The use of cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain has been long debated, but in the face of increasing evidence of the profound health benefits provided by medical marijuana, the question of its safety has remained unanswered, but a new study finds cannabis is safe treating chronic pain.
According to a new study published by The Journal of Pain, cannabis is both safe and effective in treating and managing chronic pain. The study, aptly named Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (or COMPASS for short), was conducted over a one year period by Dr. Mark Ware from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and compared 215 chronic pain suffers who used cannabis against 216 chronic pain suffers who did not.
Study participants consumed 2.5 grams of medical cannabis containing 12.5% THC per day by smoking, vaporizing, or ingestion and underwent a variety of ongoing tests, including lung, liver, kidney, and cognitive functioning, as well as blood and hormone analysis. At the end of the study, doctors found that cannabis users had no greater risk of serious adverse health events than non-smokers. That said, doctors did observe significant improvement in levels of pain, symptom distress, mood, and quality of life among the cannabis users.
While it’s important to note that study members were self-selected, and most were regular cannabis users already, the results confirm that cannabis is both a safe and effective treatment and will serve as a benchmark study on the side effects of medical cannabis in pain management.