With more than 30 states allowing some form of cannabis, millions of Americans now have access to the drug in either medical or recreational markets. Over the past decade, research has shown that cannabis has potential as a treatment for conditions such as chronic pain without the side effects typically seen in pharmaceuticals. As a result, dozens of states have launched medical markets that allow patients with qualifying medical conditions to purchase and use legal cannabis for medical purposes.
A recent study from the University of Michigan has revealed that slightly more than one-third of adults with chronic pain have used cannabis to relieve the pain. The research project found that 31% of chronic pain patients had turned to cannabis for pain relief, with one-half of them reporting that cannabis allowed them to reduce their use of prescription opioids, nonopioid, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Dr. Mark Bicket, a physician and assistant professor at the institution’s Department of Anesthesiology, led the research project. Noting the surging number of patients who were reporting marijuana use as a pain reliever in recent years, Bicket said that he conducted the study to address the critical lack of knowledge about how cannabis can reduce the use of other pain medications.
While cannabis has become increasingly popular in recent years, research into the plant is still severely limited due to federal prohibition laws. Bicket’s study underscored the importance of future research on the metabolic effects of using cannabis for pain relief. He stated that one of the main reasons he conducted the study was that there was no clear evidence on whether medical marijuana use could lower or change the use of other treatments.
The study’s main findings, he says, were that most people who used cannabis ended up reducing their prescription opioid use. There was also a similar reduction in the use of over-the-counter pain medications and prescription no-opioid drugs, Bicket added. He also highlighted that the research pointed to the need for more research on the potential risks and benefits of using cannabis as an alternative treatment for chronic pain, especially since medical cannabis and other prescription medications were regulated separately.
In addition, Bicket noted that while cannabis had become quite accessible to the general public as a chronic pain treatment, not much was known about its safety and effectiveness as a treatment for chronic pain. Further research into cannabis’s effectiveness and safety could fill this critical knowledge gap.
The study’s findings were published in “Jama Network Open.”
It is interesting to note that entities such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are focusing their attention on coming up with THC-based treatments for chronic pain and other indications. Consequently, a time may come when these therapies are widely available in the mainstream medical system.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IGC
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