Survey: Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy

Tel Aviv, Israel: Most Israeli pain specialists with an opinion on the issue believe that cannabis is a safe and effective analgesic agent, according to survey data published in the Journal of Pain Research.

            Investigators surveyed the opinions of over half of all practicing pain clinicians in Israel. The Israeli government has regulated the prescription use of cannabis for much of the past decade.

Authors reported that virtually all of the survey’s respondents prescribed cannabis to their patients, and that 56 percent of them reported the substance to possess “mild or no” adverse side effects. Forty-five percent of those surveyed stated that “they themselves would prefer to be treated with cannabis rather than opiates in case of chronic pain.”

Authors concluded: “In the current survey, which probed the attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and collected experience of pain specialists using cannabis in their daily practice, cannabis emerges as an effective treatment option for many patients with chronic pain who have failed previous treatments. Moreover, their responses arguably present a possible change of paradigm and the possibility to consider cannabis earlier in the course of the disease, and not as a last resort.”

According to a 2017 literature review conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there exists “conclusive or substantial” clinical evidence that cannabis is “effective for the treatment [of] chronic pain.”