Are Vets Helping Medical Marijuana Issue?

Are Vets Helping Medical Marijuana Issue?

By Ed Coghlan.

You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the American veteran in the debate over how to treat chronic pain.

Our vets—many of whom are suffering from chronic pain—are easily the most sympathetic subset of chronic pain patients.

And the vets are driving an important issue—that medical marijuana is an important remedy for PTSD.

The large and influential 2.2-million-member American Legion has pressured the federal government to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical marijuana where it’s legal. Right now, 29 states have approved marijuana for medical use. The Legion started advocating last year for easing federal constraints on medical pot research, a departure into drug policy for the nearly century-old organization.

“When veterans come to us and say a particular treatment is working for them, we owe it to them to listen and to do scientific research required,” Executive Director Verna Jones told CNBC.

Medical marijuana first became legal in 1996 in California for a wide range of conditions; New Mexico in 2009 became the first state specifically to include PTSD patients. States have signed on in growing numbers particularly since 2014.

A federally approved clinical trial of marijuana as a PTSD treatment for veterans is now underway in Phoenix. It might be two years before the results are known, which creates more debate about whether medical marijuana helps.

Does it help PTSD and chronic pain?

“The current studies highlight the real and urgent need for high-quality clinical trials in both of these areas,” said Dr. Sachin Patel, a psychiatry researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee told BusinessInsider.com last summer.

When you think about marijuana’s potentially positive impact, it doesn’t mean you smoke a joint. The research was focused on what’s known as nabiximols, or oral mixtures sprayed into the mouth.

More study is needed–and it’s needed now.

Pardon the editorial comment, but it’s time that the federal government gets its head out of you know where and conducts some serious research into the impact that marijuana can have on people with chronic pain and PTSD.

Thoughts?

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 10 comments for this article
  1. Linda at 2:32 pm

    There is so much to learn from all of you here; I see a mountain of knowledge to be gained by being a subscriber to the National Pain Report.

    I’ve am closed-minded when it comes to cannabis. I’ve always been highly concerned about the things I’ve heard about this drug doing significant damage to the front of the brain, about the thought of my loved ones sharing to road with many more “high” people behind the wheel, and lastly my belief that a law is a law and the simply need to be obeyed, regardless.

    I would like to say however, that what I’ve read here on this post and more importantly the comments, I am becoming open-minded and re-thinking my stance on the subject.

    I really look forward to learning more about it and people’s thoughts, feelings and experiences.

    The National Pain Report more times than not, has made me feel not alone anymore in my pain ridden body, which gives me much fear. Thanks everybody.

  2. David cole at 7:56 pm

    I’m a chronic pain patient who’s had two thirds of there medication cut, approximately 6 months ago every day I contemplated suicide, lived with depression, anxiety and so much stress. I was frantically looking for something to take up the extra pain, from the loss of the pain medication when I thought I’d try the CBD oil, it took me about 2 months to figure out what to get. I ended up with highly concentrated CBD oil, LOL, it comes in 1 and 2 mil syringes, looks like motor oil just a little thicker. I put olive oil in the bottom of a coffee cup till it covers the bottom, something like couple tablespoons of water, put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds, swirl it around and add three drops of this CBD motor oil. Swirl it around and wait for it to cool down, Swirl it around and drink it. I do three drops three times a day. The suicide thoughts depression-anxiety-stress has all been cut back by about 80%, it helps a little with the pain of neuropathy and my bone on bone arthritic shoulder. I’m a big fan of CBD oil, however I’m having a little problem with the consistency, when they make new batches it changes, and there’s a availability problem. You want to get the stuff that’s got between 60 and 70% CBD and 2-6% THC, you can up the THC if you like the high from it. This is just another typical government takeover of our Healthcare System, they want to take away all of our pain medication and leave us with nothing else for the pain. The government has the resources to isolate the CBD, make it consistent and available to everyone. If they’d quit taking their brains out and playing with them they might be able to get this done for the American people. I for one will not hold my breath.

  3. Ibin at 11:16 am

    Dot/Gov must have the “statistics” whether factual or biased, on paper before an issue can be addressed. Bureaucracy!. The folks whether it is our veterans or folks through chance now have to live with intractable pain or PTSD already know that cannabis products, do help with pain management and PTSD. For our own “protection”, Dot./Gov must have studies of the cannabis plant products and the already realized help on paper. Why has a fully acceptable study not been done……before sanctions imposed on opioid medications through our physicians that was enabled through a “policy” from a Dot/Gov agency. Pain management and other issues such as PTSD once again comes down to who does it cost and how much. Facts concerning the positive use of cannabis for pain relief and PTSD are and have been documented……already through prescribing and documented results,in the cannabis legal states. The same with opioid prescribing There is documentation of each patient that has and does use opioid medication for pain management. Positive results. Of course therr are always those that may use opioid medication in a non compliance with prescribing way but, positive use far outweighs the negative results of the few. I still say that if Jeff Sessions had to live in constant unman-aged pain or with PTSD he would ram a joint where it should not go IF it relieved “his” personal pain issue or helped to manage”‘his” PTSD symptoms. Good people DO use cannabis when it helps with pain management or other issues. As a patient with pain for over 23 years, a patient that has been prescribed opioid medication so I could work, pay my taxes, pay my own social security tax so I could have some comfort, monetarily at the appropriate age, the war on drugs without merit toward the prescribed patient has destroyed life as I and my family knew it for 23 years after pain issues began. If cannabis products help wiht pain and PTSD issues, and I am “sure” it does, then ;let’s use existing data, statistics, results from states that legalized marijuana years ago. PTSD effects the quality, the function of a life. My wife has been diagnosed with….PTSD so I fully understand our veterans “plight”. Those that are not living with, in constant pain or with PTSD do not now and maybe don’t care how blessed they are but. we know, thatt hey would seek a solution for an issue if they had it, just like anyone and everyone else.

  4. JoDawn at 11:14 am

    Preach it, Brother Coghlan!!
    It is INSANE that cannibas is still listed as Schedule1 (NO medical value????)

    I’m thrilled that more states are making this available, but what really needs to happen is a total reclassification.

  5. Bob Schubring at 8:23 am

    Of immediate concern is the fact that DEA’s search warrant for the raid on Dr Forest Tennant’s clinic, names his acceptance of a payment from INSYS Therapeutics for making a speech, as a reason for the raid, and also complains about his possible use of medications “off-label”. INSYS is small as Pharma companies go, making only 2 drugs.

    One of the 2 drugs is the first FDA-approved nabiximol, called Dronabinol. FDA approved it for treating the extreme nausea of cancer and AIDS patients. People like the late cannabis activist Peter McWilliams, who died of drowning in his own vomit after DEA confiscated his legal cannabis plants in a raid on his house.

    The other of INSYS’ 2 drugs is an oral spray containing Fentanyl. FDA approved that drug for treating the breakthrough pain that cancer patients experience.

    What this points up rather starkly, is that in the 26 states where cannabis is legal, the state won’t prosecute a doctor for using FDA-approved forms of cannabis, off-label. In the 24 states that still didn’t legalize cannabis yet, an overzealous prosecutor very well might do that.

    When California first legalized medical use of cannabis, DEA threatened every California doctor with loss of their DEA prescribing license, if they ever wrote one prescription for medical cannabis. But doctors are free to prescribe Dronabinol, on-label, in all 50 states.

    This smacks of political motivation. If doctors in the 24 backward states start putting patients on Dronabinol and start getting positive results, those patients are going to demand cannabis legalization. If state politicians ignore off-label prescribing, doctors will use Dronabinol off-label to treat PTSD and other conditions, and some of those patients will travel out of state, see cannabis practitioners who can get them looking at other varieties of cannabis and various oils and edibles made from them, and make further progress. Like a single brick falling off the Berlin Wall, the entire structure of cannabis prohibition is going to start crumbling, until eventually the wall comes crashing down. It will become impossible to maintain the legal fiction, that cannabis is too dangerous to test and must forever remain illegal.

    Sadly, some dishonest cannabis promoters pretend that cannabis should replace all opioids as pain drugs. People misled by these shysters may shy away from supporting Dr Tennant, because Dr Tennant understood that there are severe, intractable forms of pain that do not respond to cannabinoid drugs and is unafraid to say so. The cannabinoid receptors in our brains connect to how we process fear and anxiety. Painful muscle cramps happen from fear and anxiety and can be relieved with cannabinoids, along with the miserable feelings of fear and anxiety. Pains from many other causes, do not resolve with cannabinoids alone. Intractable pains respond only to opioids, because nothing else works. It’s that candor and truthfulness that landed Dr Tennant on the DEA’s hate list.

    Patients need full access to the medications that work. There are children with epilepsy who only can stay seizure-free, if they are on cannabinoid drugs. There are veterans with war wounds, who only are able to function, if their pain is controlled with opioid drugs. Prohibiting any drug for political reasons, is shameful and should not be tolerated.

  6. Michael Uphues, D.O. at 7:18 am

    Mist,
    We doctor’s who have a backbone will not forsake you patients. I agree that we need to know the bills in play. Thank you for the resource to track such bills. I will continue to fight for my patients. Our government is trying to intimidate us, but our public is smart and informed. Trump talked about the opioid epidemic, but I didn’t hear him say one thing about people who suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is a real thing whether or not he or other government officials believe it or not. We will continue to fight for our patients.

  7. Laura P. Schulman, M.D. at 7:13 am

    I’m not a veteran, but I am a trauma survivor. And I have painful skeletal injuries, in addition to the PTSD and post-head-injury stuff. The psychiatrists treated me with benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, gabapentin, and tizanidine, a powerful muscle relaxant for spasms.

    All this kept me numbed for decades. Then, as my age caught up with me, I started to have falls and break things. That led to more surgeries, more meds. A bell started going off in my head: polypharmacy, senior citizen, not good.

    So I used cannabis to wean off of all of it. I had been taking three different benzos for decades. I weaned off all that over six months. High CBD cannabis got me off the pharmaceuticals. I learned to make my own tinctures and infused oils. I use vaporized herb for breakthrough pain or anxiety.

    For the first time in my life, I sleep through the night.

    I repeat: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!

    That in itself is proof to me that this is powerful healing medicine, and should be available to all. The new specialty of Cannabis Medicine will make it possible for doctors to access educational programs to help people impacted by trauma and pain to recover enough to live fruitful, or at least bearable, lives. This will have a significant impact on decreasing the appalling suicide rate among people with PTSD and brain injury. My two cents.

  8. Badbackbarry at 6:07 am

    It will help vets in alot of ways it helps me with my DEPRESSION PAIN ANXIETY so I know it will help vets and I smoke it and after about 5 puffs off a doobie my DEPRESSION PAIN ANXIETY are almost gone just all the pain I’m in it take a little more. I SALUTE ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL VETS LET THEM HAVE THERE mecidical marajuaina 👍👍👍👍

  9. mist at 3:55 am

    Countable is a site that shares the new up- coming Bills that Congress is trying to push through I did a search on opioids and there are many bills coming. My honest opinion is if we are not up to date on bills each and every bill Congress approves we allow the Government to further deny Legit Chronic pain patients their life sustaining opioid medications…
    /www.countable.us/bills/hr993-115-opioid-abuse-prevention-and-treatment-act-of-2017
    As we know when the Government (CDC,FDA,DEA ) get involved their recommendations become their legal means to intimidate and bully doctors and patients to remove opioids from patients Long term care .
    .countable.us/bills/s1079-115-protecting-americans-from-dangerous-opioids-actng term use for pain control.
    . It would be a travesty to leave millions of patients to live in daily pain (which is exactly what is being proposed due to the misinformation out there).

  10. Michael Uphues at 3:18 am

    Couldn’t agree more. I am a Board Certified Family Physician and Certified in Cannabinoid Medicine. I am licensed to practice in MT, IL, IN, NV, and FL. I have recommended Medical Cannabis to thousands of patients, lecture nationally onthis topic, and am an expert in this field. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions at 406-696-0409.

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