Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana
Publish Date: February 9th, 2021; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.
Chronic pain is the most common health condition experienced by most of the population, especially the people already suffering from some debilitating conditions like heart diseases, cancer, and many more. Medical Marijuana is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional pain-relieving medications. A study indicates that around 62 percent of people use Medical Marijuana for chronic pain.
As the use of Medical Marijuana is ever-increasing with the increasing benefits of it on several health conditions, the debates on it are also increasing that motivates people to use it for medicinal purposes. Medical Marijuana is a natural curative plant that can treat several health conditions, including chronic pain.
The Research Says Itself!!
The research published in the Journal of Health Affairs aims to determine the number of people is using Medical Marijuana, and several other studies have stated Medical Marijuana use and its effects on people suffering from chronic pain. Let us take a closer look at the various research studies and their outcomes.
The study begins with the authors gathering the conditions for medical marijuana treatment based on the state-wise data. They found that Washington DC and some 20 states had data on many patients while 15 states had data on qualifying conditions only. They made a comparison of data and laid out in a comprehensive 2017 report from the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering that reviews 10,000 scientific abstracts on health effects of both medical and recreational cannabis.
Also Read: Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Online Today
The authors concluded that 641,146 patients registered for Medical Cannabis treatment in 2016 and 813,917 in 2017. The number peaked only in a year, but the researchers still believe that the number is still lower than the actual number. Out of these data conclusions, around 62.2 percent of people used Medical Cannabis to treat their enduring pain. The author Boehnke of this research says that the findings were significant. Many conditions for which people utilize medical cannabis have conclusive or substantial evidence of Medical Cannabis being an effective treatment. He also mentioned that the studies on Medical Marijuana were essential due to it being a controversial and polarizing topic. However, he also says that the findings from this latest study indicate that most people are using Medical Marijuana for evidence-based reasons.
It is now clear that chronic pain is the most common qualifying condition for which people obtain Medical Cannabis legally. In the context of opioids, the observational studies report that Medical Cannabis patients are substituting Medical Cannabis for pain medications.
What the other research studies have to say about the connection?
Several studies have inclined towards the effects of marijuana and its curative properties in treating several health conditions from the past few years. Some of the research studies focused on often used parts of the marijuana plants, and some of them have used the entire plant for research purposes. Focusing on a particular part of the plant helps in studying the specific actions of that particular ingredient. In contrast, it gives an entourage effect where different parts of the plant work together to have more impact when it comes to the whole plant.
Progressive research on Marijuana for Chronic Pain
- In 2014, as per the survey mentioned in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, an online survey of 95 participants showed that the preferred strains for pain management include Indica strains and opt Sativa strains for enhancing energy and improving mood.
- In 2015, research on the use of cannabis was done that focused on the cannabinoids for several chronic pain conditions reported the trials with positive results. The researchers concluded the study that marijuana and cannabinoids may be an effective method of treating chronic pain, including nerve pains.
- In 2016, a research paper concluded that medical marijuana use for treating cancer pain led to a sixty-four percent reduction in opioid use. It also indicated that it facilitates improving the quality of life and causes fewer medication side-effects only.
- Some smaller studies have reported a few benefits for the several types of chronic pain that includes the following:
- Out of around 17,000 people fighting cancer, seventy percent of the cancer patients experienced improved pain and well-being after medical marijuana use.
- People experiencing continuous chronic migraines also reported a reduction in migraine episodes after using marijuana.
- However, the research is still in the growing phase that includes marijuana use for treating chronic pain and different strains, dosages, and delivery methods.
How does marijuana work for pain?
Medical Marijuana comprises compounds that effectively relieve pain, nausea, and several other symptoms. The constituents’ main focus while talking about pain management and relief includes Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD vs. THC
THC bears a resemblance to the cannabinoid chemicals that happen naturally in the body. When people inhale or ingest THC, it invigorates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. It activates the brain’s reward system and diminishes the pain levels. THC is well-known for its psychoactive properties that bind to cannabinoid receptors and generates an elevated state of mind known as high. CBD constituent doesn’t cause the high feeling. However, CBD interacts with the brain’s pain receptors to bring to bear anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
Best Strains for Pain Relieve
Though the research on best strains is limited for pain management. Based on the best-recommended marijuana strains, we have compiled the following:
- White Widow: White widow is a potent hybrid marijuana strain that is a fan favorite across the globe. It is predominantly Indica strain that releases the tension and helps to relieve the pains. White widow is well-known to help insomniacs fall asleep faster and more profound. It is considered a slight strain for relieving pain and falling asleep.
- Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel is a predominantly Sativa marijuana strain that has rampant reviews from users. This strain helps in ignoring pains and ailments that might hinder you by uplifting and mindful high. Sour Diesel allows you to function throughout the day devoid of putting your body in a couch-locked state. It is the most common marijuana strain and is easy to purchase.
- Redwood Kush: Redwood Kush is one of the finest strains for pain relief due to its high THC content that lowers muscle pain. If you are plagued with muscle tightness and cramps, then Redwood Kush can be the reliable solution for you that provides muscle relaxation and soothing properties. If you are seeking quick pain relief, then look no further.
- Northern Lights: Northern Light is a fantastic marijuana strain for reliving chronic pain and general relaxation. Being a mostly Indica strain, the body high will anesthetize the mild to severe pains allowing your mind and body to relax. Due to its heavy Indica base, you should not expect to very active. Take a power nap after taking the strain. It is the most rated strain for treating pains.
- Harlequin: Harlequin is a Sativa strain that is high in CBD content. It is the right strain for arthritis pain due to its soothing effects that allow you to have a clear head. It is a fast-acting strain that can be used throughout the day as it soothes the pain without inhibiting work.
- ACDC: ACDC is a potent painkilling strain. It is a hybrid strain that is high in both THC and CBD. It is considered an excellent marijuana strain for treating pain and anxiety.
Don’t forget to make a note of the Risks Included!
Medical Marijuana use may include some risk factors or fewer side effects that must be noted before consuming it. This includes:
- Impaired reaction timers
- Loss of concentration
- Rapid heart rate
- Withdrawal symptoms
Before deciding on Medical Marijuana consumption for treating a debilitating health condition, don’t forget to discuss these with your medical doctor.
Marijuana vs. opioids for pain relief
Opioids are powerful medications used frequently for pain relief that produces the desired outcome by acting on the nervous system. These medications are certainly highly addictive whose withdrawal symptoms are not uncommon. In 2016, around 116 people died every day due to opioid-related drug overdose.
So, Can we say that Medical Marijuana is better than Opioids?
Medical Marijuana offers an alternative to addictive opioids. Researchers in their recent survey found that from almost 3000 Medical Cannabis patients, only 30 percent of patients used opioids in the last six months. Of those, 81 percent agreed that Medical Marijuana is more effective alone than in combination with opioids. In addition to it, 97 percent of people strongly agreed that they could decrease their opioid use when taking Medical Marijuana.
The bottom line
The recent research in the Journal of Health Affairs found most people using Medical Marijuana to treat their chronic pain. Also, it provides evidence on Medical Marijuana may be a safer and an effective alternative treatment than opioids consumption to manage chronic pain. Along with this, as the debates are still going on for the decriminalization of Marijuana use and several states have even legalized it, it is okay to consider the legal ways to consume or possess it. Acquire a Medical Marijuana Card to treat your chronic pain using Medical Marijuana legally. Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card with My MMJ Doctor and find relief is something natural. Getting a Medical Marijuana Card will provide you relief from the pain by consuming Medical marijuana and also keeps you safe from getting into legal troubles.