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Cannabis for pain; cancer and social media use

Daily cannabis use for medical reasons may worsen chronic pain over time by reducing pain tolerance, according to recent research in the American Journal on Addictions. Explaining this on "HealthLink on Air" are psychiatrists Brian Johnson and Yanli Zhang-James, who note that people who use cannabis daily may be risking addiction without a long-term benefit for chronic pain.

Further, medical cannabis is currently used as an “off-label” pain treatment -- that is, without Food and Drug Administration approval -- and many people feel that as a natural herb, marijuana is safe to use. Johnson is a clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the recently retired director of addiction medicine at Upstate, and Zhang-James is a research associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Also on this week's show, how trustworthy is medically related information online? Parents of children with cancer face an especially tricky task. Dr. Amy Caruso Brown, who treats children with cancer, discusses the risks and benefits of social media usage and the suggestions parents made for improvements.

Caruso Brown is one of the researchers exploring this topic in a paper for the journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer. She is an associate professor of bioethics and humanities and of pediatrics at Upstate, and she specializes in pediatric hematology/oncology.

Listen to Healthlink on Air every Sunday at 6 a.m. on WRVO.

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