The verdict is in, and the medicinal value of using marijuana is undeniable.
There’s a broad range of medical applications as well. Aside from the enjoyment of using the substance, it can be used to treat physical and mental illnesses. Some strains are used for anxiety, and others are used to treat issues within the body.
One of the most prominent applications is the use of marijuana for chronic pain. We’ll discuss how marijuana can treat chronic pain and what options you have at your disposal.
Marijuana for Chronic Pain
The market for medical marijuana has grown to a point that allows a great deal of variety for users. The primary indicator of a strains effect is whether it is THC-heavy or CBD-heavy.
CBD is the component of marijuana that leads to sedation and relaxation, also contributing to significant pain relief. THC, on the other hand, is the psychoactive property of marijuana. So, THC contributes to “highness” and CBD leads to sedation.
There are many CBD to THC rations but in this article, we will focus on heavy CBD rations that are most related to pain relief.
If you are looking for specific strains we recommend the following list: Chronic Pain List of Strains
Let’s talk a little bit about how marijuana contributes to pain relief.
How Marijuana Can Help Chronic Pain
It’s important to recognize that marijuana will have unique effects on some users. While some strains will work well for someone with a type of pain, another person with that same pain may not have the same effect. Additionally, some people don’t enjoy the experience of using marijuana.
The USDA has yet to give its approval of marijuana-based products for pain relief, but there’s a significant body of evidence to show that it is a safe way to treat pain for some people.
While there’s not enough research to suggest that marijuana is effective for treating every kind of pain, there is high-quality evidence that it is effective in treating a few kinds.
The USDA has conducted two clinical trials relating to marijuana concerning cannabinoids. While these studies don’t relate directly to cannabis, they do shed light on the effectivity of cannabinoids in treating pain, and CBD and THC are both cannabinoids.
The benefits that those studies confirmed were cannabis’ ability to treat nausea and vomiting that come as a side-effect of chemotherapy. Additionally, they showed that it could help with the loss of appetite associated with terminal and wasting illnesses like cancer.
The Research on Cannabis Specifically
A Harvard study reviewed research dating from 1948 on the efficacy of cannabis in treating pain. They surveyed 28 trials, finding that there was “high-quality evidence” to support marijuana’s ability to treat chronic and neuropathic pain as well as multiple sclerosis. There are also many studies that show a correlation between cannabis and withdrawal system reduction.
In the study where over nine hundred elderly patients from Israeli were studied (seventy-five percent of whom had no prior history with marijuana consumption) used medical marijuana for at least six months. Ninety-three percent of patients reporting that cannabis improved their chronic pain, who on average said that marijuana reduced pain from an eight (on a scale of ten) to a four.
Generally, people find marijuana effective in treating headaches, issues with pain in the peripheral nervous system, muscle contractions, and joint pains.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis works well to alleviate pain because it acts directly on the endocannabinoid system. This is a system composed of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids which are bound and expressed throughout the central nervous system.
It’s also active on the peripheral nervous system. The system helps in regulating a number of essential processes. These functions relate to pregnancy, appetite, the experience of pain, memory, and emotion, to name a few.
The chemical structure of the cannabinoids (THC and CBD) in marijuana is very similar to a chemical called anandamide that is naturally produced in our brains. The word anandamide is comprised of the root word “ananda,” which is a Sanskrit word that means something along the lines of “happiness” or “joy.”
This gives you a general idea of what the chemical’s function is in our brains. Because marijuana’s cannabinoids appear so similar to the anandamide, our brains receive them seamlessly and the THC or CBD take the role that anandamide normally does.
The change in chemical leads to the experiences associated with marijuana. While there is more research needed to definitively say how this relieves pain specifically, the responses from users are overwhelmingly supportive.
Other Reasons to Consider Marijuana
If you’re thinking about using marijuana to treat pain, it’s important to consider your decision in the broader context of medications. A lot of the pain medication prescribed today falls into the opioid category.
While they are extremely effective in treating chronic pain, opioids are extremely addictive and can lead to overdose. Many people take these drugs without any chronic pain to speak of and become dependent on them. The withdrawals and recovery process of opioid abuse are painful and difficult to overcome.
In Neuropsychopharmacology, a February 2018 study showed that in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, study, opioids combined with cannabinoids produce antinociceptive and synergistic effects. The combination also showed a decreasing in the lowest effective antinociceptive opioid dose in laboratory animals.
Basically, by combining marijuana to their treatment of chronic pain patients taking smaller doses of opioids can get the same amount of relief thus reducing dependence and other potential harms.
While marijuana can be habit forming, it is not addictive. Additionally, there are no incidences of anyone overdosing on marijuana. Synthetic contributed to a surprising amount of overdoses in 2017. Illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth are all toted as some of the biggest killers, but opioid overdose outstretched all of those drugs by a long shot.
Roughly 11,000 people overdosed on methamphetamine, roughly 15,000 on heroin, and almost the same on cocaine. Almost 30,000 people overdosed on opioids.
Marijuana is a safe alternative to the powerful, potentially dangerous pain medicines available. Additionally, there’s a great variety in how you can take medical marijuana. Eating, smoking, and vaping are all available options, and there’s a lot of variety within each of those options.
Interested in Learning More?
Marijuana for chronic pain is an excellent option for those who need pain relief. On top of that, there’s also a whole vibrant culture associated with marijuana.
If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of marijuana, visit our site for the information you need.