It is unclear whether medical marijuana is helping patients manage pain, researchers have concluded, and more research is necessary before cannabis can be accepted as an effective treatment for severe pain.
In a study conducted by Ohio State University and the University of California, researchers examined surveys conducted in 2013 of 295 medical marijuana dispensary patients in Los Angeles.
A total of 45 percent of participants used marijuana daily, and 48 percent used it three or more times daily.
Of the participants, 44 percent were in the low-pain category, 24 percent were in the moderate- pain category, and 31 percent were in the high-pain category.
Of those who used marijuana three or more times daily, 39 percent were experiencing low pain, 51 percent had moderate pain, and approximately 60 percent had high pain.
Researchers found no association between how often marijuana was used daily and health status, but found daily marijuana use among those reporting high levels of pain was linked to worsening health status.
“It shows how little we know about marijuana as medicine, how people are using it, the dosages they are receiving and its long-term effects,” Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at Ohio State University, said.