Research, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, suggests that cannabis may help improve the mood of people with chronic pain from sickle cell disease and also found that it was a safe intervention.
As a result of the pain from this disease, patients are often prescribed with opioids and other drugs that come with unwanted and serious side effect, including addiction and overdose. This is why marijuana is revolutionary when it comes to pain management, and multiple studies have shown this.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickle cell disease is a type of red blood cell disorder that causes the cells to become misshapen and look similar to the crescent shape of a sickle.
Sickle red blood cells die sooner than normal cells, which means less oxygen is transported throughout a person’s body. Furthermore, sickle cells tend to clog smaller blood vessels, resulting in acute or chronic pain, infection, and other serious cardiovascular issues.
According to the CDC, treatments for mild pain from sickle cell disease include over-the-counter analgesics, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. (source)
The Journal of Pain, outlines how cannabis helped provide pain relief when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids. When patients begin to consume cannabis, there was a clear drop in the amount of prescribed medications taken, such as antipsychotics, pain relievers and others. These drugs have big time side effects.
Another recent study has from the University of Pennsylvania looked at the incidence of opioid-related deaths in states that have legalized medical marijuana. They reasoned that since pain control is a major reason why people use medical marijuana, states that have legalized or decriminalized the herb might have lower rates of opioid-related deaths. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Contrary to popular belief, about 60 percent of overdoses occur in people prescribed the drugs by a single physician, not in those who “doctor shopped” or got them on the black market. And a third of those people were taking a low dose. That just doesn’t happen with marijuana.