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Medical marijuana is no magic pill for chronic pain or PTSD symptoms, finds study
Posted in Drug Abuse, PTSD, Substance Abuse - 0 Comments

Generally taken to alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain, there is little evidence to prove that medical marijuana is helpful in treating either of the conditions. This has been suggested by two recent peer reviews published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Conducted by a team of researchers at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration, the research concluded that there is an alarming lack of high quality data from which to draw firm conclusions regarding the benefits and disadvantages of using cannabis for treating either pain or PTSD.

Researchers question effectiveness of medical marijuana

According to Sachin Patel, lead researcher, although medical pot was sought by 45 and 85 percent people for pain management and by 33 percent for treating PTSD symptoms, two systematic reviews, that included 27 previously published studies, failed to provide adequate data confirming whether it indeed helped alleviate most types of pain. The review only provided low-quality evidence that cannabis use may help neuropathic or nerve pain and that too by using nabiximol, the non-psychoactive element of cannabis derived from two different plant varieties, used as oral sprayers and not by smoking, as popularly thought.

Additionally, a separate analysis of five previous studies on cannabis usage also proved to be inconclusive in determining its usefulness in relieving the symptoms of the two medical conditions.

By contrast, researchers did find sufficient evidence to prove that regular cannabis use among the general population could possibly increase psychotic symptoms, the risk of car accidents and short-term cognitive impairment. They also referred to a study involving veterans with PTSD, whose findings revealed a small but significant worsening of PTSD symptoms.

Still illegal under federal law, medical marijuana is legal in 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. According to the researchers, while there is not much evidence to show that marijuana alleviates pain or symptoms of PTSD, existing research on treatment involving marijuana may be due to the placebo effect of the drug. In an editorial that accompanied the review, state physicians were asked to keep abreast of current research, educate their patients and make recommendations based on science.

Marijuana affects women differently

Addiction to drugs, including marijuana, affects women differently than men. Though women are just as likely to become addicted to and be more susceptible to drug cravings and relapse, they, in general, would avoid talking about their drug use in an attempt to escape being judged.

Additionally, women respond differently to marijuana. They might have frequent and stronger drug cravings and be more likely to relapse even after intensive treatment. Also, substance abuse affects women’s heart and blood vessels more severely as compared to men. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), women who use certain substances are more prone to anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

Marijuana addiction needs professional intervention

As marijuana addiction affects women differently, they also require altered treatment modalities. This is because women react to treatment procedures in a different manner and are also known to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms. One must realize that for those addicted to marijuana, quitting it can be a lifelong battle, which would require continuous and effective professional care.

A leading center for marijuana addiction recovery for women, Sovereign Health offers a comprehensive treatment program for marijuana addiction at its Chandler, Arizona facility. Designed to meet the specific needs of women, Sovereign’s facility provides individualized care to each patient in a safe and supportive environment.

For more information about our evidence-based marijuana addiction recovery programs, connect with us through our 24/7 helpline number. You can also chat online with one of our representatives for immediate assistance.

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