On Thursday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about some recent studies involving treating pain with marijuana.
The article reports:
A small study found people who use cannabis require higher doses of painkillers than non users after major traumatic event like a car crash.
The drug, which is legal for medical use in the majority of US states, is mainly prescribed to ease pain.
But this new research conducted in Colorado – which was the first state to legalize – suggests that short-term pain relief could weaken the body’s resilience to pain over time.
The researchers, from the Swedish Medical Center, Colorado, analyzed around 260 people who were involved in minor vehicle accidents and admitted to trauma centers.
Of these, 54 tested positive for recent marijuana use while 16 claimed they used the drug more or less every day.
Around nine percent of the participants tested positive for other prescription or illegal drugs, such as cocaine and opiates.
On average, the marijuana users required 7.6mg of opioid painkillers a day in hospital, compared to 5.6mg for non-drug users.
This is probably not a surprise to people in the medical profession. I have been told by nurses who work in the operating room that people who are heavy users of alcohol require larger doses of anesthesia to put them to sleep. The body builds up a tolerance for drugs, whether the drug is alcohol, opioids, or marijuana. Those who blame big pharma for the fact that marijuana has not been legalized need to remember that just as big pharma has a huge lobby with lots of money, big marijuana also has a big lobby with lots of money. Legalizing marijuana in Colorado has brought the drug cartels into the state to mass produce their product for the local market. I don’t think that is what we want.
The medical values of marijuana are not proven and the unintended consequences of legalization are still unfolding. I think we need more research.