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Question:

Medical use of THC for pain management

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I have CAD. In 2004 I had three stents placed in me. I have also been struggling with very painful arthritis which my doctor tells me the pain could be managed some by taking medical marijuana however smoking is obviously a no-no. I have heard there are alternatives to smoking to obtain the benefits of THC by use of a vaporizer in which the plant material is well vaporized with none of the harmful byproducts from smoke. Any research done here and if so is this something I could pursue as part of my pain management strategy without being harmful to my CAD?


Answer:

 The uses of Medical cannabis currently include the following: treatment of nausea and vomiting also stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lower eye pressure in patients with glaucoma; the effectiveness in treating chronic severe pain has been suggested. The FDA issued an advisory against smoke medical THC saying that it has high potential for abuse, is not currently accepted for medical use in USA because its lack of accepted safety for usage under medical supervision and the evidence that is harmful. The pills may provide same effects without the harm effects of the smoke, but this form of treatment is not totally accepted yet. There are commercial preparations in form of pills (used basically in AIDS patients by prescription) and the “vaporizers” are still in trial phase.


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