I suffer from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis of my hips having been prescribed various drugs over the past few years eg. Dichlorfenac, Nefopam and Codeine; all of them have very serious side effects as you should know.
For the past 3 years I have been prescribed Tramadol but only use it very sparingly in the evening if pain becomes intense. I have found that by using a very small amounts of cannabis I can go weeks or months without using Tramadol at all and only taking paracetamol.
Cannabis seems to facilitate joint movement rather than dulling the pain, it also has its drawbacks and I have had to experiment using myself as the guinea pig due to the lack of truthful advice available. Luckily it is not possible to overdose on cannabis and it is not highly addictive.
I would love to have a reasoned discussion about how this could fit into a pain management programme but I have felt uneasy about openly giving any information about dosages delivery methods sources etc.
My subjective view is that cannabis could replace opiates for many cases of chronic pain but the main obstacle at the moment is the threat of arrest and prosecution which kills any attempts to develop innovative solutions by sharing information openly.
I could see that the authorities and pharmaceutical companies would have a problem with cannabis being grown cheaply at home but he main objective of the criminal law seems to be to keep the market artificially inflated siting the health of the public as the excuse for not changing the law.