How Cannabis Can Help Treat Chronic Pain
Medical Cannabis has had a 360-degree shift in public perception in recent years. There are many illnesses and disorders people use cannabis for, and whether there are enough scientific studies done, the fact remains that people are still using cannabis, whether recreational or medically, to help manage a whole host of conditions.
In order to get proper advice and your medical marijuana card, feel free to connect with a medical marijuana doctor through FadeMD. A licensed practitioner will look at your medical history and track down your pain signals. Our staff is happy to help you with treatment as an approved medical marijuana patient.
One of the common prescriptions for medical cannabis is to address chronic pain. Could cannabis help to treat your chronic pain? Let’s find out.
What is Chronic Pain?
Defining chronic pain is more straightforward than treating it. Chronic pain is an experience of pain that is prolonged, with some medical professionals labelling pain as chronic once it has surpassed the 12-week mark. Whether the pain is mild or annoying it is still chronic pain and can be felt as a dull ache, a burning, stinging, or throbbing sensation, however different bodies perceive the pain differently.
Chronic pain is typical after an injury or as a result of another health condition (past surgeries, arthritis, infection, migraines, HIV/AIDS, etc.). Other people could experience chronic pain with no known reason whatsoever.
Whatever the cause may be, chronic pain- in all forms- are common yet remain challenging to manage. According to the journal Pain Research and Management, chronic pain can affect at least one in five people.
Mild chronic pain is usually treated through self-medication, over the counter medications. More severe chronic medication usually calls for more intensive treatment and usually involves prescribed opiates. Opiates may be effective at minimizing the chronic pain; they do nothing to address the underlying causes and simply dull down the symptoms. What’s more, opiates are dangerous.
While providing effective short term relief, they are also highly addictive and come with a whole host of adverse medical side effects. This is why there is an open mike for new alternatives, such as cannabis, to gain popularity. People are beginning to realize the dangers of pharmaceuticals such as opiates, and are seeking a more sovereign and natural alternative. Could cannabis really be the answer?
Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Cannabis is an analgesic because of the way it interacts with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system, or the ECS, may be a relatively recent discovery, but it is already linked to major bodily functions and regulations- including pain management.
Almost every medical professional will tell you that while there is enormous support for cannabis, more human trials need to be done to understand the exact ins and outs of how cannabis treats conditions such as chronic pain. However, up until recently it was near impossible for researchers to gain permission and funding to perform the specific types of tests needed to determine an official statement for cannabis.
Aside from that, there has been a wealth of studies conducted to understand how cannabis works with the human body (and mind).
This research not only demonstrates how cannabis can be an effective treatment option for many conditions, but that it offers a safer alternative for those suffering from chronic pain to combat their condition in a safer way than using opiates.
What is an Analgesic?
Cannabis is thought to act as an analgesic for the body. Here’s what that actually means:
An analgesic can offer pain relief to the body. Cannabis, a well-known analgesic, is, therefore, an effective plan to address chronic pain. The Harvard study reviewed almost 30 random clinical trials that examined cannabis for chronic pain.
The result? “Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence.”
These studies were randomized and covered a broad range and number of chronic pain cases, meaning that cannabis is useful for a wide range of chronic pain causes and cases.
Cannabis as a Healthier Treatment Option
Opiates and the companies that manufacture them have been in the news in the recent years- and not for good reasons.
Opiates are addictive; there’s no sugar coating or getting around the fact that these pain medications that are prescribed by the thousands each day in North America alone are a dangerous substance. Opioid addiction is a problem that both the USA and Canada are fighting. It makes sense that patients are scrambling to find a healthier alternative that works.
Lower Risk of Addiction
When used correctly, cannabis is a safer option for chronic pain than opioids. The addiction potential for CBD, a compound of cannabis, is almost nonexistent. The addiction for cannabis, when considering the whole plant, is also substantially lower than when compared to opioids. According to the Journal of Pain, cannabis users that suffered from chronic pain use 64% fewer opioids than those who don’t use cannabis.
There is a sea of evidence supporting cannabis as a pain reliever. But cannabis can also improve the overall quality of life for those that are living with conditions such as chronic pain. Not only does research indicate cannabis’s ability to be an effective pain reliever (potentially even more effective than opioid medication), but it comes with a drastically reduced list of side effects, risks to health and addiction potential.
What’s more, cannabis has a range of cannabinoids and terpenes that can support overall health due to the connection to the endocannabinoid system.
An ever-increasing amount of clinical research and anecdotal reports show that cannabis is supportive for many types of chronic pain, including spasticity (as suffered by MS patients) and naturopathic pain. According to the National Academies of Science, adult chronic pain patients that receive cannabis (or at least targeted cannabinoid) treatment are more likely to experience a reduction in painful symptoms.
More studies indicate that cannabis has the potential to treat pain related to cancer, fibromyalgia, migraines, and a variety of other conditions. More research will surely follow as scientists and researchers work to discover the exact type of administration, dosage, and strain type best for cannabis for chronic pain.
Above all, the most crucial part of treating pain with cannabis is using a quality product. Whether you are looking for a CBD oil, a full spectrum tincture, or the flower itself, finding the ideal product for you starts with supporting a reputable company that you can trust.
As always, you can get your medical marijuana card through FadeMD to start your treatment. Reach out to support with any questions.