A report released recently by the Washington D.C. based National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) confirmed that cannabis is effective at alleviating chronic pain. Due to the fact that we are in the grasp of an opioid epidemic, this report is a welcome scientific confirmation toward finding an option to replace opioids. The report also highlights how off the mark the DEA is in maintaining its Schedule 1 status of marijuana and its claim that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use.”
In addition to the NASEM study, there is a growing body of authoritative research that proves the DEA to be emphatically wrong and clearly lying. Not surprisingly, physicians still want more research to help them decide when cannabis may help a patient and when something else is a better idea. Pain is not only hard to explain but difficult to measure.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, “Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision.” Painful sensations are associated with the brain, which is its way of communicating to us that something is wrong. We also know that everyone reacts to brain stimuli differently, thus the seemingly endless methods for pain therapy. According to NASEM, research shows that marijuana, vaped or smoked, is effective in easing pain because of the natural cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, which physicians think play a role in pain control.
The report, according to Business Insider, contains the most up-to-date research on cannabis available. Although the exact mechanisms showing how marijuana relieves pain are not fully understood yet. It could be awhile before necessary answers are available. According to the NIH, almost 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. The NIH confirmed that pain is the leading cause of long-term disability. This explains the country’s problem with opioids. The increase in opioid use has prompted some rational legislators, like Elizabeth Warren, to urge that the Centers for Disease Control undertake research on cannabis as an alternative to the opioids that are devastating the United States.