Some people find medical cannabis helpful for chronic pain, especially in the short term, but there are questions about long-term effectiveness and safety. Cannabis wasn’t recommended by Mayo Clinic when I attended their Pain Rehabilitation Center in 2018 nor is it recommended by the International Association for the Study of Pain.
A new systematic review and meta-analysis published November 28, 2022, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests cannabis is no better at relieving pain than a placebo. And relying on any sort of passive treatment like medicines and supplements can create dependence on the agent - producing a sense of helplessness and reminding the user of the pain.
I have found I don’t need medicine or supplements to manage my chronic pain. Of course, your experience may differ. I know mine did earlier in my pain journey. My relief came by changing how I think about, feel about, and behave around the pain with pain rehabilitation using self-management.
Tom Bowen is a chronic pain patient who turned into an advocate, educator, and collaborator.
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