The biggest roadblock between the federal government and medical marijuana is a “lack of research” – or at least that’s what they are saying. Luckily, there are studies happening all over the world, including upcoming ones here in the U.S., that are looking to prove that marijuana is a medicine. Two of the latest studies that have been announced will be taking place in Connecticut – both looking at the possibility of using cannabis in place of opiates and to reduce opiate use, hoping it is an effective way to curb the opioid crisis that is growing across the nation.
“Here’s a substance that will give us adequate pain control but, at the same time, will probably reduce our use and dependence and, therefore abuse, of opiate pain medications,” said Dr. James Feeney, Saint Francis Director of Trauma Services, in an interview Friday. “Medical marijuana has the potential to change the way we treat acute and chronic pain. We believe this will help to end the opiate epidemic in Connecticut and maybe America.”
The first study, announced this week, will be taking place at Hartford’s Saint Francis Hospital and it will compare the effectiveness of medical marijuana to that of oxycodone in treating patients with intense, immediate pain and long-term chronic pain associated with rib fractures. The other trial, which has been federally approved, will take place at The Connecticut Hospice – which is the oldest facility of the kind in the entire nation. They will be using medical marijuana in conjunction with opiates in patients nearing the end of their life, with the hope of improving quality of life while reducing the use of addictive and harmful opiates.
“Connecticut Hospice has the vision trying to better fulfill their mission in palliative care and symptom control to improve the quality of life with limited time but it’s still very important. Everybody deserves to die with dignity,” said Dr. Wen-Jen Hwu, the Chairman of The Connecticut Hospice Professional Advisory Committee.
These two studies are going to be an important part of things moving forward – any studies approved by the federal government are something they will not be able to ignore, whether or not they like the results. With how much success there has already been when it comes to treating chronic pain with medical marijuana, and seeing states with medical marijuana laws have significant drops in opiate prescriptions, these studies are likely to have promising results that will hopefully help to finally get the federal government on board with medical marijuana.