pain management

TTC subway operator barred while using medicinal cannabis: CBC

This is yet another example of the shocking, dangerous and unfortunately, not surprising, double-standard that exists between medical cannabis and traditional pharmaceuticals.

If organizations want to err on the side of caution for safety-sensitive positions until there is a more accurate way of testing cannabis impairment, than that seems sensible to me. What does not make sense, however, is forcing a TTC driver off of her medical cannabis to keep her job but allowing her to continue driving while taking impairing opioids, which she describes as leaving her feeling "groggy, forgetful and feeling like a zombie." Not to mention their high addiction potential.

Not only that, but this patient was prescribed CBD oil, which only contains trace amounts of THC and is considered non-impairing. Based on the evidence available, how can anyone believe that going back on opioids is a safer choice?

Read full article from the CBC here.

Medical cannabis safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids: European Pharmaceutical Review

Medical cannabis therapy can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center.

The new study found that cannabis therapy is safe and efficacious for elderly patients who are seeking to address cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues.

“While older patients represent a large and growing population of medical cannabis users, few studies have addressed how it affects this particular group, which also suffers from dementia, frequent falls, mobility problems, and hearing and visual impairments,” says Victor Novack, a Professor of Medicinein the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS), and head of the Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute. 

“After monitoring patients 65 and older for six months, we found medical cannabis treatment significantly relieves pain and improves quality of life for seniors with minimal side effects reported.” Read full article here and review research here.

Montel Williams: Cannabis 'changed my life': Yahoo News

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis around 1999 and struggling with opioid addiction to manage the pain, Montel Williams says that finding cannabis was a game-changer.

Williams shares with Yahoo Lifestyle that he “took a journey down opioid lane for a year and a half, just trying to shut the pain down to the point that I was walking around in a pseudo-suicidal state.”

He said shifting from opioids to cannabis was what that turned his life around. “The journey that I took with cannabis — it changed my life,” he says.  Full article here.

Five most common uses for medical cannabis in 65+ demographic: Strainprint

Seniors are among one of the largest existing and growing demographics of medical cannabis users, evidenced by international trends as well as supported by the data collected from the Strainprint app, a mobile application that helps medical cannabis users track their intake and learn which strains and dosages work best for them. Strainprint also provides doctors and clinics with observational data to improve industry treatment knowledge. Based on their current data, here are the top five conditions for which people aged 65 and over are using medical cannabis. Full article.

SunLife Financial to add medical marijuana to group health insurance plans: Financial Post

Sun Life Financial Inc. is adding medical marijuana as an option for its group benefits plans, marking an industry shift and the latest sign of growing public acceptance of cannabis.

The Toronto-based insurer’s chief executive Dean Connor said the move was influenced by rising interest from Sun Life’s employer clients, “Medical marijuana has become a very important part of their treatment program and pain management program,” said Connor, referencing patients who have cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or those requiring palliative care. Full article here.

Research: Pharmacological management of chronic neuropathic pain, Canadian Pain Society

The Canadian Pain Society has advanced cannabinoid therapy from a fourth-line (2007) to the third-line (2014) recommendation, citing the following evidence:

  • Since 2006, seven high quality studies investigated cannabinoid therapy in neuropathic pain, and all but one of these studies had positive results.
  • Mucosal spray of 50/50 mixture of THC/CBD provided significant pain relief for patients with multiple sclerosis.
  • One trial found that nabilone was effective for pain relief in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy, with improved sleep and overall quality of life. 
  • There is increasing evidence of the benefits of cannabinoid therapy in managing neuropathic pain: overall NNT of 3.4.