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Survey: Women Say Cannabis Is Most Effective Alternative Pain Treatment Option

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Survey: Women Say Cannabis Is Most Effective Alternative Pain Treatment Option

Shepherdstown, WV: Women say that cannabis is the most effective alternative treatment method for addressing their chronic pain, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the National Pain Report and For Grace, a non-profit devoted to better care and wellness for women in pain.

The online survey asked women to rate the efficacy of nearly a dozen non-prescription drug alternative pain therapies, including yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and massage. Eighty percent of the respondents who reported having used medicinal cannabis said that doing so alleviated their pain. By comparison, only 53 percent of respondents reported finding relief from massage therapy, which was rated the second-most effective treatment option.

No other alternative treatment was reported to be effective by a majority of respondents. Only a third of respondents reported that more common alternatives, like physical therapy, meditation, and acupuncture, were effective treatment options.

In FDA-approved clinical trials, patients suffering from neuropathic pain have consistently reported significant relief following whole-plant cannabis administration, even in instances where it is administered in especially small doses. A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded, "[I]t is reasonable to consider cannabinoids as a treatment option for the management of chronic neuropathic pain with evidence of efficacy in other types of chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis as well."

According to data published in August in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine, the enactment of statewide medicinal marijuana laws is associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates - indicating that many patients, when given the option of cannabis therapy, are choosing to either substitute or greatly reduce their use of prescription opiates.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.