The CBD Project recently conducted a scientific study of people using cannabis-derived products such as medical marijuana, CDB oil, and THC/CBD products. The research team sent out a survey questionnaire and received 800 responses. The goal of this research was to determine the patients’ experiences with chronic pain relief achieved by using cannabis products.
Survey Bias and Limitations
This survey was, by its design, subjective evaluations by the participants themselves. They were asked questions about their experiences with using cannabis products such as medical marijuana and CBD oil.
All of the people surveyed were either already actively using cannabis products for pain relief or were interested in doing so. Many of those who were already using cannabis products found them to be effective. This introduces a bias in the data collected. This survey would not likely include any answers from people who tried cannabis products for pain relief and determined that they were not effective in reducing chronic pain.
This bias does not negate the value of the survey information because the lessons learned from the data are still helpful. Researchers discovered that people received benefits from using cannabis products in many helpful ways.
The survey respondents answered questions about the type and intensity of the chronic pain they experience. They answered questions about any medications that they are taking and any therapies that they used to relieve pain.
The participants were asked to evaluate each therapy that they used for pain relief for its positive impact on quality-of-life benchmarks, such as
- Pain Reduction
- Improvements in Functional Abilities
- Energy Levels
- Mood Improvement
- Sleep Patterns
There was no attempt to quantify the amount of improvement in each category. The participants were simply asked to report if they had any perceived improvements that came from the therapies that they use now or in the past.
The Impact of Chronic Pain
Measuring quality-of-life benchmarks is important because they are destroyed by chronic pain. Constant aching affects a person’s attitude, mood, and can negatively impact any relationships with others. Pain causes anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, and sleep problems. Chronic pain may lead to social isolation and is a direct cause of some suicides.
Pain management becomes increasingly important depending on a person’s age. Over half of older adults, from age 50 to 70+, experience frequent pain. Between 75% to 85% of the elderly who live in care facilities have chronic pain.
The survey questions were meant to determine how satisfied the respondents were with the analgesic (pain relief) effects of cannabis products. Researchers wanted to compare medical marijuana and cannabis products to other pain relief medications, especially opiates.
The respondents were asked to give their opinion about common pain management therapies to evaluate the impact on their quality-of-life.
Demographics of Respondents.
Most of the respondents were between the ages of 50 to 70. Of the 800 people who responded to the survey over a six-week period, 80% reported that they suffered from chronic pain. Nearly half of them had intermittent acute pain.
Acute pain differs from chronic pain because it may be intense when it happens; however, it eventually subsides. Chronic pain never seems to go away. About 40% of the respondents said that they had both chronic and acute pain.
The average person who responded to the survey tried at least four pain treatment therapies. About one-quarter of them had tried at least six pain treatment therapies or more.
Key Results from the Survey
More than half the respondents said that they got pain relief from cannabis products, opiates, physical therapy, exercises, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some therapies, such as surgery, exercise, and taking nerve-blockers increased pain in a minority of the respondents.
Cannabis products, including organic CBD oil (cannabidiol), were the only therapies that none of the respondents said increased any pain and very few reported any negative side effects from using CBD products.
The therapies that improved the quality of life where 1) exercise combined with physical therapy and 2) using cannabis products. More than half the people using cannabis products reported improved functional ability, better moods, and increased energy.
About half of the respondents said that they experience severe negative effects on their well-being caused by taking opiates. They complained of problems with sleeping, moodiness, low energy, and impaired functional ability when taking opiates. Besides causing addiction, long-term use of opiates does not provide pain relief without serious negative side effects. Moreover, the opiate dosage must continuously increase to achieve any pain relief.
Cannabis Therapy’s Impact on Opiate Use
An astonishingly high 91% of respondents said that they were able to reduce or eliminate opiate use by using cannabis products instead. Almost two-thirds of the respondents were able to stop using opiates completely when using cannabis products for pain relief.
THC versus CBD
The psychoactive compound in medical marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol (CBD) is another component derived from cannabis that is not psychoactive. There is no “high” that comes from using CBD products. The researchers discovered that there were no significant differences between products with THC and products with only CBD. Both kinds of cannabis derivatives were highly effective for pain management.
Cannabis products are effective for pain management with very few negative side effects. Cannabis products are vastly superior to taking opiates for chronic pain and can help those using opiates to reduce their use or stop taking them