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As a painkiller, marijuana or, by its Latin name, cannabis, continues to remain highly controversial. In the eyes of many individuals campaigning on its behalf, marijuana rightfully belongs with other pain remedies. In fact, for many years, it was sold under highly controlled conditions in cigarette form by the Federal government for just that purpose.

In 1997, the National Institutes of Health held a workshop to discuss research on the possible therapeutic uses for smoked marijuana. Panel members from a number of fields reviewed published research and heard presentations from pain experts. The panel members concluded that, because there are too few scientific studies to prove marijuana's therapeutic utility for certain conditions, additional research is needed. There is evidence, however, that receptors to which marijuana binds are found in many brain regions that process information that can produce pain.

Return to Chronic Pain

See what others are saying

Comment from: Max, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I use marijuana for chronic pain (spasm in sphincter of Oddi) that varies from 0 to kidney stone level. Marijuana works, period. Eaten, smoked, vapor, tincture, all work with different delays between taking and pain relief. It leaves no hangover. I do not want or crave it the way one does opiates. One codeine and I want more. One does of marijuana and the pain tamps down and I'm content to read or make music. Dosing is simple because there is no risk of overdose (0 overdose deaths in US last year), so one titers the dose to tonight's pain and goes to restful sleep. I predict controlled research will validate what I say. Let's do the research on it.

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Comment from: BettyAnzy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I tried several strains of marijuana to attempt to treat my pain. Unfortunately, it was not helpful for me, actually making my chronic back pain worse. I use time-release morphine and oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I have seen marijuana be very helpful for others, it is disappointing not to find relief from a more natural medication. It is certainly worth a try for anyone who is suffering.

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Comment from: catwoman, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 10

I have been using marijuana for over 50 years to get high. Only recently have I used it for the chronic pain of bursitis/arthritis. It is the only thing that works for me without side effects. I am allergic to a lot of the strong pain killers and the others either make me have nightmares or edema. In the state that I live in, they have just voted not to have medical marijuana so I don't always get what I want. I live with pain most of the time.

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