Friday, May 30, 2014

Migraine and a Medical Cannabis Update

Migraine and other conditions that lead to chronic pain and nausea can sometimes benefit from the use of medical cannabis (marijuana). As is the case for most treatments, what works for one, won't for another. I wish there was more research on the use of medical cannabis and the potentially helpful chemicals it contains, because of the extreme need for more new treatments and fewer side effects, however, I don't really know where I stand on its use for Migraine specifically. There simply isn't enough helpful research. Coming from a law enforcement family and background, I have very definite feelings about its recreational use in states where it is legal or illegal. That said, there is an update on the medical use of cannabis that hit my email today, so I thought I would share it for those interested in the ongoing medical cannabis saga.

NIH Cannabis Plant Chart

Cannabis for medical use is legal in a few states with varying results. It is still illegal on a federal level however, and this can cause problems for those providing cannabis to patients in states where it is legal. In a nutshell, the federal government currently has the right to ignore the state's legalization and interfere with cannabis production, sales and use.

Public opinion on medicinal cannabis legalization is shifting. By a 219-89 vote, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would have blocked federal government interference with individual states' enactment of medical cannabis laws. The bill has been added to another bill related to the Justice Department's budget, and still requires Senate approval.

As a patient advocate, I wish there were a way to convey to readers how distraught I am at the loss of so many Migraine and chronic pain patients for lack of a treatment that helps them. There are many treatment options which give the illusion there's no reason for suffering, but none work for everyone. The fact remains that many of us live lives struggling just to breathe. The cannabis and psilocybin issues need to be considered and discussed so we stop seeing patients die over the misunderstanding between a chemical misused for *fun* and the same one used in an appropriate medical setting, to save lives. 

And, the debate continues...

How do you feel about the medical use of cannabis?

How do you feel about this new legislation?