Medical marijuana has been a huge boon for those suffering from all sorts of chronic diseases. From cancer to anxiety, marijuana can offer a huge amount of relief to those seeking treatment. However, as the use of medical marijuana has expanded, there has been a substantial amount of debate on how effective the treatment is, and studies have been done to help keep up with the mainstream use of it as a treatment for chronic pain.
There is plenty of evidence that cannabis can make all the difference when dealing with chronic pain. While it might be anecdotal at the moment, it’s certainly promising and worth looking into if you’re trying to find a safe way to cope with a condition that you’ve been diagnosed with.
There are several reasons why marijuana is rising in popularity in both the healthcare system and the general public, with physical & online dispensary cannabis stores growing by the day. This article will discuss why it’s important that marijuana remains available to those who need it and why we need to end the stigma surrounding medical marijuana.
Why Medical Marijuana is a Good Option
Chronic pain is a very difficult condition to deal with, as physically and emotionally, pain takes a huge toll on those dealing with it. However, the treatment options for chronic pain fall into 2 categories:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)- These drugs are effective but often not strong enough to cope with the pain levels that people are dealing with. Additionally, long term use can lead to serious side effects including strokes and heart attacks.
Opioid Prescription Medications- Opioids are highly addictive medications that take very little time to get addicted to. Long-term use of these drugs is extremely risky and it’s almost impossible to avoid developing a dependence.
This dependence can lead to addiction, and addiction can easily ruin the life of a person who started out using opioids to manage pain. Sixty people in the U.S. die from addiction every day. This treatment option is not sustainable long term, and that’s where medical marijuana comes in.
In both cases, with traditional pain management medication, the side effects and risks associated with these medications are serious. Medical marijuana addresses these issues. It’s non-addictive, and it comes with few side effects. There are plenty of formats to take the drug in and patients have a wider array of customizable treatments that will target their specific pain.
How Does Medical Marijuana Treat Pain
Studies have shown that medical marijuana works through the entourage effect. The multiple chemicals involved influence each other.
CBD helps to mediate pain mostly by reducing inflammation and blocking inflammatory mediators. It can also help radiate pain at the spinal level by regulating the pain receptors in the spine.
This means that neuropathic and inflammatory pain are both addressed by the CBD in medical marijuana. This is also why CBD based products are effective options in states where medical marijuana is not legal yet.
THC works a little differently. Studies have shown that it helps relieve central and neuropathic pain that those suffering from cancer, AIDS, and fibromyalgia. It also seems to be helpful in situations where other pain treatments haven’t been working.
How to Find The Right Strain
Typically, if you’re looking for medical marijuana, you’ll want to look for a high ratio of both THC and CBD. But you can make a decision based on your type of pain or the symptoms you’re experiencing. You can ask an employee at the dispensary where you purchase your medical marijuana.
Your doctor might have some insight into what kind of strain will work for you based on other patients’ experiences, but ultimately, you’ll need to decide for yourself what works for you based on your own experience with it.
Chronic pain can take a huge toll on your quality of life, especially when the drugs that are meant to bring you relief can have a major impact on your life down the line. It’s good to know all of your options so that you can make decisions that will ultimately work for you and keep you healthy in more aspects than just your pain management. If medical marijuana can be the treatment that upgrades your quality of life, then it is certainly worth trying.
Interesting related article: “What is CBD?“