05/25/2010 - Questions and Answers

Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain?

By: Novoviva webmaster

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Question

I hear that marijuana is very effective for controlling chronic pain. Do you know where I can get a script for medical marijuana for my chronic pain.

 

Answer

Although you have posed a very interesting question, you have not provided important relevant information. Unfortunately you do not mention your age, what medical condition is causing your chronic pain, what you are presently doing to help relieve your pain or what your prognosis is?
 

Firstly, there is of course controversy over marijuana (cannabis) and it stems from the legalization of the drug for medical use. To date, marijuana is still classified as an illegal Schedule 1 drug by the Controlled Substances Act. It is defined as having "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" However, many states have recognized that medical marijuana does have medicinal uses. According to the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, thirty- four states have recognized the value of marijuana for medical conditions. There are physicians who say "that at the very least, marijuana should be moved to a Schedule II drug (a useful drug that can be prescribed by a doctor). If marijuana can bring any amount of relief to the sick or dying, it should be given to them." Further studies are needed to determine if marijuana has any medicinal value. The legalization of marijuana would make it easier to fund and conduct these studies. Science and medicine should determine the question of whether marijuana has any legitimate medical purpose. The United States should do more to encourage legal and open exploration of marijuana's potential, at least among physicians and researchers. FDA will continue to be receptive to sound, scientifically based research into the medicinal uses of botanical marijuana and other cannabinoids. However, in in non-USA countries there may be different regulations in place for medical marijuana.
 

This still leaves you with your chronic pain problem. This information here may hopefully be of some benefit to you.
 

Treatment for chronic pain is about much more than medication, .It can also involve stress relief and relaxation, physical therapy, improved sleep and nutrition habits, and exercise. Several types of therapy can help ease your pain. Physical therapy (such as stretching and strengthening activities) and low-impact exercise (such as walking, swimming or biking) can help reduce pain. However, exercising too much or not at all can hurt chronic pain patients. Occupational therapy teaches you how to pace yourself and how to do ordinary tasks differently so you won't hurt yourself. Learning to be realistic about how much you can do in a certain time period is beneficial. Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain through methods (such as meditation and yoga) that help you relax. It can also help decrease stress.
 

Lifestyle changes are also an important part of treatment for chronic pain. Getting regular sleep at night and not taking daytime naps should help. Stopping smoking helps, too, because the nicotine in cigarettes can make some medicines less effective. Smokers also experience more pain than non-smokers.
 

However, most pain treatments will not take away all of your pain. Instead, treatment should reduce how much pain you have and how often it occurs. Talk to your doctor to learn how to best control your pain.
 

Related Links
Medical marijuana - Physician's viewpoint
Research and thoughts
Chronic pain treatment
Further information on CP management
Stress Management

Created on: 09/12/2006
Reviewed on: 05/25/2010

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