Canadian Research Study Demonstrates Medical Cannabis Safety Profile

Photo Credit: Ryan Bushby

Photo Credit: Ryan Bushby

A team of researchers associated with McGill University and the University of British Columbia recently published work suggesting chronic pain patients who used medical cannabis to treat their symptoms were not at an increased risk of suffering serious side effects during their treatment than patients who did not use cannabis. The study, "Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS)," took place over one year, and monitored two groups of non-cancer chronic pain patients from locations throughout Canada. One group partook in the use of cannabis for treating their symptoms while the other did not.

Lead researcher Dr. Mark Ware said, "This is the first and largest study of the long-term safety of medical cannabis use by patients suffering from chronic pain, ever conducted... We found that medical cannabis, when used by patients who are experienced users and as part of a monitored treatment program for chronic pain over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile. Anyone seriously interested in the medical use of cannabis should familiarize themselves with the COMPASS study: its contents, strengths, and limitations."

Executive director of Americans for Safe Access Steph Sherer discusses the significance of the study, saying, "Dr. Ware's research helps us clinically document the safety profile of medical cannabis, which is highly relevant to public health questions facing America... The COMPASS study is a great example of what cannabis research in America Could look like if we broke down federal barriers holding back research." Read more about these findings from Americans for Safe Access