By Ed Coghlan.
For any number of reasons, the use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain is expanding.
A recent CNN special—anchored by Dr. Sanjay Gupta—was sympathetic to the use of cannabis. It positioned cannabis as an alternative to opioid use for pain relief, which drew the ire of many National Pain Report readers.
But the momentum toward more use of cannabis—and perhaps even more U.S. based research—is hard to ignore.
Currently 29 states have approved the use of medicinal cannabis. More are considering it.
Ellen and Stu Smith live in Rhode Island and are co-directors of the US Pain Foundation Medicinal Cannabis Program. Ellen Smith saw the CNN special as a further indication that medical cannabis is increasingly becoming mainstream.
“He is so well respected, so his words go a long way and are being taken seriously,” she said, pointing out that there are just four states with no pending bills to try to include a medical cannabis program. “The people living in Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota are not able to dream of even being able to consider turning to any legal use of CBD or Cannabis.”
The recent Illinois Cannabis Education Expo drew over 1,100 people outside Chicago. People from across the East and Midwest attended the Expo, which was also seen live on the internet. For conference organizer Gracie Bagosy-Young, it’s a sign that people with pain and other chronic ailments and those who treat them are looking for alternatives.
“I strongly believe that people are looking for more natural ways to relieve their pain,” she said. “I believe that the robust turnout of professionals at our CME and CEU sessions is a testament to the fact that cannabis is a viable, medicinal option for chronic illnesses.”
The Expo is expected to become an annual event and may expand to other states.