Is Marijuana Good For Pain Relief?

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Question: Is Marijuana Good For Pain Relief?

Answer: Marijuana's been advocated for the treatment of a variety of serious medical problems including AIDS, cancer, and chronic pain. However, several well-designed clinical trials have failed to show any direct benefit of marijuana in relieving pain. It's important to remember, though, that chronic pain is complicated by mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and I suspect that many patients with chronic pain are trying to self-treat and alleviate the depression and anxiety that accompany their pain.

However, if a patient were to ask me whether or not they should use marijuana to treat their pain, I would have to respond that it's impossible for me as a physician to endorse a therapy that is illegal, of no proven medical benefit, and possibly also dangerous. I would propose, rather, that we use well-established therapies for the treatment of depression and anxiety that are already available to us.

Next: How Is Stressful Pain Associated With Depression, And What Can I Do About It?

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