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Pain Goes To Pot

Sunday 17 March 2019


From Chicago Health:



Pain Goes to Pot

By Kate Silver
March 15, 2019
Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

Does medical marijuana deliver on its pain-relieving promises?

Every day, Samantha is in pain. Her elbows and knees feel inflamed. Her ankle aches. She gets cramps in her abdomen. Her lower back hurts. She suffers from fibromyalgia, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome.

To feel better, Samantha uses medical cannabis — also called medical marijuana — which she buys at a dispensary near her home in Joliet. “My quality of life is not 100 percent, but the cannabis at least helps to dull the pain,” says Samantha, who requested that her last name not be used because cannabis is illegal on a federal level. “It doesn’t really get rid of the pain. It kind of helps you forget about the pain.”

Samantha, 27, got her medical cannabis card for having severe fibromyalgia, which is listed as one of 40 debilitating conditions in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which went into effect in Illinois in 2015.

Access to marijuana is expanding. Now medical cannabis is available for pain, for those who qualify. In August 2018, it was approved in the state as a replacement for prescription opioid painkillers for patients 21 and older. And Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to legalize recreational marijuana during his term.


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