In today’s world, chronic pain has become common since it is associated with many medical conditions, including cancer, heart diseases, HIV/AIDS, past surgery, back injury, arthritis, migraine or infection and diabetes etc. In the United States of America, for instance, chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long term disability. Even though most marijuana-based products are yet to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), marijuana is increasingly becoming a popular alternative to traditional pain relieving medications, especially opioids.
There is anecdotal evidence which suggests that marijuana and its compounds are helpful in the relief of some types of pains. Research has actually proven that both THC and CBD which are substances in cannabis do not only provide an effective relief from pain, but can equally be a safer choice than conventional medicine.
It is worthy to note that the efficacy of medical cannabis as analgesic lies in the endocannabinoid system, which is known to play a key role in how the human body regulates as well as manages pain. Even though more research needs to be done to fully understand how this works, there is another extensive body of research demonstrating that medical cannabis can be used effectively and safely in the fight against chronic pain. It is common knowledge that the most important quality or characteristic of analgesic is its ability to provide pain relief. It’s interesting that research has proven medical cannabis to excel in that area.
Findings from a Harvard led study in which 28 researchers randomized clinical trials indicated that in every pain-related study, the patients experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms and this therefore led the authors to conclude that the use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain as well as spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis is indeed supported by high quality evidence.
Many arguments have been advanced by scientists on why marijuana is probably the best alternative to conventional medication in the treatment of pain. First of all, there is lower risk of addiction with marijuana, unlike opioids-based medications. The truth is that one of the greatest disadvantages of using opioid-based medications to alleviate pain is addiction. Of course, this has resulted to public health concerns with countries like the United States and Canada being largely affected. According to statistics from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the number of people that were hospitalized as a result of opioid poisoning increased by up to 30 percent between 2007/2008 and 2014/2015. There is strong evidence that medical cannabis can indeed provide relief and a better quality of life for people living with chronic pain. According to current research, the use of marijuana in treating chronic pain is as effective as opioids, but only that it comes with by far fewer side effects like addiction potentials as well as other health risks.
The fact that cannabis also treat sleep disorders and improves sleeping patterns goes a long way to corroborate the fact that it can as well relieve chronic pains. This assertion can be explained by the fact that when people are deeply asleep, they are likely to feel lesser or no pains.
According to a 2014 online survey that comprised 95 participants and was featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, most participants were reported to have expressed their preference for Indica strains when it comes to pain management, sedation and sleep whereas they preferred sativa strains for energy as well as mood improvements. In line with pain management, most of the participants of this online survey reported a statistically significant effect when using the Indica strain for joint pain, non-migraine headaches, neuropathy as well as spasticity.
Similarly, another study was carried out to examine the use of organically grown sativa and indica strains in the treatment of several medical conditions including HIV. Findings from the study which lasted for about three years, nevertheless indicated that indica strains are more likely to improve appetite and energy, whereas both the sativa and indica strains can alleviate nausea to some degree.
It is worthy to note that the components in marijuana that gives it the ability to alleviate pains are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When THC is ingested or inhaled, it stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, thereby activating the brain’s reward system and reducing pain levels. Besides, THC is equally a psychoactive compound, which binds to cannabinoid receptors, thereby producing a state of mind which is commonly known as “high”. Of course, when an individual is high, he or she becomes distracted from chronic pain.
Many scientists have reported positive results when it comes to the use of marijuana in treating pain. A 2015 review of research on the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for different chronic pain conditions reported that many of the trials had positive results. The researchers actually suggested that cannbidiol could be effective in alleviating some types of chronic pains including nerve pain also known as neuropathy. In the same vein, a 2016 research revealed that the use of marijuana for cancer related pains led to a 64 percent reduction in the use of opioids, improved quality of life, and fewer side effects.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Chronic Pain:
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Chronic Pain or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.