For those struggling with chronic pain, medicinal cannabis is often advertised as a safer alternative to prescription pain relievers. Here are 5 ways marijuana can help alleviate suffering.
Pain management is the number one reason doctors prescribe medical marijuana. Chronic pain management can be complex, and for some marijuana provides an effective alternative that is associated with lower risks than traditional treatments.
If you are among the 20% of Americans who have experienced chronic pain and have not yet decided to use marijuana, then you should know how medical marijuana can help you deal with pain.
Dealing with neuropathy
Neuropathy is damage to nerves and is often associated with diabetes. It can also be caused by traumatic injury or repeated use that damages the nerves over time. Neuropathy is usually treated with pain relievers, including over-the-counter options and opioids.
In 2017, a research study published in the Journal of Pain Research found a link between evaporating marijuana and reducing neuropathic pain. In addition, the researchers were able to monitor and record changes in pain relief based on the dose of cannabis used.
Inflammation in the body can cause pain, and reducing inflammation is one strategy for increasing comfort in chronic pain sufferers. Over-the-counter NSAIDs are effective at reducing inflammation, but long-term use has been associated with stomach irritation and an increased risk of ulcers.
In 2010, Future Medicinal Chemistry published a study examining what was available about how marijuana could work as an anti-inflammatory drug. According to this study, marijuana interacts with the endocannabinoid system and creates an anti-inflammatory response in the body.
Including children and adults, 12% of Americans experience regular migraines. More than just headaches, migraines can cause excruciating pain. Medical marijuana use is a new avenue for difficult-to-treat conditions. In 2016, the journal Pharmacotherapy published research on the use of medical marijuana in chronic migraine patients. The study found that marijuana has the potential to be used in a preventive manner, reduce the incidence of migraines, and treat migraines quickly.
Relieve joint pain
For arthritis sufferers, joint pain can cause everyday suffering, which can greatly affect their quality of life. Many people are advised to manage pain through lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight loss. While this method is definitely effective, it will take time.
Marijuana has shown great promise in providing instant relief from joint pain. Marijuana can provide the relief people need from feeling empowered to pursue lifestyle changes that will improve the symptoms of their condition in the long term.
Reducing the risk of addiction
One of the most common problems associated with chronic pain management is the tendency to develop drug tolerance. Tolerability may require a change in dosage or medication to achieve the desired results. In many cases, regular use of opioids for pain relief can lead to addiction or addiction.
There is promising research showing the potential use of marijuana to treat opioid addiction. Using marijuana for pain relief may not only prevent the use of opioid pain relievers, but may also reduce the risk of relapse in those being treated for opioid use disorders.