The Possible Hope For Chronic Pain


Sadly, chronic pain is common, with 1 in 5 Australians aged 45 and over experiencing the issue. The condition is classified as persistent pain several times a week that makes daily activities difficult. And when conventional medicines provide little relief or leave patients suffering severe side effects, there are very few other solutions people can turn to.

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that people with chronic pain were almost 3 times more likely to be dispensed with analgesics than those without pain. And with growing evidence of the harm and negative side-effects of opioids in managing chronic pain, there is hope that other alternatives exist that don’t resign you to struggling through life with pain. Maybe natural plant-based therapies are what you’re looking for.

In 2016, the Australian Government legalised cannabis-based products for medicinal use. It caused a significant shift in the way people viewed the plant. Although in our modern society, it’s been generally associated with recreational drug use and getting ‘high’, our ancestors have a different story to tell.

Cannabis was an ancient plant whose healing properties have been known for thousands of years by the ancient cultures of China, Italy, India and Greece. The alleged first recorded use was as far back as 2800 BC by Emperor Shen Nung (reputed to be the father of Chinese medicine).

Since many countries have now begun to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis, there is a growing demand for clinical trials, research and evidence to educate on the plant’s possible benefits in medicine.

A recent monumental placebo-controlled trial published by the renowned New England Journal of Medicine showed evidence that CBD decreased the seizures in otherwise drug-resistant childhood epilepsy. It’s a study where 120 children and young adults received an oral dosage of cannabidiol solution over a 14-week treatment period. It was concluded that the cannabidiol treatment delivered a greater reduction in seizures than the placebo, with higher adverse events.

In 2016, the USA National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a comprehensive review of the current state of evidence in regards to the use of cannabis for health. They concluded that there was already considerable evidence to support cannabinoid use in the treatment of:

  • chronic pain
  • nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy
  • spasticity in people living with multiple sclerosis

     

While the same review also demonstrated moderate evidence to support the use of cannabinoids in improving the sleep quality of people with specific diseases like chronic pain.

The University of Sydney is a leading research team and is committed to expanding the amount of evidence supporting the plant’s use in medicine. Their current clinical trials focus on the use of medical cannabis in a diverse range of areas, such as chronic pain, PTSD and sleep. It’s always worth keeping an eye on their work for exciting updates on the health benefits of the plant.

How Can You Access CBD in Australia?

Keep in mind that research on medicinal cannabis is still evolving and ongoing. Patients should always consult with a health professional before making any decisions about treatment options. NectarTek makes accessing cannabis-based products simpler by connecting patients with doctors that are specialists in medicinal cannabis and understand how to navigate the regulations by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and relevant health departments.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/DimaBerlin

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