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Can Chronic Pain Patients Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

Yes. Contact us or Visit Teleleaf – Louisiana to learn more about the process of getting a medical marijuana card.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 20.4% of adults in America had chronic pain in 2019. Among these adults, 7.4% experienced high-impact chronic pain that frequently limited life or work activities.Chronic Pain - Teleleaf

Chronic pain is the most common reason why patients use medical marijuana. Researchers estimate that 50 million adults in the United States are dealing with chronic pain.

A study published by Health Affairs found that there were over 600,000 registered medical cannabis patients in 2016 and over 800,000 a year later in 2017.

The National Academies of Sciences determined that adult patients with chronic pain who were treated with medical cannabis were more likely to experience a clinically noteworthy reduction in pain symptoms.

Chronic pain relief is one of the most common conditions cited by patients using cannabis for medical purposes.

Studies and clinical trials have demonstrated that more than 80% of patients enrolled in clinical trials and/or with a medical cannabis card indicate “severe pain” as the reason for use.

Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana

According to a Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, six chronic pain patients who took medical marijuana saw a reduction in their pain levels.

Another study published in the Journal of Pain from the University of Michigan found that using medical marijuana decreased side effects of other pain medications, reduced opioid usage by 64 percent in pain patients, and improved the quality of life of subjects.

In Louisiana, the Advocate reported in January 2021 that chronic pain victims suffer more as a consequence of the pandemic. Steps are being taken to address the devastating effects of opioid misuse and abuse through non-addictive treatments for chronic pain.

The Advocate further reported that those suffering from chronic, debilitating pain desperately want safe pain management choices, so they can live, and not just endure it.

Dr. Alex Bekker of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, an expert in pain control, said that cannabis could prove to be an effective way to help people hoping to escape opioid addiction.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that can continue even after the injury or illness that causes it to have healed or has gone away. The pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. It is often linked to conditions such as:

  • Headache
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia

Types and Causes of Chronic Pain

  • Moderate Persistent Pain: 3+ pain scores, >= 4, with at least 30 days but no more than 365 days between scores.
  • Severe Persistent Pain: 3+ pain scores, >= 7, with at least 30 days but no more than 365 days between scores.
  • Chronic Pain Related Diagnosis: 2 outpatient or 1 inpatient ICD code of a given condition in the current quarter or 4 quarters prior.

Chronic pain often starts with an injury or painful condition such as:

  • Arthritis and other joint problemsHuman Back Pain - Teleleaf
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve damage
  • Lyme disease
  • Broken bones
  • Cancer
  • Acid reflux or ulcers
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Surgery

Impact on Lifestyle of Chronic Pain

Pain perception is affected by our unique biology, our mood, our social environment, and our experiences. To many, chronic pain is a heavy burden both for the patient and the caregiver.

People suffering from high-impact chronic pain have difficulty with self-care activities like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, cooking, and other self-care chores. They also miss more workdays than those without chronic pain.

Types of Chronic Pain Treatments

Harvard Health reported that chronic pain is the most challenging condition to treat because of its complex and multidimensional experience. The typical treatments for chronic pain include therapy, nerve blocks, pain medication, and surgery.

Medical Cannabis and Chronic Pain

Another popular alternative medication for chronic pain is medical marijuana. There is a general interest among patients and healthcare professionals in the benefits of medical cannabis for pain relief.

Some studies have concluded that medical cannabis may be an alternative to opioids, the most common drug for chronic pain.Human shoulder muscles and joints have a red sign

Years of research suggest that CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main components of medical marijuana, can be useful in blocking pain associated with various medical conditions. These chemicals bind with receptors in the brain, blocking the transmission of pain signals.

Two-thirds of chronic pain patients who have taken medical cannabis report health benefits, including improved pain management and sleep.

Another study published in the Journal of Pain from the University of Michigan found that using medical marijuana decreased side effects of other pain medications, reduced opioid usage by 64 percent in pain patients, and improved the quality of life of subjects.

Harvard Health reported that medical marijuana is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age.

Part of why chronic pain patients choose it for medication is because it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive).

Medical marijuana is becoming widely known as a safe and effective treatment for chronic pain, without the addictive and severe side effects that most pharmaceutical pain medications can cause.


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