Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana
Chronic pain is a severe condition that affects millions of Americans. It disrupts our way of life and leads to a loss in productivity. Chronic pain can originate from several circumstances, and most people usually go for conventional treatments such as the highly addictive opioids, which are effective but come with several side effects. As cannabis becomes more widespread in the US, most chronic pain sufferers consider it the perfect alternative for safe and effective pain relief without any side effects.
What Is Chronic Pain?
We suffer from pain periodically in our daily lives. This pain is usually categorized into two general categories, “chronic” or “acute” pain. Chronic pain is a common type of problem suffered by most people, and it’s defined as pain that lasts for 3months and more.
It can be detrimental to live with pain for 12 weeks, leading to sudden death. Generally, living with pain is problematic because it completely changes our lifestyle, making our daily activities challenging. Chronic pain drains your physical strength as well as emotional strength. Therefore, most chronic pain sufferers tend to become depressed and lack the motivation to do anything.
Treatment Options for Chronic Pain
The severe nature of chronic pain usually makes it difficult to treat. Over the last couple of years, physicians typically prescribe powerful opioid-based pain medications to relieve symptoms. These opioid medications haven’t been good enough because of their addictive nature.
Medical cannabis has come up strong in recent years, and it’s set to replace opioids as a potential pain killer. Numerous scientific studies also prove THC’s effective for cancer patients and show its ability to relieve pain without side effects. Patients have acknowledged using cannabis to treat different types of pain. As opiate addiction continuous to destroy lives in the US, cannabis has proven to be a gateway for chronic pain sufferers.
How does medical marijuana work for chronic pain?
Cannabinoids are the functioning compounds in the cannabis plant, and they play a role in pain relief. Cannabis compounds such as CBD and THC affect the body’s central nervous system by calming down pain signal receptors. Cannabis helps relieve pain by interacting with pain receptors in the body, helping them work better in relieving pain.
THC and CBD are the primary compounds responsible for pain relief. THC is the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, which gives users the feeling of being “high” and relaxed. On the other hand, CBD is highly medicinal and offers pain relief without any “high” feeling.
Medical marijuana can be consumed for chronic pain in different forms, including smoking, vaporization, edibles, and tinctures.
Studies on medical cannabis and chronic pain
Reports from a 2010 Canadian study states that taking three hits of medical marijuana each day helps to relieve chronic nerve pain. Another survey of migraines at the University of Colorado analyzed 121 daily cannabis users. It was discovered that 40% of these users experienced a 50% reduction in migraines’ rate per month. Most participants got effective in relieving by either vaporizing or smoking their cannabis.
As the number of individuals and evidence on medical cannabis for chronic pain grows, more patients are now convinced of its effectiveness. Nonetheless, more research is needed on the cannabis plant to know if it can work for other severe conditions.