Australian Study Finds Cannabis Does Little for Pain

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By Roger Chriss, PNN Columnist A controversial study recently published in The Lancet Public Health followed over 1,500 Australian adults with chronic non-cancer pain for four years – one of the longest studies of its kind. All used prescription opioids and about half tried using cannabis for pain, some occasionally and others daily or near daily. Advocates of medical marijuana as a treatment for pain may be surprised by the findings.In the Pain and Opioids IN Treatment (POINT) study, Gabrielle Campbell, PhD, and colleagues at the University of New South Wales found “no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes.” “At each assessment, participants who were using cannabis reported greater pain and anxiety, were coping less well with their pain, and reported that pain was interfering more in their life, compared to those not using cannabis,” said Campbell, who was lead author of the study. “There was no clear evidence that cannabis led to reduced pain severity or pain interference or led participants to reduce their opioid use or dose.” These findings are not unique. Campbell was co-author of a recent review in the journal Pain that found that “evidence for effectiveness of cannabinoids in chronic non-cancer pain is limited.”  Cochrane reviews came to similar conclusions about cannabis for treating fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain. Australian Study Finds Cannabis Does Little for Pain

thumbnail courtesy of painnewsnetwork.org

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