Four in 10 Minnesotans who have taken medical marijuana (cannabis) for intractable pain report that their pain has eased by 30 percent or more, according to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
An even larger share (61 percent) say the use of medical marijuana has improved their lives in ways beyond reducing pain — by helping them sleep, for example, and by enabling them to cut back or eliminate their dependence on potentially addictive opioid drugs.
Of course, behind those statistics are real people with real pain. The MDH report contains an appendix with verbatim comments from the patients — comments that show a wide range of reactions to the marijuana treatments.
Here are some of the written remarks from patients who experienced a dramatic improvement in their lives:
It's [allowed] me to move again. Just normal cooking and laundry. [It] has also decreased my migraines. I still have some pain but nothing like before. I feel like I'm starting to get my life back.
I have fibromyalgia. I lived my life in constant pain. [M]y daily pain on an average was an 8. I started taking medical cannabis in August. I now have a daily pain average between 2 and 3. After 2 weeks of cannabis I cooked my first meal in 15 years. My husband was doing all of the cooking and housework. I am now able to help with it.
This has changed my life. When I used to get an episode I would be stuck at home laying in bed. Now I have something to manage my symptoms and I feel in control of my life again. Management of pain is so much easier with medical cannabis in my life.
I have more energy. Not so depressed and sad. I feel like I have more to live for.
Of course, like any medical therapy, medical cannabis doesn't work for everyone; however, these results are very promising and demonstrate the positive impact it is having on a significant number of people living in pain. Read the full article and more patient responses here.