Cannabis may be as effective at treating symptoms of neuropathy as are addictive drugs such as opioids, according to the results of a new survey from NuggMD, the largest telehealth platform for cannabis.
Furthermore, according to respondent data, the potency of the cannabis used to treat the condition is more predictive of pain relief than any other variable, including frequency of consumption. This data calls into question the validity of previous research on this subject that used low-potency cannabis.
Conducted earlier this year, the survey polled 9,700 cannabis users who have neuropathy and received 603 responses, achieving a confidence level of 95 percent with a 3.87 percent margin of error. The findings were first reported in the cannabis industry outlet Marijuana Moment.
Neuropathy is a painful neurological condition that results from nerve damage. The risk of developing neuropathy generally increases with age, and addictive opioids are frequently prescribed to treat its symptoms. However, 10 states list neuropathy as a qualifying medical condition for medicinal cannabis recommendations, and many other states have legal statutes that make cannabis a treatment option for patients who have the condition.
“We were not surprised that respondents told us that cannabis is effective for pain relief. What we were surprised by is how much of a factor potency plays in providing that relief among the population that we surveyed,” said Alex Milligan, co-founder and CMO of NuggMD. “Potency may be a more important variable than is commonly understood. We hope that future research further explores the potency factor.”
The NuggMD survey included respondents who reported using cannabis with more than 20 percent THC, a potency that is common in both the medical and recreational markets. These respondents reported the greatest levels of relief among survey participants.
The positive correlation between potency and pain relief in this survey calls into question the validity of prior studies that used government-grown cannabis, which is generally much lower in potency. Until 2021, government researchers were hamstrung by federal regulations that allowed them to use cannabis from just one source in their research. By contrast, there are many thousands of cannabis varieties available in legal markets, many of which may produce unique clinical effects because of varying chemical profiles, terpenes, and potencies.
The NuggMD survey is not a peer-reviewed study and it contains selection bias. It does not provide causal evidence of cannabis being effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Further research into this subject by medical professionals is necessary.
NuggMD’s report on the survey was written by Alexandra Arnett, MS, fact-checked by NuggMD legal and policy researcher Deb Tharp, and medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler. The company can provide the full data set of its work to journalists and third-party researchers upon request.
NuggMD is the nation's largest medical marijuana technology platform, serving patients in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. They've connected over 1,000,000 patients face-to-face with their new medical marijuana doctors via their state-of-the-art telemedicine platform. They believe every human being has the right to explore the benefits of medical cannabis and are fully committed to helping each patient explore every option in their journey to wellness. For further information, visit NuggMD.com.