Native Texan discusses how medical cannabis administered in a legal state improved his quality of life. After years of physical labor, he sustained repetitive stress injuries resulting in multiple surgeries. The prescriptions he was given to manage his pain came with many side effects and over time lost their efficacy. That was when he decided to research medical cannabis. Cannabis has meant being able to stay productive and active, something not possible with his previous prescriptions’ side effects.
Medical cannabis is not legal for most Texans. Every Texans should be able to choose a remedy that works for them. You can find out more about the limited cannabis medical program in Texas here.
Medical cannabis resources related to pain, inflammation and opioids:
- Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates. States that have medical cannabis laws have a 24.8% drop in opiate overdose after year 2 of the implementation of the medical cannabis laws and a 33+% drop by year 5. – Marcus Bachhuber, eta al., “Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010” JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4005. Published online August 25, 2014.
- Cannabinoids (THC & CBD) are potent anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce pain and illness-causing inflammation at a cellular level. THC has “20 times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone.” – Ethan B. Russo, “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” British Journal of Pharmacology, 2011, 163, 1344-1364.
- Dr. Aggarwal found 56 articles about randomized-clinical-trials (RTCs) 38 published RCTs met his survey criteria for quality.. Of these, 71% (27) concluded that cannabinoids had empirically demonstrable and statistically significant pain-relieving effects, whereas 29% (11) did not. He concludes in his review paper, “Cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit pain in “virtually every experimental pain paradigm” in supraspinal, spinal, and peripheral regions.” – Sunil K. Aggarwal, “Cannabinergic Pain Medicine A Concise Clinical Primer and Survey of Randomized-controlled Trial Results”, Clinical Journal of Pain Volume 29, Number 2, February 2017.
- This clinical trial involved 21 individuals with severe pain who were taking sustained-release morphine or oxycodone. It found that vaporized marijuana augmented the analgesic effects of opioids. The authors reported that adding vaporized marijuana “may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.” – Donald Abrams, et al., “Cannabiniod-opioid interaction in chronic pain,” Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2011): 844-851.
- This trial found that “a single inhalation of 25 mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.” – Mark Ware, et al., “Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial,” Canadian Medical Association Journal (2010): 694-701.
- Ellis and colleagues reported, “In the present experiment, cannabis reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness equally. Thus, as with opioids, cannabis does not rely on a relaxing or tranquilizing effect (e.g. anxiolysis), but rather reduces both the core component of nociception and the emotional aspect of the pain experience to an equal degree. … In general, side effects and changes in mood were inconsequential.” – R.J. Ellis, et al., “Smoked Medicinal Cannabis For Neuropathic Pain in HIV: a Randomized, Crossover Clinical Trial,” Neuropsychopharmacology 34, no. 3 (2009): 672-80.
- This study investigated the efficacy of smoked marijuana in patients suffering from neuropathic pain related to a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, diabetes, and complex regional pain syndrome. Wilsey and colleagues concluded, “This study adds to a growing body of evidence that cannabis may be effective at ameliorating neuropathic pain, and may be an alternative for patients who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other drugs.” – B. Wilsey, et al., “A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain,” Journal of Pain 9, no. 6 (2008):506-21.
- This case series is based on 30 patients qualified to use medical marijuana under Canadian regulations, seen at a pain management center in Nova Scotia. All suffered from chronic, severe pain that had not responded to conventional approaches. On an 11-point scale, 93% reported pain relief equal to six or greater, and many reported relief of other symptoms such as spasticity, poor sleep, nausea, and vomiting. 70% reported being “able to decrease use of other medications that had been causing side effects (e.g., NSAIDs, opioids, and antidepressants).” – M.E. Lynch, J. Young, A.J. Clark, “A Case Series of Patients Using Medicinal Marihuana for Management of Chronic Pain Under the Canadian Marihuana Medical Access Regulations,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 32, no. 5 (2006): 497-501.
- 25% reduction in rx opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis. – Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010 Marcus A. Bachhuber, MD1,2,3; Brendan Saloner, PhD3,4; Chinazo O. Cunningham, MD, MS5; et al
- No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. – Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Whither medical marijuana? Contemporary Drug Problems 27