Researchers studied the long-term health of 216 medical cannabis users suffering from non-cancer related chronic pain and compared them with a group of their non-cannabis using counterparts. Those who used cannabis consumed a daily standardised dose of 12.5% THC strength cannabis. Roughly 2.5 grams was consumed a day either by smoking or vaporizing.
After a year of comparisons, researchers concluded that there were “no serious adverse events” linked with daily cannabis use. Namely, researchers found no significant differences in users’ bloodwork, cognitive skills, or pulmonary function when compared to the group of non-users. Users did report some “non-serious” side effects, such as occasional dizziness or paranoia, but the researchers classified these as “mild to moderate,” indicating they could be preferable to the side effects often experienced with prescription pain medication.
In addition to these findings, the cannabis users reported less perceived pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue compared to the control group.
The authors of the study concluded: “Quality-controlled herbal cannabis, when used by cannabis-experienced patients as part of a monitored treatment program over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile.”
This is an extremely significant piece of research. It is one of the first long-term studies to assess both the health implications and efficiency of medical cannabis in the treatment of pain – especially using humans. It is likely to spur much more research on a clinical level, to try and replicate the results. Once again, science is showing that cannabis will not be ignored, and that it has real and beneficial implications as a treatment.