Medical cannabis treatment for chronic pain
Chronic or persistent pain is defined by the NHS as “pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment.”
Aside from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, IBS, and other health conditions can also cause this type of pain.
Although chronic pain conditions cannot be directly treated, they can be lessened by treating their symptoms and lessening their effects.
An ageing population and rise in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are likely to increase the number of people who suffer from chronic pain in the UK. Cannabis for chronic pain helps with pain relief through interaction with endocannabinoids, the body’s own “cannabis” system.
How does medical cannabis help with pain?
The brain and other parts of the body contain cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids are chemicals produced by our bodies that attach to receptors and carry out important functions.
As a result of this system, pain is controlled, mood is controlled, anti-inflammation responses are controlled, body movements are controlled, and epilepsy is controlled.
These receptors are also activated by Phyto cannabinoids, which are plant cannabinoids. Cannabis is therefore capable of being used in so many different ways in medicine.
LVL Health’s plan to make medical cannabis more accessible in the UK
Researchers will be able to conduct future trials using whole-plant cannabis for chronic pain conditions including arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia with the help of a feasibility study that has been approved by regulators.
As part of the study, private cannabis clinic LVL Health is recruiting 100 patients, with plans to recruit 5,000 patients in the future.
Approximately 10,000 private patients in the UK have already been prescribed cannabis medicines, most of whom suffer from chronic pain.
However, before prescribing it on the NHS, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) wants more robust data to evaluate its impact, especially as an alternative to opioids.
It is hoped that LVL Health will help close the evidence gap as well as accelerate patient access and improve patient care.
What makes LVL different from other clinics?
The medical cannabis clinic service is completely designed to provide its patients with the most convenient and comfortable method of receiving treatment. Due to this, all assessments, consultations, and medication deliveries are done via phone or online, and all medication is delivered directly to the patient by courier.
Once a patient has had a free initial assessment, included with the cost of joining the clinic, then a Multi-Disciplinary Team consisting of several health care professionals specialising in chronic pain will determine if they are eligible for treatment using medicinal cannabis.
Once the medication has been received, the patient will use an inhaler that pairs with an app on their own mobile device, to allow them to track and control how much they inhale, ensuring consistent and predictable results.
In turn, this will send the data to the clinic for their feasibility trial, so that they can research and analyse the data and make a case for better access to medical cannabis in the UK.
By joining LVL Health, patients will be automatically enrolled in a study programme that has been specifically designed for chronic pain.
A Standard of care programme accessible by priamry care surgeries will be developed using the data collected form the inhalers. In addition to pariticpating in a wider chronic pain study programme, LVL patients are able to access medical cannabis at substantially lower costs.