Medical cannabis treatment for chronic pain
Chronic or persistent pain is defined by the NHS as “pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment.”
After an injury or surgery, most people are able to get back to normal. In some cases, however, the pain persists for a long period of time, or even appears without any prior history of disorders.
Aside from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, IBS, and other health conditions can also cause this type of pain.
Although chronic pain conditions cannot be directly treated, they can be lessened by treating their symptoms and lessening their effects.
An ageing population and rise in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are likely to increase the number of people who suffer from chronic pain in the UK. Cannabis for chronic pain helps with pain relief through interaction with endocannabinoids, the body’s own “cannabis” system.
How does medical cannabis help with pain?
The brain and other parts of the body contain cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids are chemicals produced by our bodies that attach to receptors and carry out important functions.
As a result of this system, pain is controlled, mood is controlled, anti-inflammation responses are controlled, body movements are controlled, and epilepsy is controlled.
These receptors are also activated by Phyto cannabinoids, which are plant cannabinoids. Cannabis is therefore capable of being used in so many different ways in medicine.
LVL Health’s plan to make medical cannabis more accessible in the UK
Researchers will be able to conduct future trials using whole-plant cannabis for chronic pain conditions including arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia with the help of a feasibility study that has been approved by regulators.
As part of the study, private cannabis clinic LVL Health is recruiting 100 patients, with plans to recruit 5,000 patients in the future.
Approximately 10,000 private patients in the UK have already been prescribed cannabis medicines, most of whom suffer from chronic pain.
However, before prescribing it on the NHS, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) wants more robust data to evaluate its impact, especially as an alternative to opioids.
It is hoped that LVL Health will help close the evidence gap as well as accelerate patient access and improve patient care.