CBD oil for chronic pain
CBD oil has made an enormous difference to Lian's everyday life, giving her greater function and enabling her to do more of the things she loves.

This National Pain Week we’re acknowledging the holistic approach our Pain Clinic takes to help patients live a better life.

There are many ways to manage pain, such as medication and rehabilitation - but for some patients, dealing with the side effects of their condition, including anxiety, PTSD and a lack of concentration, can be just as hard.

For a select group of chronic pain patients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), such peripheral issues are being treated with medicinal cannabis.

Under the expert opinion of the RMH's Head of Pain Management, Associate Professor Malcolm Hogg, medicinal cannabis is being used to alleviate the stress associated with pain management and give patients a better quality of life.

The use of medicinal cannabis in acute and subacute settings was legalised by the Australian government in 2016.

Malcolm said while medicinal cannabis “doesn’t reduce pain severity” it may “reduce impact on sleep and function”.

He said this was particularly true for patients with conditions such as end-stage MS, neurological diseases and severe post-trauma pain.

Malcolm acknowledged the stigma associated with medicinal cannabis products, but said for “the right patient, we’re having some good responses”.

For long-term sufferer Lian (pictured), CBD oil has been “a game changer”.

Lian has been using CBD oil for about 8 months and said it’s made an enormous difference to her everyday life.

“I sleep better, I speak better, I don’t look as stressed and the overthinking has gone,” she said.

The treatment has given Lian greater function and enabled her to continue to do the things she loves, including volunteering.

Malcolm said the RMH was taking a "conservative but considered approach" to using medicinal cannabis, with about 100 patients prescribed the treatment since 2019.

This year, National Pain Week runs from 24 to 30 July with the theme 'let them know how strong you are'.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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