Dr. Febin Melepura is an Ivy League trained sport injury doctor and best rated pain management specialist in NYC who is highly specialized in treating any pain related issues – from back and neck to sports related injuries. NYC Sport injury specialist Dr. Melepura is board certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology.... more
Although medical cannabis is able to treat a range of health conditions and symptoms, it’s most commonly used to alleviate chronic pain. Research studies have shown that both CBD and THC provide effective pain relief and are often safer than conventional medicine. Are you wondering if medical marijuana is right for treating your chronic pain? Read our article to find out.
What is Chronic Pain?
Any pain that persists for a long time (about 12 weeks or longer) is defined as chronic pain. The severity can range from a mild nuisance all the way to crippling agony. It may also come in different forms, including stinging, soreness, a dull ache, throbbing pain, burning sensation, and much more.
The most common causes of chronic pain are injury or known health conditions like HIV/AIDs, cancer, back injury, past surgery, migraine, arthritis, or infection. However, there are people who develop chronic pain for no apparent reason whatsoever. Regardless of what causes your chronic pain, it remains a common phenomenon that affects a large part of the population.
In most cases, you can treat mild chronic pain with relatively harmless medication. However, severe cases will require prescription opiates. While this type of medication provides sufficient pain relief, it’s very addictive and comes with many negative side effects. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many physician and patients alike are more frequently turning to medical marijuana pain treatment for relieving chronic pain.
Cannabis for Chronic Pain Relief
Medical cannabis is an effective analgesic because of the endocannabinoid system, which is believed to play a key role in the body’s ability to manage and regulate pain. While it’s not fully understood yet how this works exactly, there’s plenty of research that demonstrates medical cannabis’s ability to be used effectively and safely to fight chronic pain.
Effective Relief for Different Types of Pain
The most crucial factor of an analgesic is its ability to give pain relief and medical marijuana shines in this regard. A study led by Harvard, researchers reviewed 28 randomized clinical trials. They found that in every pain-related study patients felt notable improvements to their symptoms, leading the researchers to conclude that “Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence.”
Lower Risk of Addiction
One of the highest risks of opioid-based pain medication is that it’s highly addictive, which is part of the reason for the growing opioid problem in the U.S. People being hospitalized due to opioid overdose increased by 30 percent from last year.
A much safer option is medical cannabis. It not only provides the same or better pain relief than opioids, the potential for addiction is much lower and its use can even help patients reduce their dependence on opioids. Journal of Pain published a research which found that medical cannabis use was linked with 64 percent lower opioid use in patients with chronic pain.
In conclusion, there is substantial evidence about medical cannabis’s ability to provide relief and a better quality of life for those suffering from chronic pain. Research has shown that it’s at least as effective as opioid-based medication and has way fewer health risks, side effects, and addiction potential. There are even strains of cannabis, which work well in treating sleep issues.