Using Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain
Anyone who suffers from chronic pain and who has tried all kinds of therapies and drugs to obtain relief may well be considering trying marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Chronic pain is the term which is given to any type of pain which has lasted for over 12 weeks, and in some cases it may persist for several months or years. So, is medicinal cannabis the answer to treating chronic pain? And if the answer is yes, which strain would be best? Here, we look at whether marijuana is the solution to the misery of ongoing pain.
How Does Chronic Pain Affect Lives?
Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition which impacts on all elements of life, making even everyday activities difficult, and this can result in depression and anxiety over time. While some chronic pain conditions were triggered by an initial injury or illness, sometimes there is no known cause, but whatever the trigger, being in constant pain for any length of time takes a terrible toll on both psychological and emotional health as well as physical well-being. Sleeping, working and socializing may all become impossible leading to ongoing isolation that is hard to overcome. Recently, however, medicinal marijuana has been shown to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of chronic pain, dramatically improving the lives of sufferers. Research has also revealed that it is a safer and often more effective option than several pharmaceutical alternatives, and with millions of people worldwide counting themselves as sufferers, with conditions as diverse as back pain, fibromyalgia, neck pain, sciatica, TMJ disorder and ME, it’s no wonder that so many people are turning to the green stuff.
Traditional Pain Relief Options
Traditionally, chronic pain is treated using opioid narcotics, and while they can be very effective, they can also be extremely addictive and may have harmful side effects. While analgesics do not have these negative points, they are often inadequate when it comes to eliminating severe pain, and they can also cause medical problems such as kidney and liver damage if used for a long period.
Why Is Medical Marijuana Effective?
Medicinal marijuana is a natural and affordable alternative which produces none of the unwanted side effects that are often experienced when taking traditional medications to treat chronic pain. As it is also non-addictive, it has a distinct advantage over opioid drugs.
Many studies into the use of cannabinoids to treat pain have shown that patients who use medicinal cannabis find substantial improvements in their symptoms, with an improved quality of life, a reduced reliance of opioid medications and reduced side effects of pharmaceutical treatments.
What Kind Of Chronic Pain Treatments Can Medical Marijuana Help?
At the present time, medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in relieving the worst symptoms of the following conditions:
- Neuropathic pain
- Lower back pain
- Non-specific chronic pain
- TMJ Disorder
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- AIDS/HIV related pain
- Neck pain
- Issues with the central nervous system
- Pain resulting from an injury or accident
Which Marijuana Strains Are Best?
Whether using edibles, joints or vaporizers, there are several strains of marijuana that can be helpful to chronic pain sufferers and which can be purchased from Canada’s top marijuana dispensary. Choosing the right strain and dosage is important, and choosing the right ingestion method for you is also essential to getting the best result. For example, sativa dominant strains with higher THC levels produce a head high and energize the user, promoting feelings of well-being, while indica dominant strains have higher CBD levels and relax the body, relieving pain, aiding sleep and relieving spasms and seizures. Hybrid strains are also available which combine characteristics of both strains to produce a desired effect.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Cannabis For Chronic Pain?
If you start out taking low doses of medicinal cannabis, you may well discover that you experience no negative side effects. Even if you do experience some unwanted symptoms, these are very short lived, and a trial and error process will ensure that you find a dose and strain to relieve your pain. Some of the short-lived side-effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Short term memory loss
- An increased appetite
- Red eyes
Although medicinal marijuana will affect ever user differently, the side effects that may possibly be experienced are usually much milder and more management than those associated with opioids and chemoyt traditional medications.