Warm sunshine tempered by a chilled Pacific breeze this Friday afternoon on California’s north coast, with nearly-clear skies and a sunny look to the weekend.
In the ongoing enlightenment of the wonderous marijuana plant, another study on its health benefits, too.
Via a news release from McGill University Health Centre last Tuesday:
They found that patients with chronic pain who used cannabis daily for one year, when carefully monitored, did not have an increase in serious adverse events compared to pain patients who did not use cannabis.
(Illustration found here).
Furthermore, the study was detailed:
“This is the first and largest study of the long term safety of medical cannabis use by patients suffering from chronic pain ever conducted,” says lead author, Dr. Ware, pain specialist at the Montreal General Hospital of the MUHC and associate professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University.
“We found that medical cannabis, when used by patients who are experienced users, and as part of a monitored treatment program for chronic pain over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile.”
As part of the Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS), that started in 2004, the researchers followed 215 adult patients, with chronic non-cancer pain, who used medical cannabis, and compared them to a control group of 216 chronic pain sufferers who were not cannabis users.
The study involved seven clinical centres with pain management expertise across Canada located in Fredericton, Halifax, London, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
And even some precautions:
“It is important to note the limitations of the study,” adds Dr. Ware.
“Patients were self-selected, not randomized, and most were experienced users. So what we are seeing is that it appears to be a relatively safe drug when used by people who have already determined that it helps them. We cannot draw conclusions about safety issues of new cannabis users”.
The benefits of marijuana are enormous, and only in the last few years has there been any decent research into the medicinal aids included off the various parts of the plant — there’s a long list of ‘starting-up’ science in the use of cannabis for the treatment of such varied shit as Alzheimer’s, glaucoma and schizophrenia, etc.
The problem is the same with a lot of other shit — narrow-minded assholes.
From Nature last week:
The barriers facing even well-designed trials can be exceedingly high.
In the United States, cannabis is a schedule 1 controlled substance (it has no currently accepted medical use).
Studying the drug requires researchers to grapple with an alphabet soup of agencies, including NIDA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and until recently the PHS.
The cost of large-scale, long-term human studies can also be prohibitive.
These bureaucratic and financial barriers have led to something of a stalemate, where researchers have no robust clinical data, but also lack the wherewithal to produce any.
“If we just had a large funding source for even one good randomized controlled trial on a disorder that people care about, that would do the trick,” says Earleywine.
Yes, some some real-good gun laws won’t hurt, either, while you’re at it…