September 28, 2020 02:58 pm ETEstimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, isn’t something that many people associate with cannabis in a positive light. However, recently the CDC has been hosting meetings with medical cannabis patients as part of a larger project that includes gaining insight from those utilizing alternative treatments to manage pain. A mention of these meetings was within an official notice by the CDC released in July of 2020 titled “Management Of Acute And Chronic Pain Opportunity For Stakeholder Engagement.”
Why is the CDC Researching Alternative Options?
Within this notice, the CDC, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services known as the HHS, announced that they would be taking the opportunity to hear perspectives and experiences regarding pain management in chronic pain patients. This notice stated that the conversations would include, but we’re not limited to, the discussion of benefits and potential harm of opioid use.
Opioids have been at the center of a worldwide epidemic taking thousands of lives each year due to addiction and overdose-related to these drugs. Many throughout the cannabis community, including patients and medical professionals alike as well as scientific research, backs the efficacy of cannabis in treating chronic pain conditions as well as lessening the dependency on opioids within chronic pain patients.
Earlier this summer in June, the CDC closed its public comment period regarding pain management. During the open comment period, the public submitted over a thousand reports advocating for the use of cannabis and Kratom as potential relief options for those suffering from chronic pain. This is for good reasoning.
Cannabinoid Therapies Offer Hope Without Significant Risk
Cannabinoid therapies have shown much efficacy in relieving pains of varying sorts. Not only has cannabis and the compounds within been found to provide pain-relieving properties, but the consumption of cannabis also comes with a very short list of mild side effects. Many other pain management medications, however, come with a long list of potentially dangerous and even deadly side effects. Let’s take a look at some of the science behind cannabis as a pain management option as well as why the CDC is now taking a closer look.
The Science Behind Cannabis for Pain Relief
A study published on the NCBI titled “Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules” from 2018 concluded the following that cannabinoids have been shown to be effective in “different animal models of pain” including but not limited to inflammatory, neuropathic, and acute nociceptive. This study also found that there was substantial evidence encouraging the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain.
In another report published on NCBI, researchers concluded that THC and CBD are both “promising treatments for painful conditions that do not respond to available treatments, such as neuropathic, inflammatory, and oncologic pain.“
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Another study titled “The Effectiveness of Self-Directed Medical Cannabis Treatment for Pain” was led by researchers Jacob Vigil of The University of New Mexico was published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal and concluded that “cannabis likely has numerous constituents that possess analgesic properties beyond THC, including terpenes and flavonoids, which likely act synergistically for people that use whole dried cannabis flower.”
“Perhaps the most surprising result is just how widespread relief was with symptom relief reported in about 95% of cannabis administration sessions and across a wide variety of different types of pain.”
As you can see, the science is there, and these are only a few of the hundreds of studies available that support the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment option for various pain types. Millions of anecdotal stories also support science as cannabis has been utilized by people to address pain around the world for many years.
What Do These Conversations with the CDC Regarding Cannabis Mean for the Future
According to a report by Marijuana Moment, the ASA activist interviewed by the CDC, Dustin McDonald, who utilizes cannabis to treat the symptoms associated with Lyme disease, was highly encouraged by the last question asked to him by the CDC representative. That question was simply, “what could CDC do to assist in it advancing the conversation on additional research into medical cannabis applications to human health and health disorders, in talking to the lawmakers about the need to dive more deeply into researching all of these applications.” This question being presented offers great hope that these conversations are not falling upon deaf ears and that soon the CDC may be the much-needed fuel in the fire to help bring positive change to cannabis laws nationwide.
Do you utilize cannabis for the management of pain or chronic pain symptoms? Let us know and keep the conversation rolling in the comments below!
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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