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Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Canadian doctors and their patients helped create new guidelines for cannabis use and people in chronic pain.Researchers shows that cannabis can relieve chronic pain. Also, cannabis helps people get off of opioids. (Scherer, 2023). These guidelines were published late March of 2023. Doctors, patients and researchers developed the guidelines  and published these guidelines online in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research (2023 Mar 27. DOI: 10.1089/ can.2021.0156), and by the National Institute of Health.

Although some doctors are still reluctant to prescribe marijuana as a pain reliever, Dr. Alan Bell,  recommended prescribing cannabis-based medicine over opioids every time. Marijuana  has fewer side effects than a high-potency-high toxicity agent like an opioid. Cannabis has no known contraindications and is safer than opioid drugs. Marijuana is not physically addictive. Opioids are extremely physically addictive. Opioids have severe side effects. Opioids should not be used long term because of negative, and sometimes, deadly, side effects.


Examining the Evidence

People have criticized the lack of research surrounding the therapeutic quality of cannabis, so let’s examine the evidence. A massive literature and research review was undertaken. These researchers did not listen to criticisms and analyzed over 40 pain management students that included over 11,000 patients. “Almost half of the studies were randomized controlled trials and 12 of the 19 included systematic reviews focused solely on RCTs” (Scherer, 2023). Evidence showed that there were  people interested in studying and researching marijuana and how it helped chronic pain in people. A majority of the studies were supported the use of marijuana to treat chronic pain. Marijuana based medicines was shown to help with chronic pain, at least moderately. “Moderate” benefits are significant. These sort of benefits push doctors to be in favor of use cannabis to treat opioid addiction and chronic pain. The studies also indicate proper dosing and formulation tips to support the use of medical cannabis.

Research showed that cannabis and some opioids share several, helpful medical properties. This means that they can work together to fight chronic pain. Doctors are reanalyzing their pain management strategies. This is good for patients.

This report supports past research,  concerning using marijuana to treat chronic pain. It is a reliable pain management strategy. Last Chance Asylum published past research regarding using cannabis to treat chronic pain.

The current guidelines used four studies that showed the specificity of the combination of opioids and vaporized cannabis flower to manage chronic pain. These two medicines together help control pain. There are some side effects that accompany cannabis-based medicine. They include dry mouth, increased appetite, and concentration difficulties. These are considered as negative side effects. And, those side effects are far less serious than the side effects that come along with opioids (e.g. physical addiction with severe withdrawal issues, confusion, constipation, nausea). These two medications worked together and the end goal was to taper patients off opioids. Goal achieved.


Dr. Mark Wallace, researcher, used the algorithm from the guidelines for the dosage of cannabis as an effective alternative to using opioids. Dr. Wallace came to the conclusion that a dosage of 1mg to 5mg is the lowest effective dosage of cannabinoids that will relieve patients of pain. This small  dosage does not harm the patient mentally, nor physically, (Wallace, 2023). In 20 years of medical practice, Dr. Wallace has only seen 1 patient who was overusing medical cannabis. Patients do not want to take advantage of his care. They wanted to stay pain free, without horrible side effects of opioid addiction. The use of medical cannabis is healthier. 

Doctors need to use these new guideline algorithm to restructure chronic pain management. When Doctors correctly follow the guidelines, patients would be prescribed marijuana instead of opioids.

Be safe, do your research, like these doctors, and reach out to us here at Last Chance Asylum with any questions you may have! Last Chance Asylum supports peoples’ civil right to be able to grow your own medicine.  Last Chance Asylum has many resources to help you grow your own. Need seeds? Need How to’s? Go grow your Seed2Weed. We are here to educate and inform.

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