CDC discusses alternative pain therapy with cannabis consumers

Published Nov 5, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Georgii Boronin

The CDC has hosted regular gatherings with medical marijuana patients to discuss cannabis as alternative pain therapy. What they find as a result of this research could shape the future of medicinal cannabis. Though it is not clear what they plan to do with this information, the fact that they’re having these essential conversations at all is an excellent start.

Who did they question?

It’s been several months since the CDC shut down a public comment session on pain therapy and management involving kratom and cannabis. Still, this time they focused solely on medical marijuana patients who are using some form of the plant to achieve relief from their symptoms. Patients involved in these talks suffered from a variety of illnesses, including cancer, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain due to injury or arthritis.

Why?

There has been no official explanation given to suggest a direct course of action as a result of these fascinating findings. The CDC has said that the hope is to get a reliable assessment of what both consumers and stakeholders want from the cannabis industry. Though there has not been any guarantee of change, the hope is that such a powerful overseeing agency would use what they’ve learned to alter the law to allow for a flourishing local cannabis market.

The results

The CDC’s offer is a rare opportunity for medical marijuana patients to share their stories, success, and failures, but thus far, the results of this study remain undiscussed. However, the agency did vigorously seek out participants who would have a unique insight into the subject. The majority of those who have come forward to discuss what they had to say claim to have high rates of success, it is unclear what the CDC found in exchange for all of the effort.

A green future for medical marijuana patients

The CDC is actively looking at safer alternatives, a move that makes a whole lot of sense, after much of the world was touched by the opioid crisis, which left millions with a debilitating addiction that is hard to control. This is excellent news for everyone from medical practitioners to patients because it means that pretty soon, Americans could have far more options to choose from if they ever require pain therapy. Still, unfortunately, the shift in legislation isn’t going to be so easy to pull off, with just under half of all Americans in support of legalization.

Medical marijuana patients are the only ones who can attest to the effectiveness and safety of this still highly experimental drug, and those who share their stories can help to alter the perspective of both medical professionals and society as a whole. These are critical first steps towards what looks to be a promising nature-based medicinal future, where cannabis could be used to treat far more conditions that we know it to help with today.

No matter where we go next, one thing is for sure, and it’s that the CDC is finally taking the necessary steps to consider a different, more effective approach that will improve the lives of millions of people right across the United States. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but it’s coming soon, and that’s something to celebrate.

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