Whether you use it yourself, have a family member who does, or know a friend who swears by weed brownies, you probably know by now that cannabis is no longer reserved for the hippies and the counterculture crowd.
A quick scan of recent news on the powerful, beneficial plant will reveal three things:
- Favorable changes in public policy about marijuana use
- Skyrocketing consumer demand for medical marijuana
- Dramatic increase of research on marijuana’s health benefits
While researchers have only scratched the surface of using weed for health reasons, it’s been getting a lot of buzz for every possible ailment out there —from pain relief to helping reduce the occurrence of restless leg syndrome.
There’s a ton of information out there covering the medical benefits of cannabis use. In this article, we’ll focus on how marijuana has changed the way we manage pain relief.
A Healthy High for Pain Relief
Ancient physicians used to prescribe marijuana for pain relief including childbirth and earache. Even the great Chinese Emperor Shen Neng recommended marijuana to treat gout, malaria, and rheumatism.
Fast forward to today, two of the almost 400 compounds found in herbal weed — THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or cannabidiol— has been shown to have a profound impact on chronic pain relief. Also known as cannabinoids, THC and CBD reduce inflammation when they bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the skin. Reduced inflammation means pain relief.
Besides its important role in pain management, most topical cannabis products are gaining popularity because they don’t alter your brain function. In short, you get marijuana’s analgesic effect without getting high.
Cannabis Reduces Muscle Pain in Multiple Sclerosis
For a start, a 2012 study performed at The University of Plymouth revealed that marijuana is twice as effective than placebo in providing relief from muscle spasms and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. Patients reported pain reduction after 12 weeks of use.
Cannabis Eases Arthritic Pain
People with arthritis know too well that it’s not only painful but can also be debilitating which in turn can have a negative impact on one’s quality of life. The good news is cannabis research for arthritis management shows promising results.
One study found that cannabis-based medicine has significantly helped patients with rheumatoid arthritis in terms of pain relief during joint movement, reducing pain while at rest, and improved their quality of sleep. The same pain-relieving effect has been linked to CBD oil.
Cannabis Relieves Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is a result of injured nerves and does not usually respond to narcotic painkillers.
A double-blind UK study set out to find if marijuana-based medicine (via oral spray) can help ease neuropathic pain. The researchers concluded that clinically important improvements in pain and sleep quality were observed among subjects using the spray. Furthermore, the spray was well tolerated and no new safety concerns were identified.
Times Are Changing
No one knows what the future exactly looks like for cannabis as a medical treatment. Yet one thing’s for sure — marijuana use for pain relief is here to stay.
If you want to learn how cannabis can specifically help you deal with your chronic pain, drop a message and we’ll get back to you as soon we can. We’d be delighted to help!