Researchers in Canada say that smoking cannabis to relieve chronic pain is not only safe, but effective as well. We knew that, but in case you needed scientific evidence, here it is.
The study followed 215 adults (141 of these adults were current users and 58 of them ex-users) who used medical cannabis for an entire year and a control group of 216 chronic pain patients who didn’t use medical cannabis at all. These participants were patients from seven different clinics in Canada, all suffering from some form of chronic non-cancer pain.
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The participants using cannabis received flower that contained 12.5 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis) and were given the option to use the leaf however they see fit: vaping, edibles and smoking were all possible options. Most of the participants chose inhalation or vaporization, presumably because it’s easier.
After the one-year study, patients reported a significant reduction of discomfort and an increased quality of life in (aka, they were a lot happier because they weren’t in as much pain, prior to the cannabis use), when compared to the control group.
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Researchers concluded that the cannabis consumers did not possess a greater risk of side effects than the non-cannabis consumers. The side effects that the cannabis smokers did experience were noted as less serious and included coughing and sleepiness. The Canadian researchers also noted that there wasn’t a significant change in the consumer’s’ cognitive abilities as compared to the control group. So the people smoking cannabis to relieve their pain were just as functional as the people who abstained from it.
Aside from alleviating pain, the patients also noted a high reduction in anxiety, depression and fatigue, which further proves the multiple uses of medical marijuana.