Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Medical Cannabis: Those of Us With Chronic Conditions Get It

By admin Jun24,2024

I freely admit that I don’t get the recreational marijuana thing. The notion of doing something to purposely get high is foreign to me. On the other hand, I fully get the concept of medical cannabis. I do not use it myself. However, I do have a chronic health condition that makes life fairly uncomfortable.

My condition doesn’t qualify for cannabis treatment. I probably wouldn’t use it anyway. I don’t like the feeling of being intoxicated. But I do fully understand being willing to do anything to find relief from chronic symptoms. My desire for symptom relief is no different than a chronic pain patient’s desire to be pain free.

Common Conditions Treated by Cannabis

Medical cannabis is regulated at the state level. Each of the states has its own list of qualifying conditions for which medical cannabis can be recommended. Utah’s list is very similar to most other states. Here are four of the most cited conditions among Utah patients:

  • Persistent and/or acute pain.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Persistent nausea that does not respond to other treatments.
  • Cancer (more specifically, cancer and treatment pain).

The operators of Brigham City’s Beehive Farmacy, a medical cannabis pharmacy licensed by the state, explain that persistent pain is the one condition they see most often among their customers. The percentage of medical cannabis card holders who got their cannabis recommendations due to pain is well over 78%.

I am guessing that a lot of them have tried the traditional treatments doctors normally recommend. That means OTC painkillers, prescription analgesics, prescription narcotics, physical therapy, and even surgery. Some of them have probably tried alternative treatments like acupuncture and massage.

When none of the traditional treatments offers adequate relief, what is a patient to do? Tens of thousands of such patients in Utah have turned to medical cannabis.

When Doctors Can’t Help

A common thread among those of us with chronic conditions is the discouragement of working with doctors who try their hardest but just cannot help. I was shuffled from one doctor to the next for just about six years before I finally got a diagnosis. Then it was several more years of trying one failed treatment after another.

When a chronic pain patient expresses frustration at not being able to find relief, I get it. I think of one acquaintance in particular who has been through hell and back trying to find relief for chronic back pain. He gets angry when he talks about his experience with the healthcare system. I feel bad for him and wish he wouldn’t get angry, but I understand his thinking completely.

I do not doubt that the American healthcare system is among the finest in the world. Our ability to deliver cutting edge healthcare services is incredible. But I am also smart enough to know that we rely too heavily on traditional treatments to the detriment of anything new. That is a shame.

Patients Are Finding Relief

Although marijuana itself is nothing new, medical cannabis being recommended as a pain treatment is. And yet it is a treatment that plenty of healthcare providers are still not supportive of. Traditional medications and procedures continue to prevail. They prevail even though so many patients say they do not work.

I do not get the rationale behind recreational marijuana. But I fully understand the medical cannabis thing. If medical cannabis proves to be the best treatment for a particular condition, I am all for it. My only thing is that we need to get away from self-medicating and come up with legitimate cannabis-based medicines.

By admin

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