded human history, and in the cases of some patients with refractory chronic pain, the use of medical cannabis is very effective.

That was demonstrated in a recent study focusing on medical cannabis and refractory chronic pain out of Australia. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: The administration of cannabis extracts containing equal quantities of THC and CBD is associated with reduced pain intensity and improved sleep in patients with chronic refractory pain conditions, according to data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

Australian investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of whole-plant cannabis oil in a cohort of 151 chronic pain patients. Participants in the trial used the extract daily for at least three months. All of the subjects in the trial suffered from conditions that were unresponsive to conventional analgesics, such as opioids and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Trial subjects were most likely to be diagnosed with neuropathy, musculoskeletal pain, or arthritis.

Researchers reported, “Pain impact scores were significantly reduced across the cohort. Additionally, most subjects reported improvements in sleep disturbances and fatigue.” The majority of side-effects reported by patients were categorized as mild; these most frequently included sleepiness, dizziness, and dry-mouth.

They concluded: “This analysis presents real-world data collected as part of standard of care. … The results of this study demonstrated a significantly positive effect of [a proprietary formulation of] oral medicinal cannabis oil on the impact of pain. … Amelioration of the impact of pain confirms continued prescribing of this formulation and validates our observational methodology as a tool to determine the therapeutic potency of medicinal cannabinoids.”

Survey data estimate that nearly one-third of patients suffering from chronic pain conditions acknowledge using cannabis products. Among patients in US states where medical cannabis access is permitted, over 60 percent are qualified to use it to treat pain.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic refractory pain: An investigation of the adverse event profile and health-related quality of life impact of an oral formulation,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information about marijuana for pain is available from NORML.

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pain

Cannabis Effective At Mitigating Musculoskeletal Pain According To Survey

Musculoskeletal health conditions are a major problem around the globe. In fact, it’s the leading contributor to disability worldwide, with the World Health Organization estimating that as many as 1.71 billion people suffer from a musculoskeletal condition to some degree.

Virtually every musculoskeletal condition involves pain, with lower back pain being particularly common among patients. Pain can come in many forms when someone suffers from a musculoskeletal condition, ranging from mild annoying pain all the way to completely debilitating pain.

Thankfully, a growing number of studies are finding that cannabis is an effective form of pain management, including a recent study conducted in Puerto Rico. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain disorders report obtaining significant relief following their use of medical cannabis products, according to data published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

A team of Puerto Rican investigators surveyed 184 patients with chronic pain conditions regarding their use of medical cannabis. (Lawmakers legalized patient access to certain cannabis preparations in 2015.)

Respondents suffering specifically from musculoskeletal conditions reported an average reduction of 4.47 points on the Numeric Rating Scale following cannabis administration. Eighty-nine percent of survey participants said that cannabis was “more effective” than opioids for pain management – a finding that is consistent with other studies.

Authors concluded: “This study showed that the use of medical cannabis among patients with musculoskeletal conditions effectively reduced pain levels based on their NRS reported scores. In addition, most patients using medical cannabis considered that this drug represents a better option than narcotics (e.g., opioids) for adequate pain management. Additional studies on medical cannabis should evaluate whether the experience and perspective presented through this study could translate into satisfactory and consistent clinical outcomes.”

Survey data from 2020 estimated that one in five Canadian patients battling musculoskeletal disorders used cannabis to ease their pain. Among pain patients enrolled in medical cannabis access programs, most subjects report decreasing or even eliminating their use of opiates.

Full text of the study, “Patient experience and perspective on medical cannabis as an alternative for musculoskeletal pain management,” appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic SurgeonsAdditional information on cannabis and chronic pain is available from NORML.

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pain

Study Finds That Aerosolized Cannabis Significantly Reduces Pain Levels

Cannabis inhalers are not necessarily a new technology, however, they are definitely newer than some other consumption methods. It’s an emerging technology in the cannabis space.

Many medical cannabis patients would likely prefer to use an inhaler versus smoking cannabis, and I am sure that many medical professionals would prefer that patients use inhalers as well.

Researchers in Israel recently conducted a study involving a specific type of cannabis inhaler to measure its efficacy on pain among neuropathy patients. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Haifa, Israel: The administration of aerosolized cannabis via a novel inhaler is associated with long-term pain reductions in patients with neuropathy and other chronic conditions, according to data published in the journal Pain Reports.

Israeli investigators assessed the efficacy of cannabis delivered via a novel metered selective dose inhaler (The Syqe Inhaler) in a cohort of chronic pain patients. The mean daily stable dose used by patients in the study was 1.5 mg of aerosolized delta-9-THC.

Use of the inhaler over a period of several months was associated with reduced pain scores and improvements in patients’ quality of life. Some patients reported mild side-effects (typically dizziness and sleepiness) at the onset of the study, but few participants continued to report these effects throughout the duration of the trial.

Authors concluded: “Medical cannabis treatment with the Syqe Inhaler demonstrated overall long-term pain reduction[s], quality of life improvement[s], and opioid-sparing effect[s] in a cohort of patients with chronic pain, using just a fraction of the amount of MC [medical cannabis] compared with other modes of delivery by inhalation. These outcomes were accompanied by a lower rate of AEs [adverse events] and almost no AE reports during a long-term steady-state follow-up. Additional follow-up in a larger population is warranted to corroborate our findings.”

According to recently compiled survey data, nearly one in three chronic pain patients report using cannabis for treatment management. Among patients in US states where medical cannabis access is permitted, over 60 percent are qualified to use it to treat pain.

Full text of the study, “Long-term effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis administered through the metered-dose Syqe Inhaler,” appears in Pain Reports. Additional information on cannabis and chronic pain is available from NORML.

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