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Cannabis as an Alternative Pain Therapy: CDC Talks

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Warning: This information is for educational purposes only. We are not medical professionals, and no information on this website should be construed as medical advice. For more information please view our Medical Disclaimer. Please consult a medical professional if you are considering consuming cannabis products.

There have been meetings with medical marijuana patients conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of a broader objective of getting to understand cannabis as alternative pain therapy. Dustin McDonald, a director of policy with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), sent his application requesting to be part of the 100 patients for the study.

Dustin McDonald uses marijuana to treat a Lyme disease he suffers from. Hence he’s a credible case-in-point for the talks. CDC announced that the patients who were going to take part in the study were those suffering from significant chronic pain and the family members of these patients. The latter plays a critical role in these talks since they are likely to understand their loved ones. 

The healthcare workers looking after such patients will also be an integral part of the CDC talks. A good example is a healthcare worker looking after a patient with severe chronic pain who has been treated using opioids. 

CDC stated that the information generated from the talks would help broaden and update the CDC guideline for using opioids to manage chronic pain.

Heather Despres who is the director of ASA’s Patient-Focused Program requested the CDC participate. Heather is enthusiastic about sharing details on her private life and the use of opioid medication to treat her chronic pain condition. Given that she is actively involved in the marijuana industry, she is likely to contribute to this conversation significantly. 

Despres volunteered to help the CDC find new ways of reducing opioids and instead give patients access to cannabis. With her vast experience as part of Americans for Safe Access, she will be instrumental in this project.

Americans for safe access (ASA) helps and advocates for patients suffering from conditions that may benefit from medical marijuana treatment. Each year, ASA compiles a report that summarizes the developments that have been achieved by the industry as well as the setbacks. This report is used to create and shape policies in the industry. The ultimate goal is to make cannabis more accessible to Americans who need this form of therapy.

The interview talks will last 45-60 minutes and will be conducted virtually, in keeping with COVID- 19 social distancing recommendations. The questions that CDC is going to ask will form the basis of the study. Some examples questions that the marijuana patients will be asked include:

  1. The experiences they have had using different methods of managing their pain include non-opioid medications, opioid medication, marijuana, and other forms of pain therapy such as exercising.
  2. The conclusions and opinions they have on the benefits they get using their preferred pain managing methods. Also, the harm they feel they may get from the pain management method they use.
  3. If accessibility is a factor that guides their choice of preferred pain-relieving method.
  4. If cost is a factor that guides their choice of preferred pain-relieving method.
  5. Their experiences in getting the needed information to decide on the pain management method they use.
  6. The CDC needs to facilitate cannabis research about cannabis-related pain management.
  7. The ideal ways to pressurize lawmakers to broaden medical cannabis research.

The medical marijuana fraternity is hopeful that these talks will yield positive results to make cannabis more accessible as an alternative pain therapy for all patients. 

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.

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