Most patients in a recent survey of orthopedic outpatients considered marijuana useful for treating their pain, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma.
By David Royse | LedeTree.com
Nearly eight out of 10 patients said they felt marijuana could be used to treat pain, and of those that used it during their recovery, 90 percent said it reduced their pain.
Another key piece of data from the survey indicates marijuana might help reduce the opioid addiction crisis in the United States: Eight out of ten patients surveyed said they believed using marijuana reduced their opioid pain medication use.
“The majority of patients in this study believed that medical marijuana is a valid treatment and that it does have a role in reducing post-injury and post-operative pain. Those patients who used marijuana during their recovery felt that it alleviated symptoms of pain and reduced their opioid intake. Our results help inform clinicians regarding the perceptions of trauma patients regarding the usefulness of marijuana in treating pain, and support further study into the utility of medical marijuana in this population.”
The survey involved 500 patients in an orthopedic outpatient clinic affiliated with two different Level 1 academic trauma center hospitals in Massachusetts. Marilyn Heng, MD, was the lead author on the study.
Heng is affiliated with Harvard. Harvard’s medical school points out, however, that medical researchers aren’t unanimously sure how – or even if – cannabis works for medical purposes. The medical school notes, however, that it’s difficult to study marijuana use, and that 80 trials involving nearly 6,500 people have suggested that marijuana use may have an association with relief of some symptoms, but findings have been inconsistent.
Read the full study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.