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Cannabis For Chronic Pain Management

Cannabis For Chronic Pain Management

As pain management strategies continue to evolve, so do treatments that work against pain of all types, including chronic pain. For some people with chronic pain, cannabis is an effective tool in helping them cope with their suffering.

Cannabis has long been used as medicine to treat symptoms of disease. It has also been used to alleviate pain, especially acute pain such as that caused by surgery or physical injury.

However, it was not until the 1990s when studies determined that marijuana may be helpful in treating persistent pain, most often referred to as “chronic” pain. Since then, there have been many reports of successful uses of cannabis for this purpose.

A review of these studies found that CBD (an active ingredient in marijuana) was more likely to be effective than other cannabinoids like THC.

Fortunately, there are now several well-designed clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of cannabidiol for chronic pain. While none of these studies demonstrate that CBD alone is enough to relieve pain without additional therapies, they do suggest that it can help patients find relief where otherwise nothing has worked.

Chronic pain can seriously affect your quality of life, and unfortunately there are very few standard options for treatment. Fortunately, one option exists that has shown potential in early research — CBD.

Topic and sentence completion: How does CBD reduce pain?

You should know that before trying any new medication, you should discuss it with your doctor.

Medical conditions it can be used to treat

Cannabis for chronic pain management

Medical cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in treating many medical conditions, including pain. It works by interacting with receptors in your body that impact how your endocannabinoid system functions.

Endocannabionoids are naturally occurring chemicals that regulate various functions of your body, such as sleep-wake cycles, appetite, blood pressure, and immune function.

They also play a significant role in chronic pain management. When you have more of some types of endocannabinoids or reduce an existing level, it can result in reduced pain perception and improved functioning.

Medical marijuana is often described as having both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reducing) properties.

Given its growing popularity, there now exist numerous studies investigating whether cannabinoids work when administered as a topical gel, spray, oral capsule, or oil form for use on affected areas of the skin. These applications are usually recommended over smoking or intravenous dosing due to ease of use and potential effectiveness.

Side effects

Cannabis for chronic pain management

One of the most common side effect people experience when using cannabis is dry eyes. This usually goes away within hours to days as your eye glands re-balance themselves. If it persists, there are various treatments you can use.

Eye drops containing CBD have been shown to help reduce symptoms and even cure night time dryness in some patients. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe a special humidifier that helps relieve sleep related dry mouth and throat issues.

Another less drastic solution is simply drinking more water! That’s tip number four we mentioned earlier. Make sure to drink enough so your mouth is always full which will prevent you from experiencing dry mouth while sleeping.

Some individuals find that smoking or eating foods high in fat content helps alleviate their dry eye symptoms.

Legal issues

Cannabis for chronic pain management

As mentioned before, cannabis has many uses and there are some studies showing it to be effective in treating pain. The issue is that while using marijuana may help your pain, you cannot use it with any kind of certainty that it will work until after you try it.

Because of this, most governments restrict access to medical marijuana by requiring patients to go through a process called “medical necessity”. This means they must prove to a doctor that they have enough faith in the drug’s efficacy in helping their specific condition that they feel it is worth putting into place more rigorous regulations.

The regulation can range from having a prescription for the medication to going through a physical examination to confirm that it will not interfere with other treatments. Some countries even require people to take a test to make sure they do not have alcohol or drugs in their system when taking the medicine.

Tips for using cannabis

Cannabis for chronic pain management

When it comes to pain, one thing that can be very confusing is whether or not cannabis helps! This article will go over some tips for using cannabis to manage your chronic pain.

Cannabis has been shown to help reduce pain levels so you can feel more relaxed and able to relax surrounding muscles and tissues. By doing this, your body learns how to balance itself out and work through symptoms more effectively.

When it comes down to it, pain works by messages sent from your nervous system to your muscle and tissue cells. The sensation we call pain arises when these cells become overly active. As an intervention, alcohol (like marijuana) reduces this activity by acting as a calcium channel blocker.

This means it blocks the flow of calcium into nerve and cell membranes which slows down the signaling process and interrupts communication between nerves and organs. For this reason, cannabis is helpful in reducing pain caused by inflammation or damage to soft tissues such as joints.

There are several ways to use cannabis to effectively deal with pain. Some people find oral products like tinctures or salves to be more effective than smoking dried flower. Others prefer vaping oils or topicals such as rubbing ointments onto affected areas.

Just make sure to start off with a small amount and do a little research before expanding what types of doses you have.

Seek a qualified therapist

Cannabis for chronic pain management

While cannabis has been shown to be helpful in treating pain, it is not appropriate for all patients with chronic pain. Just like any other medication, you must do your research and find a professional who can help you use marijuana properly.

Some therapists will recommend using cannabis before seeking other treatments, which is not okay. It is important to check out each individual thoroughly and see if they are trained in medical cannabis.

Certain professionals may require you to have tried more conservative pain management methods first, like exercise or relaxation techniques, before prescribing pot. You also want to make sure that this person is legally allowed to practice medicine in your state.

If you feel that this approach has failed, a doctor may suggest trying cannabis as an adjunct (or addition) treatment. This means having it as part of your current therapy regime instead of replacing what has worked before.

Seek a qualified doctor

Cannabis for chronic pain management

While there is not enough high quality research to prove cannabis can treat chronic pain in all patients, it does seem to help some who try it. Unfortunately, not every physician practices medicine using evidence-based strategies so they may not be able to advise you whether or not marijuana helps your particular condition.

In fact, a recent study found that only one third of physicians could accurately identify every medication option for their patient, making it difficult to have honest conversations about potential benefits and risks.1

This also means that even if a doctor recommends medical marijuana as an effective treatment, people with the same symptoms may receive different recommendations depending on which doctor they see.

It’s important to note that most doctors are not formally trained in how to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of herbal treatments like CBD. However, many are familiar with studies conducted on traditional medications, and some surgeons add herbs to their routine practice.2

Many hospitals and clinics use standardized questionnaires to assess risk factors, but these tend to focus more on disease conditions than on individual drugs. It’s up to each individual doctor to determine whether or not cannabis fits into his/her therapeutic plan.

Finding a good match between you and your doctor is a key part of successfully managing your pain with cannabis.

Talk to your doctor about using cannabis

Cannabis for chronic pain management

Although studies are still in early stages, there is some preliminary evidence that suggests cannabis can help reduce pain and improve quality of life for people with chronic pain conditions.

Studies show that cannabinoids (the active compounds in marijuana) may have anti-inflammatory properties and can inhibit neuronal pathways involved in pain perception.

Because inflammation and nerve signaling occur naturally within our bodies, it is possible to use cannaboids to regulate this process and mitigate symptoms of pain.

Certain cannabinoid medications are already approved by the FDA for other uses, including treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy or hormone therapy in menopausal women.


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