Letter: Cannabis Can Help Patients with Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: DankDepot.com

Photo Credit: DankDepot.com

In an open letter written by Dr. Marc Sloan, from Deerfield, Illinois, Dr. Sloan discusses the benefits of using cannabis as opposed to opioid pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain. Dr. Sloan, who has been a practicing physician in Illinois for over 30 years, discusses how severe the current opioid overdose epidemic is, mentioning, "According to the CDC, 46 people die each day from prescription drug painkiller overdose, and health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012 - enough for every American adult to have a bottle of narcotics." He goes on to discuss how the cannabinoid THC, one of the more active ingredients of cannabis, can effectively reduce pain in patients with minimal toxicity and without risk of lethal overdose. 

Dr. Sloan sites two reports in his letter as supporting evidence for the use of cannabis to combat chronic pain. In one report, "Cannabinoids for Medical Use," written by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015, patients reported a 30 percent reduction in pain and a decrease in overall use of narcotics. The other report, "Cannabinergic Pain Medicine," written in 2012 by the Clinical Journal of Pain, claimed 71 percent of studies found cannabis provided pain-relieving effects. Dr. Sloan concludes his letter saying while cannabis is not a cure for chronic pain, it is a powerful and effective tool in pain management that is far safer than most current pharmaceutical options. 

Read the full letter from Dr. Marc Sloan here. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.