Americans in 33 states and the District of Columbia have legal access to medical marijuana under a doctor’s authorization. But this same access is often lacking for many military veterans. That is because the current policy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explicitly prohibits V.A. physicians “from completing forms or registering veterans for participation in state-approved [medical marijuana] program[s].”
“Individuals who report having pain limiting that limits their daily activity see large health improvements. This is the strongest evidence that a group with a high probability of pain medication use sees large benefits from medical marijuana laws.”
Researchers concluded, “Our findings are consistent with prior surveys of American and Canadian marijuana users in which substitution of marijuana for opioids was prevalent due to better symptom management and fewer adverse and withdrawal effects.”
The administration of herbal cannabis is safe and effective in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, according to clinical data published this month in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Patients diagnosed with chronic pain and other debilitating conditions typically reduce, or in some cases, eliminate their use of opioids following their enrollment in state-sanctioned medical cannabis access programs.
Military veterans who participate in a state’s medical marijuana access program frequently report substituting cannabis for alcohol and other controlled substances, according to data published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Nearly half of all respondents said that they use medical cannabis in place of other prescription medications.
Seventy-five percent of military veterans say that they would consider using either “cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option,” according to member survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Available data documents that cannabis is effective in the treatment of chronic pain and may potentially mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress, along with other conditions commonly facing veterans.
Patients enrolled in New York state’s medical cannabis program reduce their use of opioids and spend less money on prescription medications, according to data published online in the journal Mental Health Clinician. “After three months treatment, medical cannabis improved [subjects’] quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings,” authors concluded.
Cannabis therapy mitigates symptoms of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and is associated with a reduction in the use of other prescription drugs, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. An estimated 3 to 6 million Americans are afflicted by fibromyalgia, which is often poorly controlled by standard pain medications.
Patients routinely reduce or eliminate their use of prescription opiates following the use of medical cannabis; two recently published studies reaffirm this relationship.