Chronic pain disrupts daily routines and severely affects the quality of life of millions of people around the world. Only those who are affected by it can fully appreciate the effective and long-lasting relief, once they finally get it. This is because chronic pain can persist even with the use of various painkillers. Many people with chronic pain find it hard to get any relief with traditionally available medications.
Recently, with the increased legalization and availability of medical marijuana, its pain-relieving properties are becoming available to the wider public. This article will focus on revealing the facts about the use of medical marijuana and its advantages, possible side effects, and its overall effect on chronic pain therapy.
What is a chronic pain?
Chronic pain is any kind of pain that persists over a long period of time, usually longer than twelve weeks. It can be a consequence of an acute condition, injury, or illness, but this is not always the case. The intensity of chronic pain is subjective and it differs from person to person. It can be mild during rest and stronger during certain movements. In the most serious cases, it can be incapacitating.
Chronic pain primarily affects physical activity. However, when it lasts for a long time it can have serious effects on emotional and mental health as well. When working, resting, socializing, and performing any activities are all accompanied by constant pain, the quality of life deteriorates rapidly. In such cases, finding effective relief is necessary and medical marijuana might be just that.
What are the other available treatments?
All treatments for relieving chronic pain focus primarily on restoring normal physical functions. The therapy can include electrical stimulation, acupuncture, nerve blocks, painkillers, and even surgery.
Some treatments, such as surgery, might produce good results when the source of the pain is precisely determined. Unfortunately, with chronic pain, this is often not the case. For this reason, pain-killing medications are commonly used in chronic pain treatment.
Many different medications belong to this group (opioids, analgesics, etc.) but they all have certain side effects and some of them can be highly addictive. The long-term use of these medications is hardly a perfect solution and can potentially cause other health problems.
Managing Chronic Pain with Medical Marijuana
Regrettably, the use of marijuana for medical treatments has been illegal for many years. This is the reason why the scientific community is not completely familiar with all of its benefits yet. In an effort to catch up, a lot of research has been done in recent years and the first results are very promising.
The scientific studies and patient reports strongly suggest that medical marijuana is highly effective in relieving chronic pain, reducing addiction, and increasing the quality of life. It does so in a similar way as painkilling opioid narcotics do, by blocking the pain signals inside the nervous system. However, in a completely natural and a far safer way.
Our body naturally produces cannabinoids. It uses these chemicals to treat inflammation and pain. Marijuana contains cannabinoids as well. CBD or Cannabidiol is one of them and its effect on inflammation and pain is the same as of those cannabinoids produced by our body. CBD is also responsible for reducing the addiction to other opioid narcotics such as painkillers.
Another important component of marijuana is the Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This substance is responsible for blocking the pain signals. Its presence in the organism reduces the pain and helps to feel more relaxed and comfortable.
The severe side effects of traditional painkilling medications and the addiction they cause have plagued the modern society. With the legalization of medical marijuana, the trend seems to be changing for the better. Medical marijuana is already being increasingly used for chronic pain management. This is happening because more and more patients are discovering all the advantages it has compared to other types of available painkilling medications.
The Advantages of Medical Marijuana
Compared to traditional painkilling medications, medical marijuana is 100% natural, non-toxic, and causes no addiction. Aside from being an effective painkiller, medical marijuana is also safe, affordable, and can be used in combination with painkilling medications. Medical marijuana, actually, reduces the side effect of other medications and, consequently, increases the quality of life.
In many ways, the use of medical marijuana for chronic pain treatment has been a true revolution. This is especially true for those patients suffering from pain caused by cancer or problems related to the central nervous system. In such cases, the pain relieving properties and non-toxicity of medical marijuana proved to be an outstanding alternative to traditional treatments.
When to use medical marijuana for chronic pain relief?
Patients report that medical marijuana is very successful in relieving the pain caused by various conditions, such as:
· AIDS-related pain
· Migraines and headaches
· Sciatica and lower back pain
· Neck pain
· Irritable bowel syndrome
· Chronic fatigue syndrome
· Multiple sclerosis
· General pain
· And others
Although certain side effects do exist, they are incomparably milder than those caused by pain killing medications. The use of medical marijuana for chronic pain relief may include side effects such as:
· Red eyes
· Dry mouth
· Increased appetite
· Short-term memory loss
The Bottom Line
The use of medical marijuana for chronic pain management is a safe, affordable, and effective way to get pain relief and avoid the risks of becoming addicted, overdosing, or causing further damage to your health. With its legalization spreading increasingly and medical marijuana becoming available to a growing number of patients, the future of chronic pain treatment is looking brighter than ever.