Two thirds of Canadians currently using medical cannabis do so to ease arthritis pain
By Steve Elliott
In a position paper issued on Tuesday, The Arthritis Society called for more research into the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis as a therapy to alleviate symptoms of pain and fatigue caused by the chronic disease.
“More and more Canadians are accessing medical cannabis as a treatment option for severe arthritis symptoms,” explained Society president and CEO Janet Yale. “We have a duty to the people we serve to ensure that the scientific basis for the use of medical cannabis is clear and appropriate, with patient safety and improved care our foremost priorities.”
Thousands of Canadians have already received authorization from Health Canada to use medical cannabis and as many as two-thirds of those people are using the drug to help manage pain due to arthritis.
"There is much still unknown about the treatment therapy, its safety and its efficacy for coping with arthritis – leading to potential risks for patients," the Arthritis Society release claims, although if they simply asked the arthritis patients involved, they'd be talking less about risks and more about benefits.
The anecdotal evidence in support of medical cannabis for arthritis pain is very robust, and Tuesday's announcement will ensure that more clinical research will be conducted to further validate this treatment modality, according to CanniMed Ltd., the first producer to be licensed under the new Canadian Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).