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Medical Cannabis in Pain Management: Dr. Thelma B. Wright sheds light on Therapeutic benefits


By Gloria Amoh 

The Medical Doctor of the University of Maryland in Pain Management Centre (UMMC), Dr. Thelma B. Wright, has stated that medical cannabis is another name for medical marijuana, or what we call hospital guides.

In an interview with Dr. Thelma B. Wright on the breakfast show on May 7, 2024, she explained that her job is to take care of patients who have chronic pain. She added that chronic pain is pain that has been around for 3 to 6 months. 

“For the past year or two, I have introduced medical cannabis into my practice,” she said.

According to her, cannabis is another name for medical marijuana, and it is used for conditions that have been shown to be treated by medical cannabis. It is also used as a supplement for medications that we normally would not use. 

Dr. Wright mentioned that cannabis can be used for any condition as long as one is diagnosed with chronic pain.

“Conditions like HIV, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer, sickle cell, migraine, seizures, and epilepsy in children. We are using it in the pediatric arena now,” she added.

She emphasised that we have receptors in the body and also what is known as endocannabinoids in the body, but however, cannabis, marijuana, or drugs associated with cannabinoids attach to these receptors in various parts of the body, and they end up giving the effects that we notice are the benefits of marijuana.

She indicated that CBD and THC are really the components of marijuana that cause the high euphoria, and CBD doesn’t cause as much.

“The higher the THC level, the more you get that euphoria, and then the CBD causes more of the zen, getting tired, or being able to sleep,” she said.

She explained that specific patient populations, like cancer patients, may benefit more from medical cannabis compared to traditional treatment because, with cancer patients, they take a lot of narcotics, and what happens with high doses of narcotics is that you end up with constipation. 

Touching on how medical cannabis works in the body to create therapeutic effects, Dr. Thelma B. Wright explained that the receptors in the body are the endocannabinoids receptors, which are in the gut and in the brain, and basically what the THC does is to connect these receptors and then cause the actions that we are supposed to see in these patients. She cautioned that, while medical cannabis has therapeutic benefits, it also has potential side effects like; getting sleepy, hallucinations, dizziness, and paranoia.

“We don’t just recommend it to anybody, but rather, do a screening before, and it is good to have a trained physician who knows how to recommend it and what doses to recommend,” she added.

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