So, the Minnesota Department of Health has some concrete data on its medical cannabis program for intractable pain. And the numbers say: “not bad.” The Minnesota Department of Health released a summary of the findings on March 1.
For those of you who do not know, “intractable pain” refers to pain you can’t cure, and you can’t treat to the point that it’s tolerable. It’s a kind of “oh God why is my life like this” pain.
And, for those of you who do not know, “cannabis” refers to the devil’s lettuce.
Moving right along.
This research study — the first of its kind — followed the initial 2,200 or so people enrolled in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program for intractable pain from August to the end of December 2016. The patients rated their pain level and how and whether the pain interfered with their enjoyment of live and general activities on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being “not at all, everything’s chill” and 10 being more of a prolonged “AAAAAAAAH” sound.
Based on that scale, 42 percent of the patients who originally suffered from moderate to high pain levels experienced a 30 percent (or more) pain reduction over the course of the study. Thirty percent is sort of the magic number used in these sorts of pain studies to indicate “significant” improvement. In addition, 22 percent of patients both achieved and maintained at least 30 percent pain reduction after just four months.
And there’s more good news. The study also found that of the roughly 350 patients who self-reported taking opioid medication when they started taking medical cannabis, 221 reduced or eliminated opioid use after six months. Patients also reported