Tyesha Nelson isn’t down on medical marijuana, even though it didn’t help her with her intractable pain.
The 31-year Duluth, Minn., woman “was placing all my bets on the medical marijuana” to relieve the pain from the rheumatoid arthritis with which she had been diagnosed at age 23, she said Wednesday.
She had a dose in August 2016, soon after intractable pain was added as an approved condition for treatment with medical cannabis in Minnesota. Not only did it fail to relieve her pain, Nelson said, it “gave me the worst anxiety I ever experienced in my life.”
After trying it again last July with the same results, Nelson called the pharmacist at cannabis provider LeafLine Labs in Hibbing. He told her she probably was having an allergic reaction and advised her to seek medical help immediately.
“I didn’t because I didn’t want to give medical marijuana a bad rap,” Nelson said. “I’m only one person. It might work for other people.”
Indeed, a study released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health reports that some Minnesotans are finding medical cannabis helpful in their battle with “pain whose cause cannot be removed,” as the department defines it.
“Many patients are commenting how happy they are that they’re getting at least equivalent pain relief without being on the other drugs that had caused such terrible side effects,” said Dr. Tom Arneson, research manager for the Health Department’s office of medical cannabis, in a phone interview.
“This study helps improve our understanding of the potential of medical cannabis for treating pain,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement announcing the results. “We need additional and more rigorous study, but these results are clinically significant and promising for both pain treatment and reducing opioid dependence.”
According to the study: