A study was recently conducted at McGill University Health Center in Montreal. The focus of the study was on the safety of long-term use of medical marijuana among chronic pain sufferers. According to WebMD, the trial conducted was the “first and largest study of the long-term safety of medical marijuana use by patients in chronic pain.”
The study took place over a period of one year, and the results provided some good news for patients who suffer from pain and who use marijuana to treat it. The study revealed few serious side effects for patients using cannabis products, compared with people who did not use marijuana to treat their pain.
Study Reveals Few Side Effects For Long-Term Medical Marijuana Use
The McGill study followed 215 adult patients who were treating their chronic pain using medical marijuana. Researchers compared the outcomes of these 215 patients with 216 other adults who also had chronic pain but who did not use medical marijuana. The patients were chosen from seven different pain treatment centers spread across Canada.
Patients who used medical marijuana as a method of pain treatment were provided with leaf marijuana from hospital pharmacies. The leaf marijuana contained 12.5 percent THC. Patients were permitted to consume the marijuana using any method they desired, including eating the marijuana in food, smoking the marijuana, or using a vaporizer to inhale the marijuana.
After tracking outcomes of the patients for a full year, the researchers concluded the patients who were using medical marijuana had no serious side effects. There was no difference in serious adverse complications between the marijuana group and the control group who was not using medicinal marijuana.
Some of the users of the marijuana did have a 73 percent increased risk of some minor side effects; however, many of the side effects could be reduced or eliminated by changing the method in which the medical cannabis was consumed. If patients used vaporized cannabis, instead of other methods, they likely would have experienced few side effects or no side effects at all.
The focus of the research was primarily on the safety of long-term use of cannabis, rather than on the effectiveness. However, lead researchers did indicate patients experienced pain relief through the use of medicinal marijuana. Further, researchers also noted they observed improvements in both the mood and the quality of life of the patients who were using the medical marijuana to treat their chronic pain conditions.
The first long-term large scale study, therefore, seemed to have nothing but positive results for proponents of the widespread use of medical marijuana.
Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers know that when studies are performed to assess the safety and efficacy of marijuana use, studies show time and again the significant benefits to patients. More studies need to be conducted to uncover the full potential of using cannabis to treat products. Broad legalization on the federal level and nationwide could help to encourage further study of cannabis benefits.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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