TODAY'S VIDEO

There are several different debilitating, severe chronic pain syndromes. But one of the most debilitating is RSD or CRPS. Although there are no studies on the correlation between RSD and CRPS, the interaction between chronic pain and cannabis has been studied numerous times.

What you’ll Learn

  • About Complex Regional Pain Disorders (RSD & CRPS)
  • Studies Related to Chronic Pain and Cannabis
  • Study Limitations

 

Chronic Pain Disorders and Medical Marijuana (Cannabis & CBD)

There are several different debilitating, severe chronic pain syndromes. But one of the most debilitating is RSD or CRPS. We used to refer to complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS, as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, RSD. And it’s characterized by chronic, ongoing, severe pain that appears to be out of the range of the initial amount of injury that you would expect to induce that amount of pain. There’s associated sensitivity and swelling and also changes in the quality of skin.

While we don’t have any specific data on RSD or CRPS being treated with medical marijuana, we do have some pretty good studies of chronic pain. And I want to share another one that I really like with you today.

 

2017 STUDY: Medical Cannabis in Patients with Chronic Pain: Effect on Pain Relief, Pain Disability, and Psychological aspects. A Prospective Non randomized Single Arm Clinical Trial.

This study was published in 2017 and involved 338 patients who were experiencing chronic pain from various disorders. And they were treated with medical marijuana for 12 months. The 338 patients underwent an initial questionnaire regarding their pain medications, level of pain intensity, the amount of disability they suffered with their pain, and the amount of associated anxiety and depression.

They were re-questioned on month one, three, six, and 12. And a significant number of the patients reported reductions in pain intensity, reductions in pain disability, and reductions in anxiety and depression, leading the researchers to suggest that there could be significant improvement with the addition of medical marijuana to a chronic pain treatment protocol.

 

Medical Cannabis Study Limitations Image of marijuana and oil

Now there are some significant limitations to this study. The baseline pain wasn’t a specific type of pain. Usually, if you’re going to be studying pain, it’s helpful that it’s … for example osteoarthritis of the knee or a group diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a specific doctor so that we know that the diagnosis is correct.

Having it just be any pain syndrome, all covers, in some ways is valuable because you can see that it may help in a number of pain syndromes. But in some ways, it makes the study a bit less reliable. The other problem is these 338 patients were all treated in what we refer to as a non-randomized, single arm trial. There was no control group. And again, that can increase your risk of error or bias because simply paying attention to people can create a placebo effect, sometimes result in improvement of symptoms in about 20% of cases.

Even with the study limitations in place, we can still argue that it was a good study with good results. If you have a pain syndrome such as CRPS, previously known as RSD, or any other syndromes that you are not getting adequate benefit with your current therapies or completely unexpected or intolerable side effects, then consider the addition of medical marijuana to your treatment protocol.

TRANSCRIPTION

There are several different debilitating, severe chronic pain syndromes. But one of the most debilitating is RSD or CRPS. We used to refer to complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS, as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, RSD. And it’s characterized by chronic, ongoing, severe pain that appears to be out of the range of the initial amount of injury that you would expect to induce that amount of pain. There’s associated sensitivity and swelling and also changes in the quality of skin.

While we don’t have any specific data on RSD or CRPS being treated with medical marijuana, we do have some pretty good studies of chronic pain. And I want to share another one that I really like with you today. This study was published in 2017 and involved 338 patients who were experiencing chronic pain from various disorders. And they were treated with medical marijuana for 12 months. The 338 patients underwent an initial questionnaire regarding their pain medications, level of pain intensity, the amount of disability they suffered with their pain, and the amount of associated anxiety and depression.

They were re-questioned on month one, three, six, and 12. And a significant number of the patients reported reductions in pain intensity, reductions in pain disability, and reductions in anxiety and depression, leading the researchers to suggest that there could be significant improvement with the addition of medical marijuana to a chronic pain treatment protocol.

Now there are some significant limitations to this study. The baseline pain wasn’t a specific type of pain. Usually, if you’re going to be studying pain, it’s helpful that it’s … for example osteoarthritis of the knee or a group diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a specific doctor so that we know that the diagnosis is correct.

Having it just be any pain syndrome, all covers, in some ways is valuable because you can see that it may help in a number of pain syndromes. But in some ways, it makes the study a bit less reliable. The other problem is these 338 patients were all treated in what we refer to as a non-randomized, single arm trial. There was no control group. And again, that can increase your risk of error or bias because simply paying attention to people can create a placebo effect, sometimes result in improvement of symptoms in about 20% of cases.

Even with the study limitations in place, we can still argue that it was a good study with good results. If you have a pain syndrome such as CRPS, previously known as RSD, or any other syndromes that you are not getting adequate benefit with your current therapies or completely unexpected or intolerable side effects, then consider the addition of medical marijuana to your treatment protocol. We’ll cover more specific pain studies in upcoming videos.

Dr. Mary Clifton

 

Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor in New York City, with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and is also a licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide medical marijuana and is a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana.

She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.