Is marijuana helpful for chronic pain?
A new study says no, reopening a fierce debate.
The research, published in the journal Lancet Public Health looked at a cohort of individuals with chronic, noncancer pain to see if marijuana was an effective treatment.
They also examined whether use of marijuana would decrease opioid use, a phenomenon known as an “opioid-sparing effect.”
The observational study took place in Australia beginning in 2012. It recruited 1,514 participants for a baseline interview.
The participants self-reported about their level of pain, opioid use, cannabis use, and mental health over the course of four years.
“We found no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes. Those who used cannabis had greater pain and lower self-efficacy in managing pain. Furthermore, we found no evidence that cannabis use reduced pain interference or exerted an opioid-sparing effect,” wrote the study authors.
“Cannabis itself doesn’t seem to be promising for chronic