Research supports medical marijuana as pain medication: HIV/AIDS doctors

published on October 9, 2015 in The Vancouver Sun

A commentary by HIV/AIDS experts in Vancouver says the Canadian Medical Association is shortchanging patients in pain by not endorsing marijuana as a viable treatment.

There’s enough evidence to consider medical marijuana for pain, although the national organization representing doctors says there isn’t enough research to support prescriptions, write authors Dr. Julio Montaner, director of BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Dr. Thomas Kerr, co-director of the centre’s Urban Health Research Initiative, and Stephanie Lake of the University of BC School of Population and Public Health. In the case of neuropathic pain – caused by nerve damage from a number of illnesses, including HIV – several studies have shown it works as well as the pharmaceuticals typically prescribed for it, they write. “A recent meta-analysis found that smoked cannabis was significantly more effective than placebo in providing pain relief to patients with HIV-related neuropathy, while the efficacy of more commonly prescribed drugs, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, did not differ significantly from placebo.”

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