Medical cannabis and chronic pain: Could medical cannabis solve the UK’s silent epidemic

Chronic pain, characterised by persistent discomfort lasting for weeks, months, or even years, stands as a pervasive challenge within the UK, affecting over 40% of the population and surpassing the European average twofold. This burden not only strains individuals but also exerts immense pressure on the National Health Service (NHS), leading to over 4.6 million GP appointments annually and costing taxpayers approximately £70 million per year.

Understanding Chronic Pain: A Complex Condition

Chronic pain isn't merely physical discomfort; it's a multifaceted condition that impacts every aspect of an individual's life. From hindering mobility and disrupting sleep to affecting mental health and diminishing overall quality of life, chronic pain can be a debilitating condition for the patient and their family. Despite its prevalence, chronic pain often remains misunderstood and underreported, making the challenge even tougher for patients seeking relief.

Exploring the Role of Medical Cannabis in Chronic Pain Management

While the UK confronts its opioid crisis, there's growing interest in alternative therapies, particularly medical cannabis. Studies suggest a promising correlation between the use of medical cannabis and a decrease in opioid prescriptions. Could medical cannabis offer a solution to the UK's chronic pain epidemic?

How can medical cannabis help symptoms of Chronic Pain?

Research shows that there are multiple therapeutic benefits of cannabis, particularly delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in managing chronic pain. A recent study, from Harvard University showcased improved symptom management with medical cannabis, leading to decreased opioid usage among patients with neuropathy, joint pain, and arthritis. Similarly, studies in the UK and the Netherlands (Leiden University) highlight the efficacy of cannabinoids in alleviating chronic pain, surpassing opioids in terms of benefit and safety.

Addressing the Visibility of Chronic Pain

Despite its pervasive impact, chronic pain often remains overlooked by society due to its invisible nature. Dr. Alan Fayaz, a UK-based chronic pain expert, sheds light on the issue, emphasising the substantial healthcare costs associated with chronic pain and the reluctance to discuss it openly.

"While the studies show promise for medical cannabis as an alternative treatment for chronic pain, further research is necessary. Anecdotal evidence spanning centuries supports cannabis's efficacy in pain management, but more studies are needed to guide UK patients in selecting the most suitable products for their specific conditions."

As we navigate the complexities of chronic pain management in the UK, medical cannabis emerges as a viable legal option. At Cantourage Clinic, we offer medical cannabis to eligible individuals, and strive to improve the quality of life for chronic pain patients across the UK. 

Cantourage Clinic offer specialist consultations for the following conditions.

- Pain

- Psychiatry

- Neurology

- Gastroenterological

- Oncology

- Palliative Care

To learn about how Cantourage Clinic could help, book a consultation today.

T: +44 20 8050 9596



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