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Medical Marijuana May Help Ease Chronic Pain

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Medical marijuana can probably help patients suffering from arthritis, improving their quality of life.

Arthritis is one of the most common health problems in the world, with over 50 million suffering from it in the United States alone. The term “arthritis” refers to a broad range of over a hundred diseases affecting people’s joints and the surrounding tissue. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and aching joints, New York Daily News reports.

There is no known cure for arthritis, but some researchers have pointed to the effectivity of medical marijuana as an aid in pain relief and reduction. Cannabis is known to be around twenty times more effective than aspirin at bringing down inflammation, and it can be a powerful sleeping aid.

A study from Israel found that 90% of patients who used medical marijuana reported feeling less pain, and stuck to their treatment regimens. Research at the University of Nottingham also reported finding that targeting cannabinoid receptors with marijuana products may assist in relieving knee joint pain among osteoarthritis patients.

But other researchers digress. There is little else known about how medical marijuana can ease chronic pain, according to two reviews in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This lack of evidence makes it clear that doctors should be specific about the pros and cons if they intend to discuss pot as a treatment option.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, agreed that it might be “too early to really understand how effective cannabis may be for chronic pain or PTSD or to fully understand the ways in which cannabis could provide relief.”

More research is needed to fully understand how marijuana can help with pain management.

Dr. Dermot P. Maher, an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Anesthesiology, added, “The potential benefits and harms of medical marijuana should be evaluated and compared against other available treatments, such as physical therapy, spine interventions, pain medications and surgery.”

For now, arthritis patients are advised to consult with their physicians first before undergoing medical marijuana treatments.

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