Doctors Question Whether Marijuana Can Lessen Pain
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Doctors Question Whether Marijuana Can Lessen Pain
Posted by CN Staff on October 04, 2011 at 05:48:48 PT
By Jerry Wolffe, For the Daily Tribune
Source: Daily Tribune
Michigan -- The medical community has made progress in dealing with chronic pain, but doctors still disagree on whether marijuana could be used to lessen pain.“There’s been a huge improvement in understanding chronic pain,” said Dr. Todd Lininger, who has a practice in Bloomfield Township and Clarkston and works out of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.
Cases of chronic pain are increasing, especially with the aging population, he said.Could legal pot erase government red ink?Years ago, the philosophy for those living with pain was to grin and bear it.However, Lininger said researchers have discovered that chronic pain — or pain that lasts longer than four months — creates changes in the brain and pain response is a “global” brain not limited to a particular area.Dr. Mary Wisely, who is board certified in geriatrics and palliative medicine who is employed at a hospice, said not everyone has pain issues.She also said there are no studies to show that marijuana is an effective pain treatment.“There is a lack of evidence of success in diminishing pain from marijuana use,” she said.But she and Wisely say the goal of the physician is to improve the quality of life of chronic pain patients and keep them independent and manage their pain as best as possible so they can function in daily life.“When we talk about chronic pain or refractory pain ... there’s not a lot of successful treatment,” said Wisely.“We can’t eliminate all of some patients’ pain,” the WSU Medical School graduate said.Treatments for chronic pain depends on what’s causing the pain, Wisely said, noting physicians try to find the underlying physiological causes of pain and treat the cause.And, as patients know “pain can range from minor aggravation to being completely debilitating,” she said.The reaction of others or loved ones to someone in pain can change the perception of pain to the sufferer.“If there’s a lot of emotional intensity, the pain will have a larger impact on the patient’s life,” she said.Surprisingly, one’s tolerance of pain decreases the longer a patient is in pain, said Lininger.Every time a chronic pain sufferer experiences pain, the brain undergoes changes in its response so that the pain is amplified, making the pain experience worse, Lininger said.He — as Wisely noted —said there’s a psychological as well as cultural aspect to how one reacts to pain.In addition, when emotion is attached to a pain stimulus the pain is worse than incidental pain such as one would experience if they bruised their thigh running out of a burning building.Different people also have a genetic predisposition in how they respond to pain, Lininger said. Some are just born being more susceptible to pain.Response to pain also depends upon past experience, fatigue levels and how one interprets the pain stimulus.“We all have different tolerances to pain,” Lininger said. “But in time our pain tolerance diminishes.”Lininger also said that smokers require more pain medication than non-smokers and this applies “across the board” to all types of pain.Magnetic resonance imaging exams show how different parts of the brain respond to pain but the most effective singular predictive variable is genetics.Apparently if parents were better with coping with pain their children also will be.He said in the future a genetic evaluation might help doctors determine what drugs are best to treat a patient’s pain.Physicians have developed a pain scale of 1 to 10. A ‘7” is severe pain and doctors treat that patient with narcotic analgesics. They do try to match the medication with the level of pain the patient said he or she is experiencing.What’s most important, the experts say, is for the patient to be in a partnership with the treating physician.Source: Daily Tribune, The (Royal Oak, MI)Author: Jerry Wolffe, For the Daily TribunePublished: October 4, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Daily TribuneContact: editor dailytribune.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #12 posted by Oleg the tumor on October 11, 2011 at 07:15:03 PT:
Quack On!
Bravo Museman! Well put! Many people alive today do not remember the days when there were no commercials for prescription medicines on TV. Then an interesting thing happened. Pharmaceutical companies realized that if they could "Empower the Patient" by sending them off to "Ask your doctor if (drug to be advertised) is right for you!", then the natural result would be more pharmaceutical sales.
Now we have multiple drugs to treat erectile dysfunction while multiple sclerosis sufferers, cancer patients, vets with PTSD and anyone else with an interest in this historic herb are told, "Sorry, what medical school did you go to? You don't have the right to question us."Apologies to all the good doctors and nurses out there who still understand that compassion comes before profit, both professionally and in the dictionary.
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Comment #11 posted by museman on October 06, 2011 at 21:04:51 PT
What they mean
 when they say "Marijuana has no medicinal use" is really "Marijuana has no pharmaceutical value."There's no mega profit in it if made legal.Too easy for anyone to access, no need for doctors or insurance companies, bank accounts, or law, just a seed bearing herb, given by Our Creator, that will grow just about anywhere on the planet. Without harm in its natural, un-tweaked state, and all its benefits make it the #1 most useful plant in known history.LEGALIZE IT
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on October 06, 2011 at 12:17:12 PT
American Dr. Hubris. Consider European Research.
Cannabis oil is a highly efficient natural cancer cure.
Monday, October 03, 2011 by: Michelle Bosmier.
See all articles by this author.
Email this author.
Learn more:
Laboratory tests conducted in 2008 by a team of scientists formed as a joint research effort between Spain, France and Italy, and published in The Journal Of Clinical Investigation, showed that the active ingredient in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, can function as a cure for brain cancer by inducing human glioma cell death through stimulation of autophagy.
}Does this sound like a "substance" with no current medical use???
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Comment #9 posted by museman on October 05, 2011 at 09:54:31 PT
squacking quackers
Doctors used to claim that babies felt no pain.They used to use leeches to cure everything.They also liked to bleed people.They prescribed killing the cats when the rats infected everyone with the plague.When I first went to a 'doctor' back in the 80's with the symptoms of the beginnings of my spinal collapse, he told me it was because I 'played guitar too much' and refused to treat me unless I stopped!But of course that was directly related to the "partnership with the treating physician" that was proscribed by the 'insurance' that was mandated by the fed.When I went to another doctor because of another symptom that manifested a few years later (in another state) he started giving me drugs -no pain meds,just anti-depressants and mood adjusters that really wrecked my life for some months until I stopped taking them -whereupon the doctor said I had a 'death wish' and threatened to have me 'committed.' -all because I had a reaction in my inner ear that was directly related to a pinched nerve. I figured that out after the MRI revealed the spinal disorder (and enough pain for me to seriously consider euthanasia.) I told the doctor/s about it - each one of them laughed and asked me which 'medical school' I was trained at.So, doped up on opium, anti-inflamatories, and the several other pharmaceuticals prescribed by the doctor -with calculator in hand (not for dosages -but for the doctors cut with the the drug companies) I, a long time pot smoker noticed that when I smoked enough herb, sometimes I actually forgot to take the pain meds, and after I got medical marijuana, and could smoke anytime I wanted, my use of pain meds was lessened by about 80%! So much for the anecdotal 'evidence' believed by the establishment community, reflected in this statement; “There is a lack of evidence of success in diminishing pain from marijuana use,”But then, who am I? Apparently just some dumb, unconscious laborer who wouldn't know anything about his own body, because he was raised to believe in all the so-called 'experts' and 'professionals' whose elite stations in life dictate rules and regulations to those 'less endowed' with such social/economic/political power."She also said there are no studies to show that marijuana is an effective pain treatment." -well of course there aren't many (though there are a few,) because the feds won't fund them, and no self-respecting 'doctor' or 'medical researcher' anywhere will do anything without lots of money to support their country club membership, their mercedes, their million-dollar house, and/or the payment on their student loans if they were one of the token non-elite classes allowed into the club. And the feds won't pay for research that will prove them wrong. Kind of like the music industry won't support my music, because I say things that they don't want to hear, and what they don't want other people to hear. It's all relative.Mind and body control is the agenda. Keep the workers healthy enough to supply the machine with their life-force and life-time, but if they can't work, give them as little as possible, -particularly if their strawman values has been lessened by their choices of 'career,' or lack of one."... if parents were better with coping with pain their children also will be." And the inverse is actually the real consideration; -stupid parents breed stupid children.These people who all think themselves so special because of their 'education' or their bank account, are the #1 problem in the world. It is their motivation and lack of concern for anything other than their own 'specialness' that has wrecked the planet, and continues to do so.Many (most it seems) people, brought up with the TV as their main teacher, believe in the class strata as 'necessary' for a functioning civilization (because the "experts" say so) and can not visualize anything other than what they are told to visualize, (or have visualized for them on the screen). That, fortunately is changing, maybe, but the new technologies have created new versions of the same people-programming-tools, totally dependent on the populace continuing to believe in the "experts and professionals."Freedom is without these kinds of poser, pretenders, and usurpers of proper and true authority, skill, talent, and expertise -all because they had money or social leverage to get their 'life station' where they want it -while the rest of us 'serve' their agenda in mindless labor.True Liberty is divorced from dictates. There is no control, regulation, or 'authority' over it. It is a personal choice and responsibility.Stop feeding the beast. Stop electing professional politicians, stop giving lawyers exclusive access to law, stop giving doctors (whose techniques and skills haven't evolved since they were just butchers with elevated social position -oh they still are!) such control over our health. Stop being a mindless slave just for the illusion of wealth- the chasing of the carrot on the stick.I know its a statement falling on mostly (deliberately) ignorant ears -because people still want to believe in the illusions of america and its crumbling "civilization", but I also know that there are some few struggling into wakefullness - I see many here who qualify for that- so I keep stating it (I try new ways and phrasing when it becomes available) over and over again, for those young people who haven't solidified their relationship with mammon just yet, and might make the decisions that ultimately lead to freedom and liberty for all.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on October 05, 2011 at 07:35:06 PT
good overview on proposed mmj bills in MI
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on October 05, 2011 at 06:24:49 PT
Denver Post Editorial
Editorial: Federal government clouds medical marijuana in ColoradoAn assault on gun ownership and the closing of pot industry bank accounts in the state highlight the need for legalization. the Fed's do more and more that is simply silly, More citizens will come to the same conclusion; the only way to stop them is to LEGALIZE.))) 
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on October 04, 2011 at 20:36:43 PT
doctors experiences
“What’s most important, the experts say, is for the patient to be in a partnership with the treating physician.” This is a joke isn’t it? If you are gushing blood or have something they can see on an xray they can fix you up, but if you have a complicated condition that will take longer than 3 minutes to figure out, you are pretty much on your own. You become a problem patient and they don’t want to deal with you. You can die for all they care. You can’t talk to them on the telephone and their staff is difficult to deal with. At least that is the way they are in my area. I hope the doctors in your areas are better.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 04, 2011 at 18:30:08 PT
IRS Hits Oakland Pot Shop With $2.4M Tax Bill 
October 5, 2011San Francisco -- The federal government has found a new weapon in its war on marijuana — the tax man.A San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana dispensary that promotes itself as the world's largest has been hit with a $2.4 million tax bill following an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, the dispensary founder said Tuesday.URL:
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on October 04, 2011 at 09:09:35 PT
Thou Shalt Not Dose a Patient against Hir Will
{ Involuntary administration of medicineFirst Amendment implications of involuntary administration of psychotropic medication arose late in the twentieth century. In Rogers v. Okin, 478 F. Supp. 1342 (D.Mass. 1979) Judge Joseph L. Tauro for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts found:  The right to produce a thought — or refuse to do so — is as important as the right protected in Roe v. Wade to give birth or abort [...] The First Amendment protects the communication of ideas. That protected right of communication presupposes a capacity to produce ideas. As a practical matter, therefore, the power to produce ideas is fundamental to our cherished right to communicate and is entitled to comparable constitutional protection.[81]He went on to contend that "whatever powers the Constitution has granted our government, involuntary mind control is not one of them."[81] Two years later in Rennie v. Klein, 653 F.2d 836 (3d. Cir. 1981), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit avoided the plaintiffs' First Amendment and Eighth Amendment arguments, finding it "preferable to look to the right of personal security recognized in Ingraham v. Wright", a Fourteenth Amendment case, in analyzing the constitutional implications of the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication.[82] }--First Amendment to the United States Constitution{ "THE TWO COMMANDMENTS FOR THE MOLECULAR AGE"IThou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow man.IIThou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from altering his own consciousness. }--page 81, The Politics of Ecstasy by Dr. Timothy Leary [Ecstasy refers to the experience, not the club drug!]Hir is a Leary contraction of his/her, intended to make speech less gender-biased.
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Comment #3 posted by Tim on October 04, 2011 at 08:00:55 PT:
My spine
My spine has 6 fractured vertebrae due to a disease similar to osteoporosis, called Scherrmann's disease, which is degenerative for life time. There's no cure. I'm 36 years old. Pot makes my pain vanish within seconds, whereas no other medicines help with pain. I'm ready for legalization!
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Comment #2 posted by Oleg the tumor on October 04, 2011 at 07:28:10 PT:
What about the intractables?
Speaking as a brain tumor patient who has been through the "Medical Mill" since 1979, pre-MRI (which made all the difference in the world)
I've been through surgery, chemo, loss of job due to seizures, a protracted but eventually triumphant battle with SSA, bankruptcy and everything that goes with it.
All in all I'm happy to be alive, the stats say I shouldn't be.
After brain surgery, my left instep went numb yet it itches constantly. A nerve in my left elbow twitches so much it causes my left forearm to get tired. My left knee has intermittent pain, though there is nothing wrong with the knee. These, along with the focal motor seizures of the left side are described to me by my doctors as "intractables", a byproduct of operating on the brain – an organ that we do not understand as well as the other organs. I take double handfuls of anti-convulsants morning and night. I mention all of these things only to say what marijuana does for me. It does not take pain away per se, nor does it remove the nausea when that occurs, it does not stop the itching or the twitching, nor do I expect it to. What marijuana does for me is to allow me to compartmentalize all of these physical discomfort and hold them aside so that I may pay attention to the work day in front of me. With marijuana, I just don't pay attention to physical discomfort caused by things that doctors can only speculate about. Measuring the effectiveness of medical marijuana on pain relief is a tricky thing. I have piece of mind because I can stay useful, even though everything still hurts. How do you factor that in? Or do we just pretend that marijuana is a narcotic?
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Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on October 04, 2011 at 06:31:27 PT
Are they asking the doctors?
I remember reading about a study done on kids falling off of tricycles. They spend scads of money and came to the conclusion that kids going around corner too fast is what caused kids to fall off of tricycles- and some bright person made the observation that they could have asked any mother in the US, gotten the same answer and saved all that money! Now here we have them arguing over "Does cannabis relieve pain?" Did any think to ask the patients what THEY think? But I expect that they will poll the doctors, instead of the real experts- the patients! 
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