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Medical Marijuana Is an Alternative to Opiates for Pain Relief

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,

Chronic pain is difficult to manage, especially now that doctors are prescribing fewer opioid painkillers, which can lead to addiction. But a study found that medical cannabis, derived from the marijuana plant, may help ease the pain of cancer and other chronic conditions in older people. Researchers asked 2,736 people over age 65 with chronic pain to rate their pain on a scale of zero to 10. After six months, average pain scores dropped from eight to four for those who took medical cannabis by smoking, eating, or swallowing a capsule. Participants also reported greater quality of life. A small percentage reported dizziness, but there was no increase in falls. Of the participants who answered questions about medication changes, 18 percent said they had stopped taking opioid medications. Keep in mind: While the study found such links,  it didn’t prove cause and effect.
Source: European Journal of Internal Medicine, published online Feb. 13, 2018

 

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