Many Health Care Professionals Favor the Use of Cannabis Instead of Opioids in Patients With Chronic Pain

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According to survey data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, nearly three-quarters of licensed healthcare workers in Washington State favor the use of medical marijuana to replace opioids used by patients with chronic pain.

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Nursing conducted a random sample survey of actively licensed health care professionals who legally licensed for medical cannabis in Washington State.

Among the eligible respondents, 72% agreed with the following statement: “Medical marijuana should be used to reduce the use of opioids for non-cancer pain.” Multiple research reports show that the pain of participating in the state-sponsored cannabis acquisition program Patients have reduced or eliminated the use of opioid analgesics over time.

More than six-tenths (63%) of the respondents also agreed: “The DEA should reclassify marijuana so that it is no longer a schedule I [prohibited] drug [under federal law]” The investigation of the personnel is consistent.

Researchers with the University of Washington School of Nursing surveyed a random sampling of actively licensed health care professionals legally permitted to provide medical cannabis authorizations in the state of Washington.

Of eligible respondents, 72 percent agreed with the statement, “Medical marijuana should be used to reduce the use of opioids for non-cancer pain.” Several studies – such as those here, here, and here – report that pain patients enrolled in state -sponsored cannabis access programs reduce or eliminate their use of opioid pain relievers over time.

Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, commented on the findings: “These opinions are consistent with those of other medical professionals throughout the United States, most of whom possess attitudes toward cannabis’ therapeutic efficacy that are incongruent with the federal government’ s’Flat Earth’ position that marijuana is a substance without any accepted medical value.”

More than 80% of respondents expressed interest in receiving other medical training on cannabis, and this view is consistent with previous surveys.

Among those who never obtained medical marijuana authorization, more than half (58%) said “they did not feel they had the knowledge,” and respondents reported that they may “rely most on other health care professionals”. According to data published in the Journal of Complimentary Therapies in Medicine this year, most medical students said that they had not received formal education about the therapeutic use of cannabis while in college.

The authors of the survey concluded: “Patients expect their clinician to provide information on the effects, risks, and benefits of cannabis. Health care professionals must be prepared to meet their expectations and to do so within the letter of the law. Now more than ever, a rational approach to medical cannabis is needed to assure that unforeseen consequences are mitigated while responsibly promoting the use of cannabis for medically appropriate symptoms and conditions.”


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