Chances are you are either suffering from chronic pain or know someone who is. Eventually, for this group of people, the search for relief will more than likely come around to marijuana for pain relief.
Using marijuana for pain management can be very effective for some patients. But remember that everyone may react differently. A clinical trial by researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed that even three puffs of marijuana a day could often help ease pain. The full study results and conclusions for this clinical trial were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Combining Marijuana for Pain with Other Pain Medications
The National Centers for Health Statistics states that over 76 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain. Many of these individuals are taking narcotic opioid-based pain medications in order to relieve pain and have a decent quality of life. A study at the University of California San Francisco found that adding cannabinoids to the opioid drugs provided better relief from chronic pain.
Participants in the clinical trial at UCSF also tended to require lower doses of the narcotic pain medication prescribed when they also used marijuana for pain. This additional benefit means that there is a lower chance for opioid dependence and addiction to develop, and a lower risk that side effects from these powerful drugs will occur.
Different Marijuana Strains and Types can have Different Effects on Pain
In order to properly use marijuana for pain, you may need to do a little research first. There are many different strains of marijuana that may be offered. Each strain can have a different impact on pain perception, pain relief, and even your ability to sleep or stay awake. Some strains have been specifically created to have specific medical benefits that can include pain relief.
The best cannabis strains for pain will normally be those that are high in both CBD and THC. Another consideration with marijuana for pain is indica vs sativa vs hybrid. These are the three main types of marijuana classifications. They describe the plant quality and can indicate the properties associated with that type of cannabis.
In general, indica offers a body buzz and is typically best used at night, or for certain types of pain where sleep may be desired. Sativa offers more of a mind buzz, feeding creativity and sometimes focus, and is often best used during the day. Hybrids are plants that contain both indica and sativa traits in a single strain. Each cannabis type may work well on certain types of pain but not as well on others.
The Pros of Using Marijuana to Relieve Pain
According to the Medical Director of Centric Wellness, Dr. Mark Rabe, “Medical cannabis is a very effective therapy for chronic pain patients because it affects people’s perception of pain, has the ability to mitigate the inflammatory process, and has been shown to affect voltage-gated sodium channels in nerves in a way similar to lidocaine,”
Marijuana for pain is a treatment method that uses a natural plant, and it has been safely used for hundreds of years or even longer to manage pain in many countries around the world. Cannabis can be used alone or combined with other methods and treatments. Marijuana also has fewer possible side effects than other drugs that can help relieve pain, and any possible side effects are usually not severe.
People who have never used marijuana or who have a very low tolerance are especially vulnerable to certain medical marijuana side effects like dizziness or feeling faint.
From our article, Potential Medical Marijuana Side Effects to Watch For. Click here to read the complete article.
Possible Drawbacks to Using Marijuana to get Pain Relief
While a number of states in the USA has legalized marijuana for pain relief and other medical reasons the federal government still classifies the drug as a schedule 1 substance with no medical use or value. This can lead to problems in certain situations, such as federal subsidized housing where use of marijuana, even if it is for medical reasons, could lead to eviction. Veterans have also seen problems with some veteran housing programs when drug tested.
Another area where using marijuana for pain can lead to issues is with employment drug testing. States that have medical marijuana laws still allow an individual to be fired from their job if they test positive for marijuana on an employment drug screen. This is not true with any other drug that is legally prescribed and used but marijuana is treated differently in this respect.
If you are considering using marijuana for pain, please consult with your physician or medical professional.