Cannabis for Pain Relief - Exploring the Possibilities
About 50 million Americans suffer needlessly without the benefit of using marijuana for chronic pain. Most of the available non-prescription analgesics are either ineffective or unsafe for long-term use. The prescription drugs come with the danger of dependence and addiction, and with the opioid crisis the country is facing, everyone is looking for alternative means of managing pain. Little wonder scientists and prescribers alike are exploring the usefulness of cannabis for pain relief. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 31 states and CBD doctors receive a lot of questions about the best marijuana for chronic pain. Here are a few things you need to know about using cannabis for pain relief.
Marijuana and Chronic Pain Relief Studies
You might have seen many articles claiming there isn’t enough marijuana and chronic pain relief studies to conclude that the drug works. And that is why the Federal laws remain unkind to marijuana users. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There have been numerous evidence-based marijuana and chronic pain relief studies that prove marijuana is effective for ‘the relief of neuropathic pain and muscle spasms. Studies have also highlighted the benefits of marijuana in cancer patients, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, migraine, and many other chronic conditions.
If anything, the strict Federal laws prevent researchers in federal institutions from having access to cannabis. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has to issue a license for cultivation before any federal institution can have access to marijuana for research. As stated by Angela Brown, a professor at the University of Colorado, ‘if we do anything in violation of federal law, we could have all federal funding withdrawn.’ Bryan further stated that the marijuana supplied by the DEA is less potent than the one sold in dispensaries.
What’s the Best Marijuana for Chronic Pain?
There are different strains of marijuana and our bodies react to drugs in different ways. What you consider the best marijuana for chronic pain may not be the best for your next door neighbor. The chemical complexity of cannabis also makes this question difficult to answer. The most common species used in making medical marijuana are Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Hybrid species are also available. Cannabinoids are the main compounds that are thought to be responsible for the analgesic property of cannabis. More than 60 cannabinoids have been isolated. They are thought to work in synergy with terpenes and flavonoids present in cannabis.
Currently, the oil, tincture, and edible forms of cannabis are approved for use as medical cannabis. Studies have also proved that the route of administration also determines the best marijuana for chronic pain. The oral forms may take longer to work but their effects are thought to last for longer periods.
Cannabis for Pain Relief may Replace Opioids
Florida had 5088 drug related deaths in 2017, with an increase of 5.9% from 2016-2017. The approval of medical marijuana by some states may lead to a decrease in the use of prescription opioids. Some studies already show that this claim is not merely speculative. A poll involving about 3000 patients using medical marijuana revealed that 97% of the participants consumed less of opioid medications while they were on medical marijuana. 81% of the said study group believed marijuana alone gave better pain relief than taking marijuana and opioids. This and many other related studies prove that approving cannabis for pain relief may be one of the keys towards resolving the opioid crisis.
With many states granting approval for the medical use of marijuana, many marijuana and chronic pain relief studies are underway. It is believed that a more than convincing body of evidence would be available in the coming years. In the meantime, a lot of people are already enjoying the immense benefits of cannabis for pain relief.
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Looking for more information on how to get a medical marijuana card for your pain, check out our related articles, Things You Need to Know about Medical Marijuana in Florida and "Beginner's Guide to Medical Marijuana in Florida".
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