A family doctor uses CBD for pain caused by her breast cancer surgery

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Andrea Schmucki was 46 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She was a busy professional – a family physician – and a wife and mother of three teenage sons.

Andrea decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy which was followd by chemotherapy and radiation. One side effect was that it left her in constant pain: “I was experiencing … increasing pain around my chest. I had the constant feeling of wearing a tight, stiff, pinching, scratching ‘iron bra.’”

So she tried high doses of ibuprofen to no avail and considered asking for opioid pain relievers. However, through word of mouth she heard about medicinal cannabis and eventually decided on a full spectrum CBD over THC because it doesn’t produce the euphoria. Now, after 18 months of CBD oil Andrea says:

CBD has been a godsend for me, providing significant reduction in daily pain. While I still have discomforts related to taking other medicines for metastatic breast cancer, I am grateful that I have gotten such improvement in my quality of life.

When you hear of successful patient stories like Andrea’s one question always arises, Is the success limited to this one case or is there something to it? (Because treatments that don’t pan out aren’t usually reported.)

As it turns out, the science is solid on CBD and pain.

For example, in 2015, JAMA found that “Use of marijuana for chronic pain [and] neuropathic pain … is supported by high-quality evidence.”

And in 2017, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine issued a 450 page report on the health effects of cannabinoids and found “conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective … For the treatment for chronic pain in adults.”

Dr. Schmucki also offers some helpful advice for anyone looking to use CBD: Be sure the product comes with a Certificate of Analysis independent lab testing that tells you what’s in the product you’re buying and what’s not in it, for example, contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.

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