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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17548
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am on massive amounts of pain killers including morphine

Customer Question

I am on massive amounts of pain killers including morphine for pain relief in my lower back. although cannabis is illegal I am interested in its use as a pain relief . Can I have your thoughts on this.
Pauline
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.
Hello Pauline. There is increasing evidence that marijuana can help ease chronic low back pain. Most of the initial evidence was anecdotal, with people reporting effective control of pain with marijuana that they had tried on their own, but now there are some studies that are showing some success with this treatment. It is important to note that these studies do not show consistent effectiveness, but there has been some benefit in some patients with chronic back pain or neuropathic pain. Generally speaking, marijuana is only considered when there is no direct treatment for the underlying cause of the back pain and there has been a failure of other methods for pain relief. But for those people in whom opiates are not able to get adequate control of pain, medical marijuana is a reasonable option to try, and if it is found to be effective for a particular individual, to continue the treatment. It is also important to note that there are various other physiologic and psychologic effects of marijuana, and it may interfere with the ability to perform various daily functions, such as driving, so any consideration of use should also plan for the potential effect on daily functioning. Of course, the use of medical marijuana is limited by the legality in the locale in which the patient resides. In the US, there are an increasing number of states that allow for medical use of marijuana, and we are seeing increasing use of marijuana for relief of chronic pain with moderate good results. It certainly is not a miracle cure, but as long as the patient has realistic expectations regarding effectiveness and potential adverse effects, it is a reasonable treatment option. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.
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