This week I had several patients who are long time chronic pain suffers come to me with the same problem. They were all being forced to choose between cannabis or opiates for their continued treatment and pain management. Let me explain. These patients are all enrolled in pain management programs that give them an allotment of medicine to treat their pain among other provided services.
The problem is they are all enrolled in federal programs and since cannabis is classified as a schedule 1 drug the programs must expel them if they use cannabis. In other words, the patients are cut off from their medicine if they choose to use cannabis as part of their treatment. They are cut off even if they are a legal cannabis patient. What sense does that make to a person who is battling chronic pain?
Denied Their Medicine
Studies have shown that using cannabis in conjunction with opiates increases the efficacy of the opiates. This allows patients to get the same or better relief while using less opiates, and in some cases allows the patient to cease opiate use all together. You would think the Federal Government would like that. Less pills, less cost, good for the patients and the tax payers. In one case the patient went from taking eight pills a day to four a day within a few months of using cannabis as part of their regimen. Once the administrators of the program learned that the patient was using cannabis, the patient was denied their medicine until they could pass a drug test.
Since cannabis takes a while depending on many factors to leave your system, the patient could be without their medicine for thirty days or more. What’s the patient to do during that time? What if it causes the patient withdrawal? Could this be another cause of people seeking illegal opiates? I’m sure it happens.
Cannabis is Patented by Who?
What are the ultimate goals of these pain management programs anyway? If you are trying to give a patient pain relief and a better quality of life, why would you stop prescribing them their medicine? If the patient was eating an apple a day and were taking less opiates because of it, would the program not allow patients to eat apples?
The Federal Government has known for a very long time that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine. Don’t believe me? Look up patent number US6630507. When you look that patent number up you will find the federal government has patented cannabis as a medical agent. Here is an exert from the patent:
Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants
"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia.
Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention."...
Achieve a Better Quality of Life
The Federal Government knows cannabis helps patients young and old. It also still incarcerates people for possessing it. (More on that in the future)
It still amazes me that you can go to several states in our country and buy and use cannabis recreationally. Yet, you’ll be arrested in others for even having some on your person. I’m glad I live in a state that has a medical cannabis program. I am also glad that I get to work with patients and medical professionals alike that know what cannabis can do to help people with many different afflictions and ailments.
At Urbn Holistic we believe that a patient has the right to choose what is the best treatment for them. We work hand and hand with many pain management programs and clinics that encourage, or at least don’t mind if their patients use cannabis to augment their treatment. Their goal is the same as ours. Help patients achieve a better quality of life.