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Pain ManagementPatient Resources

Medical Cannabis for Pancreatitis

Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pancreatitis

In this video guide, Dr. Tim Gardner explains medical cannabis and how pancreatitis patients can benefit from it. Dr. Gardner is a gastroenterologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this video is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia, but it is not legal federally.

The information on this video is for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you learned during this video.

What is Medical Cannabis?

While not federally legalized, certain U.S. states allow patients to obtain medical-grade cannabis,

also known as marijuana, to treat symptoms associated with certain medical conditions. Medical cannabis can only be obtained at licensed dispensaries that are regulated by state law, which makes it different from recreational cannabis. Depending on the state you live in, you may qualify for a medical cannabis license that can allow you to purchase medical-grade cannabis. Severe chronic pain and chronic vomiting and nausea may qualify you for a medical cannabis license, but qualifying medical conditions vary by state.

Medical Marijuana for Pancreatitis Pain

Due to federal regulations in the United States, not much research has been done to study the effects of cannabis for pancreatitis pain. One study done at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center looked at the effects of medical marijuana on pancreatitis. The study found that patients who used medical marijuana to treat their pancreatitis symptoms reported having:

  • less nausea
  • less pain
  • less anxiety
  • improved appetite
  • improved overall quality of life

Can Medical Cannabis Be Used to Treat Pancreatitis Symptoms?

Medical marijuana can improve some of the main symptoms of pancreatitis like pain, nausea, and anxiety. Medical cannabis is safe for pancreatitis patients to use. Certain patients must take appropriate precautions depending on their individual situation. For instance, if a patient has lung problems, they should consider ingesting medical cannabis in the form of edibles or using tinctures instead of inhaling the substance.