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Is marijuana an effective painkiller?

News Posted Mar 17 2016

Is marijuana an effective painkiller? Experts agree that yes, marijuana can help many people with pain, but there are different types of pain that may not be improved by cannabis. Due to the federal ban on pot, research is few and far between, but it is clear that chronic pain and neuropathic pain, which can come from diabetes to chemotherapy, can both be treated with cannabis. Opioids have long been popular prescription pain killers, but the addiction and overdoses that come along with them have destroyed many lives. While doctors agree more research is necessary to determine the good and bad of marijuana, it is clear that states with marijuana laws experienced a 25% drop in opioid-related deaths after implemented. The Pennsylvania Senate is expected to pass the upcoming medical marijuana bill, sending it to Governor Wolf who has promised to sign it into law. 

Neuropathic pain is complex and common. It can be triggered by phantom limb syndrome, diabetes, chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus. It doesn't respond well to opioids, the addictive painkillers that also were in the news this week, due to new guidelines suggesting how doctors should prescribe them.

Original article: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20160321_Is_marijuana_an_effective_pain_killer_.html

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