The therapeutic use of cannabis has sparked much debate, with pain relief being the primary reason for its usage by millions in the U.S. Notably, cannabinoids, the key active elements in marijuana, have been linked to providing pain relief. But is this effect real, or could it be a placebo? A Harvard Health article explores this question, indicating that a substance resembling cannabis in look, smell, and taste may offer similar pain relief.
While medical marijuana enjoys high support among Americans, the non-intoxicating extract from the hemp plant, CBD, is gaining attention for its potential therapeutic properties without the associated high. According to Harvard Health, CBD is less controversial and is used by many for its perceived benefits.
For conditions like fibromyalgia, which are notoriously difficult to treat and have led many to seek alternatives to opioids, cannabis might offer a solution. A study conducted by Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., and cited by the University of Michigan, suggests that a significant number of fibromyalgia patients have found relief using CBD. Furthermore, patients from a dispensary in Ann Arbor reported a 45% improvement in quality of life after using cannabis to manage pain, as highlighted by University of Michigan News.
Despite these findings, it’s crucial to consider that the landscape of medical cannabis is fraught with misinformation. It is available in various forms, including gummy bears, dried flowers, pills, lotions, drops, and edibles. But the scientific community urges caution and the need for reliable facts from trusted medical professionals before considering medical marijuana as a treatment option, especially given that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved specific drugs for conditions like fibromyalgia, which include pregabalin, duloxetine, and milnacipran.
With the wide variety of delivery methods and claims surrounding medical cannabis’s efficacy, the question remains: does it provide genuine pain relief, or is the benefit attributed to a placebo effect? It’s a topic that continues to require careful examination and clinical research.