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Access to medicinal cannabis: meeting patient needs

23rd Sep 2016

The British Pain Society welcomes the interest of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform in expanding access to medicinal cannabis.

The expert report commissioned by the APPG identifies that there have been several studies that have investigate the effectiveness of cannabinoids for different types of persistent (chronic) pain although there have been other studies that have showed negative results too.  In neuropathic pain specifically, cannabis and cannabinoids are not effective.

Like all medicines, cannabinoids have side effects and potential harms for users. There are significant concerns from the epidemiological literature that cannabis use has significant mental health risks in susceptible individuals and the degree of this risk for "therapeutic" users is unknown.

The APPG report acknowledges that many individuals take or are prescribed cannabinoids for depression and anxiety, both of which often accompany persistent pain. Cannabinoids, like opioids, often allow users to cope with the distress that they are experiencing.'

The British Pain Society welcomes the APPG for highlighting the issue but recommends there is insufficient evidence to support its use in pain management at present’.


Elected Council, British Pain Society

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