Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
Recent amendments to Health Canada’s Marijuana Medical Access now make it possible for chronic pain patients to obtain prescriptions for medical marijuana from physicians. The agency states, “Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.”
Dr. John Goodhew, a Canadian doctor who regularly helps patients gain access medical marijuana, explains to the Huffington Post that some of the key positives in the new legislation include:
- an increasing number of choices in varieties for consumers;
- higher-quality products on the market; and
- the opportunity for clinical studies for studying the benefits and side effects of marijuana.
Chronic pain patients now may have easier access to another remedy for their conditions.
Upcoming Changes in Medical Marijuana Legislation
Health Canada issued a statement in March 2014, Government of Canada Announces New Steps to Help the Medical Community with Marijuana for Medical Purposes, in which it explains the upcoming changes in medical marijuana legislation and the agency’s viewpoints on the issues.
The agency explains that Minister of Health Rona Ambrose has been seeking advice from provincial and territorial medical and nursing licensing bodies to fill in the gaps, such as the lack of dosage guidelines and the absence of a list of health cautions.
“We expect these new measures, including information on dosage guidelines, educational material and increased oversight, will decrease the potential for over-prescribing and negative health impacts,” explains Health Canada.
Conditions that Qualify for Medical Marijuana
According to MediResource, cannabis produces several notable effects on the body, including:
- pain relief;
- euphoria and dysphoria;
- personality changes;
- sedation and memory impairment;
- reduced nausea;
- increased appetite;
- lowered blood pressure; and
- smoke-related lung damage.
As such, severe and/or chronic pain is one of the conditions that may qualify a person for a medical marijuana prescription. Health Canada’s list of approved conditions includes:
- severe pain or muscle spasms from severe forms of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries or other disease;
- HIV/AIDS infection-related pain or cancer-related lack of appetite, severe nausea, weight loss and malnutrition;and
- epilepsy seizures.
Other conditions and symptoms may qualify. Patients are advised to speak to their doctors about whether or not medical marijuana is advantageous for their particular condition.
Seeking the Best Treatment Options for Your Condition
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to work with your physician to find a treatment plan that works for you. It may or may not include medical marijuana. Recommended methods of taking marijuana include vaporizing, making edibles, and oils and tinctures.
Also, it’s important to take Health Canada’s forewarning into consideration when deciding upon whether or not to take marijuana: “Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada and has not gone through the necessary rigorous scientific trials for efficacy or safety.”
For Legal Help with Personal Injury Cases in Ontario
If your chronic pain condition was caused by negligence or if you have trouble obtaining disability benefits, we invite you to call our legal team in Ontario at Preszler Injury Lawyers. Feel free to contact us at 1-800-JUSTICE® today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine what kinds of legal options you have available.