Chronic pain is not limited to the elderly ones. Chronic pain is a prevalent crippling ailment that affects over 30% of adults between the ages of 18 to 39 years. It is a frequently mentioned ailment when health care workers are asked about the most challenging condition to treat or manage.
In the search for a different alternative, patients and healthcare experts are becoming increasingly interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis for chronic pain and other diseases.
For centuries, cannabis has been used to relieve chronic pain. Now that medicinal cannabis has been allowed in several states, it is proving to be an effective alternative treatment for chronic pain.
According to one survey, chronic pain is currently the most common qualifying ailment that patients use cannabis to address both in the past and the present.
But the real question is, how does cannabis help alleviate chronic pain, and is it effective? Continue reading to find out more about this medicinal plant.
A Quick Fact on Cannabis
Cannabis is one of the world’s oldest psychoactive drugs. It contains cannabinoids, which are active substances.
Individuals commonly use cannabis for its soothing and relaxing properties. Doctors also prescribe it for various medical reasons, including chronic pain, glaucoma, and low appetite.
Cannabis has evolved into more than just a plant that you smoke. People all across the world are benefiting from medicinal cannabis therapies.
Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Becoming More Accepted
As research continues to dispel the stigma surrounding cannabis, an increasing number of medical patients are turning to the plant for assistance to aid in the relief from a range of ailments. For instance, chronic pain is one ailment that many people have successfully treated with cannabis.
For over 5,000 years, due to its ability to reduce pain, cannabis has been used to treat chronic pain. This is because when compared to stronger pharmaceutical medicines, cannabis has few side effects, unlike pharmaceutical medications which can lead to addiction and long-term physical harm.
Various health centers are turning to cannabis to meet the complex pain management needs of vulnerable patients as an increasing number of countries worldwide move to legalize medical awareness to treat pain with cannabis.
Cannabis not only has pain-relieving qualities, but it also has soothing properties that can help with the stress that comes with chronic pain. Furthermore, unlike many opioid-based treatments, which can quickly lead to addiction, even frequent cannabis usage carries a low risk of addiction or severe adverse effects.
According to a Harvard study, six chronic pain patients who took cannabis or medical marijuana to treat their pain saw a reduction in their pain levels.
Cannabis vs. Opioid
Many people who suffer from chronic pain immediately resort to over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers or opioids. Since cannabis is often an all-natural and effective option, a lot of chronic pain patients have switched from opioids to medicinal cannabis.
In a survey of medical cannabis users who used cannabis as a substitute or in combination with opioid-based pain medicine, 80 percent stated that cannabis was more effective for pain than opioids. In comparison, 92 percent indicated that cannabis’ side effects were more endurable than opioids’.
How Cannabis Helps Alleviate Chronic Pain
For a long time, cannabis has been used to treat pain, but the sad reality is that those who suffer from chronic pain turn to OTC medicines and drugs to preserve some semblance of function and quality of life. This could then lead to drug addiction or more harm.
A study found that using medical cannabis reduced the side effects of other pain medications, reduced opioid usage by 64% in pain patients, and the quality of life of those who used it.
Because cannabis, especially the CBD present in cannabis, has analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory qualities, it is helpful in soothing neuropathic pain, inflammatory pain, osteoarthritis, and other conditions.
Cannabis can also help with chronic pain due to the plant’s unique capacity to attach to the endocannabinoid system’s receptors. Evidence from animal studies shows that cannabis’ pain-relieving effects are exerted in various ways. They are exerted by the interactions and modification of the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive (pain-sensing) systems.
Also, THC and CBD are two potent medicinal compounds found in cannabis that can help reset the endocannabinoid system and alleviate chronic pain symptoms. Simply put, cannabis can help people who are suffering from chronic pain by:
- Interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors
- Blocking the pain receptors
- Addressing and getting to the root of the pain
Chronic pain caused by systemic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also be treated due to the cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Cannabis in the Treatment of Chronic Pain?
More often than not, those suffering from chronic pain deal with much more than the pain itself. They deal with burning sensations, depression, fatigue, muscle aches, sleep problems, lack of stamina, diminished flexibility, irritability, stress, and much more.
Here are some benefits of using cannabis to treat chronic pain
- Reduction in pain levels, mood improvement, and anxiety reduction
- Promotes a restful sleep
- Increases the quality of life in the patients
- It gives chronic pain-affected patients their lives back by helping them manage their pain better than any other treatment option.
- There are little to no unfavorable side effects
How Safe Is Cannabis?
Compared to pharmaceutical medications, medical cannabis is safer because it has fewer adverse effects. Patients are also able to tolerate it better.
Medical cannabis is very desirable for relieving pain in patients who are unable to take pills or receive injections because it does not have the side effects of traditional medications. There’s also a low danger of addiction or overdosing, making it a safer alternative treatment for chronic pain.
Cannabis has long been known to relieve chronic pain and enhance one’s quality of life. Due to ongoing legalization and research initiatives, the debate over the benefits and drawbacks of using medical cannabis will undoubtedly continue. One thing to note is that cannabis could be a life-changing treatment for many patients suffering from chronic pain.
Apply for a medical cannabis card for chronic pain at Medical Cannabis Doctors
You can shop at medical dispensaries if you have a medical cannabis card for chronic pain. Even in jurisdictions where recreational cannabis usage is allowed, medical marijuana cards are required to enter restricted medicinal dispensaries.
To get your medical cannabis card for chronic pain, visit us at Medical Cannabis Doctors.