June 23, 2024

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Study Finds Marijuana Reduces Pain, but Worsens Self-Care — Pain News Network

2 min read

By Pat Anson, PNN editor

The 1998 comedy “The great Lebowski” has achieved cult status as a stoner movie, largely because of the way Jeff Bridges portrays a weed-smoking lazy man who doesn’t have a job, can’t pay the rent, and spends half of the movie in the bathroom. The dude lives life at his own pace.

A new study may inadvertently add to some of that stoner stigma, finding that marijuana use reduced pain but significantly worsened patient “self-sufficiency” – a broad category that encompasses behaviors such as motivation, physical activity, and appearance.

The study enrolled 181 pain sufferers enrolled in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program who used marijuana for eight weeks and regularly completed surveys about its effects.

The study results that were recently published in the journal Medical cannabis and cannabinoids, showed that participants reported a significant improvement in their pain and anxiety, and a small improvement in their quality of life. But there was one caveat.

“You can see that the improvements in the pain and fear dimensions are dampened by a decline in the area of ​​self-sufficiency. This is important because the side effect profile of cannabis can decrease the improvement in (quality of life), ”wrote lead author Andrew Peterson, PharmD, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia. “A review of the literature found no other study linking marijuana use to a decline in self-sufficiency in pain sufferers using MM (medical marijuana).”

The study didn’t look at the doses used by participants, but since all of the products in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program contain some level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive substance in marijuana – researchers believe there may be a link. They said more studies are needed to see if there is a link between THC, self-care, and quality of life.

“There are many sources describing the negative effects of marijuana,” wrote Peterson. “Given that our study found a decline in self-care in pain patients using MM (medical marijuana), it would be of interest to see what aspects of self-care change when using MM for pain.”

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, Some of the negative effects of marijuana use are mood swings, difficulty thinking and problem-solving, impaired memory, and an altered sense of time.