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Medical marijuana effects of pain, mood and memory in patients with chronic pain

1 August 2002


Objective: To study the effects of medical marijuana on pain, memory and mood in patients with chronic pain. Methods: A voluntary self-report study was distributed to roughly 200 patients with chronic pain who were enrolled in Oregon Department of Health Services Medical Marijuana Program in 2001 . Consent forms and questionnaires were mailed to participants' homes. A total of 53 patients completed the consent forms and 14 completed the surveys in full . Those were included in the results.

Results: Patient responder rate was 7% of which 64% were male and 36% were female There were 36% of patients who used one other form of concomitant pain relief in conjunction with medical marijuana and 43% used two or more forms. These forms included Opioids, NSAIDs, Marinol, Methadone and other forms of Analgesics. On the memory scales the average patient score was 0.72 on a scale of 0-4. On the mood scale the average was 1.76 on a scale of 1-4.

Conclusion: Marijuana is effective in decreasing pain. It is used by most patients as an adjunct therapy to their traditional medication regimes. Patients did not perceive significant memory impairments and reported low levels of anxiety/agitation.


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