Managing Chronic Pain: The Role of Medical Marijuana!

Home » Chronic Pain and Medical Marijuana
Garry Stewart
Written By Shasta Wilson

April 11, 2023

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is the most common health condition experienced by most of population, especially the people already suffering from some debilitating conditions like heart disease, 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 for several health conditions, the debates on it are also increasing motivating people to use it for medicinal purposes. Medical Marijuana is a natural curative plant that can treat several health conditions, including chronic pain.

What Result does Research Show?

The research published in the Journal of Health Affairs aims to determine the number of people who are 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 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 it 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.

The Outcomes!

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 Do Other Research Studies Have To Say About The Connection?

Several studies have inclined toward the effects of marijuana and its curative properties in treating several health conditions in 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 and 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 several types of chronic pain including the following:
    1. Out of around 17,000 people fighting cancer, seventy percent of the cancer patients experienced improved pain and well-being after medical marijuana use.
    2. 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).


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 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 don’t cause 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, includes the White Widow is an Indica-dominant hybrid strain ideal for tension relief and deep sleep, Sour Diesel offers functional daytime relief from pain, Redwood Kush is effective for muscle relaxation and quick pain relief, Northern Lights provides calming relief for chronic pain, Harlequin is a CBD-rich Sativa for arthritis pain, and ACDC is a potent hybrid for pain and anxiety relief.

Types of medical marijuana Strains

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:

  • Dizziness
  • Addiction
  • 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 produce 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.

Is Medical Marijuana 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 that 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.

3 Easy Steps To Apply For Medical Marijuana Card

Our Simple 3 Step Process For Medical Marijuana Card

1. Fill up your details in an easy 420 Evaluations form.

2. Get Evaluated by a Local MMJ doctor After Online Submission.

3. Get Approved and Receive your Recommendation In Your Email.

Looking To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card?

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  1. Maria Baker

    How to prove chronic pain for a medical card?

    • Patricia Samuelson

      If you have had severe pain for the past few months or years, it is happening in all parts of the body. Also, this pain is troubling you to complete daily chores that may lead you to depression as well. It means you may have chronic pain. You need to get in touch with one of our physicians, who will evaluate your symptoms and let you know whether you have chronic pain or not. And if you have it, the physician will provide you with an MMJ card recommendation that will help you obtain a medical marijuana card. If you are willing to apply for a medical cannabis card, click here.


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