With stringent new regulations on prescribing opioids, many pain doctors are looking to alternative medicines to help patients cope beyond pills and patches. Stakeholders in the elimination of the opioid crisis have focused on prevention and early intervention with patients. Many doctors are still struggling to offer alternative medicines for individuals seeking relief from short-term or long-term pain.

Many studies have showcasedmarijuana’s ability to decrease pain in some patients with a long-term illness, as well aselevate the quality of life for those living with specialized conditions that are also painful, such as rheumatoid arthritis. While research is on-going with marijuana and CBD’s effects on pain, it’s important for physicians to stay up-to-date with research to give patients new approaches to what ails them.

With the opioid crisis on the minds of communities and governing bodies all over the United States, Dr. Boleslav Kosharskyy, a doctor at PainFreeNYC, recently shared how marijuana is impacting his patients and business.

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How is marijuana giving those needing pain management a different voice?

“Cannabis has been known to mankind for hundreds of years but only recent developments assured a more scientific, evidence-based approach to its use, and research continues to show various medical benefits. Most of the available medical literature on this subject was concentrated on the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there have been fewer scientific studies on the medical use of the cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.”

What are doctors up against when prescribing opioids for pain?

“Chronic pain management faces significant challenges. The most important one is the ongoing opioid epidemic. Doctors are struggling to find personalized treatments outside the opioid space. Cannabis-based medicines may provide pain management providers with more effective, innovative, and safer alternatives to treat pain.”

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Are any new/recent studies available to show marijuana and CBD’s effectiveness?

A few recent studies have given greater confidence to consider including cannabis in pain therapies. One of the most major findings was in a recent published study, entitled, “The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment of Current Evidence” which found that nabiximols, (a combined THC/CBD in a 1:1 ratio medicine) Studies are suggestive of a relative safety of cannabis and its utility in a number of painful conditions. There is, however, a need for double-blind randomized clinical studies to be better assess the efficacy.”

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