Marijuana could treat chronic pain better than opioids


A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared opioids (Vicodin, oxycodone, and fentanyl) to non-opioids (Tylenol, ibuprofen, and nerve blockers) to see if they were better at treating chronic back, hip, or knee pain. The answer was clear: They were not. “Treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with non-opioids for improving pain-related function over 12 months,” the study reads. “Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain.”

The news is a major blow for pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma, who have made billions through prescription painkillers, but it’s even worse news for those suffering the effects of chronic pain. The question it leaves behind: If opioids aren’t the answer to chronic pain, what is?

For a growing number of doctors, the answer comes in the form of another less dangerous drug: cannabis. This past November, three doctors in Illinois started a campaign called Physicians Against Injurious Narcotics, or PAIN, which aims to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to allow anyone that qualifies for opioids to also qualify for marijuana.

Last month, promising research results from Israel added scientific evidence to back their fight. Published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the study followed 2,970 cancer patients between 2015 and 2017 as they embarked on a medical marijuana treatment program for chronic pain. Each patient was able to choose a plan that specifically catered to their lifestyle, and to pick from 16 different strains of the drug. Pain scales were ranked before taking the medicine and then measured again after the treatment was underway.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. Of the 1,211 cancer patients who were ultimately surveyed (902 patients from the original group died and 680 stopped treatment), 95.9 percent reported an improvement in their condition, and the vast majority of them experienced a dramatic reduction in pain. While at the outset, 52.9 percent of patients had rated their pain between 8 and 10 (on a scale of 10), after six months of treatment, the number reporting that level of pain had dropped to just 4.6 percent.

On top of managing pain, the study showed cannabis capable of addressing other issues the patients were experiencing too. Of those surveyed, 91 percent reported improvements in nausea and vomiting, 87.5 percent reported an improvement in sleep disorders, and 84 percent noticed improvement in anxiety and depression. The study’s authors fully endorse the drug as a treatment option.

“In an age where a physician often prescribes a different medication for each [cancer] symptom, cannabis, as a comprehensive treatment that affects several symptoms, becomes a desirable therapeutic option,” the authors conclude. “Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients seems to be well tolerated, effective and safe.”

Cannabis’s success in treating chronic pain is echoed in a 2018 review of more than 10,000 abstracts on the topic. Also published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the large-scale review offers individual conclusions about marijuana’s ability to treat a variety of conditions. Under chronic pain, the authors write, “There were five fair-to-good quality systematic reviews that contributed to the conclusion that there is substantial evidence that Cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”


All the people involved in developing and pushing opioids should be in prison along with Schkeli or whatever the fuck his name is.

All the people who have blocked legalization of marijuana should also be in prison. Probably mostly the same damn people.


along with all of the clowns who have helped them enforce their bogus marijuana laws.


Opiods have their use but they’ve have been extremely over prescribed.


I’m actually off marijuana because I found an anticonvulsant that works much better without making me stoned out of my tree.

The relief from marijuana good but it was too short lived.


If I had the weed supply and we had the time to make it and test it out I’m positive I could make you a weed concoction that works better than the anticonvulsant. Sure just smoking a joint or vaping some of whatever you could get strain at the dispensary might not work as well but there’s numerous ways to make tinctures and edibles and produce specific cannabinoids in them. For instance you could try an unactivated THCA tincture which shouldn’t get you high just by not decarboxylating the weed first.


Also what are the side effects of the anticonvulsant vs the side effects of cannabis?


Side effects of weed have been fatigue, can’t concentrate, memory loss, dizzy on occasion, sometimes I have a reaction where I start sweating profusely and feel extremely heavy and really dizzy in addition to the usual high sensations. I get really bad dry eye as well because I had surgery to numb the nerves in my face and the weed has made that worse despite an intensive eye moisturizing regiment.

I also get audio hallucinations and hear music in white noise which I actually rather enjoy.

Of course I can’t drive on weed so it makes me home bound. CBD does fuck all for the pain but I don’t get high.

The problem is mostly how long it takes to kick in and how long the relief lasts. It’s almost two hours for an edible to reach full strength and I get good relief for maybe an hour before I’m taking more. It gets to be really expensive as my medical doesn’t cover it.

The this anticonvulsant so far has only given me mild fatigue which is helpful at night to get me to sleep. I’ve been on other ones that have floored me and I deemed those too life inhibiting and went off.

The relief has been outstanding and much longer lasting than with the weed. I can also tailor my dose time and amount as the pain is much worse at night.


A good tincture takes effect within minutes. Dry eye is a sign that you’ve “OD’d” on weed. :slight_smile:

I’m sure there are some nasty long term and possibly short term side effects with the pharmaceutical drug especially an anti-convulsant unlike cannabis.

Also you’re just using whatever cannabis you can get really it sounds like, has it been tested for pesticides etc? I’m guessing not and there’s no way of really knowing…

I smoke weed all the time and I don’t get fatigued from it, if I’m tired already it will make me tired but if I’m not tired it doesn’t make me tired at all, in fact probably more like a stimulant. It helps me concentrate, I don’t have memory issues or any of the other side effects you’re experiencing except for the occasional dry eyes. I’d guess with the nerve operation it’s probably waking them back up and repairing what the surgeons did. From what I’ve read cannabis is the best for nerve type pain.


Fatigue is a constant for me. A good sativa will perk me up but an indica will knock me out.

I asked about pesticides and the flower I can get is pesticide free but I don’t know about the edibles.

I only suffer the dry eye during winter months but the marijuana definitely makes my eye issues worse. I’ve actively tested that theory.

Tinctures have been letting me down as of late so I’ve ditched them. Plus they taste like absolute shit.

I have been using cannabis exclusively for this pain for 6 months prior to this new drug and it hasn’t measured up to the relief nor has the impairment been even close to comparable.

I know you really believe in marijuana and it offered me some relief when I couldn’t find any with the drugs I was on. I would really like you to add my first hand experience with EXCRUITATING nerve pain (you are welcome to Google my ailments - trigeminal neuralgia and peripheral neuropathy for details) that has been treated with pharma drugs and weed.

If we were closer, I’d let you experiment with weed until the cows came home because I know there’s relief to be had from cannabis but I’m not ready to abandon anything that gives me sustained relief regardless of the source.

The reality is that I don’t give a flying fuck about effects down the road. I’ve spent YEARS so fucked up that I wouldn’t even consider that time as living. I’m at the point now that I’d drink rotten monkey piss if it let me get on with my day. I need to able to live now, ya know?


Want a first hand story? For the last three years I have been taking 100mg of time release Tramodol (a low grade opioid, think entry level). I was due to get my prescription refill the week my wife passed and I never got back with my pain specialist (she has to prescribe it because my osteo Dr. is afraid to anymore) and never refilled it. 30 days off them and she was sooo insistent I step down off of it in increments, well that just never happened, I had no time nor want to go out to Hoboken to see her this past month. I still plan to go talk with her again as a closure thing and maybe something for really bad days but yeah, I’m off the Tramodol.

As for the weedz, yes, it DOES help my bad knees feel ok sitting around or moving around the house. Now, if I toe pick and my right ACL detaches there’s no bong hit strong enough to make that feel better and prescription drugs would help far better. However that doesn’t happen often enough to say that yes, weed can take the place of prescription drugs in my case, do it cheaper, and I can decide when it’s time to dole some out.

Also, only maybe .0000000000001% of the people need the Oxycontin-strength opioids. 100mg or in strong cases 200mg of Tramodol (which they started giving me but I asked to come off of the 200mg, I was too hazy) will do people just fine.


How long does a bong hit last in terms of relief for you?