Marijuana does not stop chronic pain in teens, says study

One of the most commonly cited reasons for medical marijuana use is chronic pain, but for teens it’s not recommended. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that for teens, marijuana use may only worsen the pain and symptoms (see the video for comments from the lead researcher). As acceptance for medical marijuana grows, teens need to be aware of how smoking a joint may create more symptoms than it solves.

A study in the July 2013 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings warns that marijuana use for pain may interfere with normal development (released June 24, 2013). “The consequences may be very, very severe, particularly for adolescents who may get rid of their pain — or not — at the expense of the rest of their life,” said co-author J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist.

The case study involves three high-school age patients who were seen at Mayo Clinic’s pediatric chronic pain clinic. All three self-reported marijuana use for severe pain after trying other therapies with no success (see the video). The researchers say this study is not about the legality of marijuana and that they recognize that cannibus may have useful benefits, but most likely not when smoked. They say this in itself may pose more risk for lung cancer than the benefits of pain management.

Full story of marijuana stopping teens chronic pain at the Examiner

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Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.