St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A so-called report card on Minnesota’s medicinal marijuana program found quite a few patients reported significant pain reduction.

The study by the Minnesota Department of Health utilized a survey that was presented to about 2200 people suffering from intractable pain who enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program. 42-percent indicated they experienced a pain reduction of 30-percent or more after using cannabis oil or other medicinal marijuana products sold at state authorized dispensaries. Officials note the 30-percent pain reduction threshold is often used in pain studies to define a clinically meaningful improvement.

“This study helps improve our understanding of the potential of medical cannabis for treating pain,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We need additional and more rigorous study, but these results are clinically significant and promising for both pain treatment and reducing opioid dependence.”

The health department also surveyed healthcare practitioners caring for patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program. 41-percent of the practitioners reported their patients saw a reduction of 30-percent or more in pain by using the cannabis products.

The study also found 63-percent of the marijuana program enrollees who also reported using opioid medications reduced or eliminated their use of those painkillers after 6 months. The reports from the health practitioners seem to confirm that finding. 58-percent of the practitioners also reported patients using medicinal marijuana reduced or eliminated opioid medications.

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