Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Weed works for pain—major new report

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

A major new report on marijuana reports that there is now strong evidence that it is an effective treatment for “chronic pain” — which covers a lot of ground — as well as the painful spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (the only specific painful condition for which there was enough evidence to draw a conclusion). How well does it work? The effect is described as “clinically significant” but “modest.” So it won’t work miracles in most people, but it will help — and we also know, from this report and others, that it’s very safe, particularly if you don’t smoke it.

Beginners should mostly avoid edibles (dosing is awkward and unpredictable), consider learning to vaporize, and generally favour CBD-rich strains.

And so marijuana finally makes it to the pain tips page! Overdue — some would say extremeley overdue — but the evidence is rock solid now, and that NASEM citation is bedrock.