Here’s why cannabis might be able to help control your pain
Whether due to accident or illness, pain is the most common reason that people seek medical assistance. But because pain has many causes, it can be a vexing problem to treat. In the pursuit of better pain relievers, people discovered the pain-relieving properties of cannabis.
For pain patients, cannabis is known as a safer alternative to opioids and other prescription pain medications. It’s also more effective for long-term use than many over-the-counter remedies. If you suffer from pain and want to try cannabis for relief, here’s what you need to know before lighting up a joint.
Types of pain that cannabis can ease
Muscular pain is one of the most common forms of pain that cannabis can help treat.
One study indicates that 94 percent of patients with HIV experienced significant muscle pain relief. Similarly, research shows that medical cannabis is effective in treating muscle pain among chronic pain patients.
Nerve pain is a common result of physical trauma, illnesses or medical treatments. It is often persistent and intense and can be debilitating if not treated effectively.
One study shows that cannabis lessened the daily pain intensity experienced by patients with chronic nerve pain. Another study reveals that symptoms of pain were significantly improved in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Cannabis also boosts mood and curbs depression and anxiety symptoms, which in turn reduces pain. One study found that patients reported significantly less severe symptoms of depression after cannabis treatments.
Like mental health symptoms, sleep disturbances often accompany and exacerbate pain. Cannabis improves both the duration and quality of patients’ nightly rest. Research suggests that cannabis increases patients’ average sleep duration, as well as the amount of sleep they describe as “good quality.”
Know your cannabinoids
If you’re interested in taking advantage of cannabis’ pain-killing effects, it’s important to know what each cannabinoid can do.
The most commonly known compound in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. One of nearly 60 cannabinoids, THC is associated with the ‘high’ effect that users experience. It is also an effective pain-killing agent that can offer relief from a wide range of conditions.
Another prominent chemical in cannabis is cannabidiol or CBD. It’s an anti-inflammatory agent that is sometimes used to treat the pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
What to look for in cannabis and ways to ingest it
Strains for pains
When searching for cannabis strains for pain relief, you should consider how much THC and CBD the strain contains. Generally, strains that contain high amounts of both THC and CBD, such as Harlequin, are effective. High CBD: THC ratio strains are also common for pain.
If you experience inflammation, but want to go about your day normally, try a high-CBD low-THC strain, like ACDC. It can provide relief without much of an impact on mental function. If you experience higher levels of pain and want something to take your mind off it, try a high-THC low-CBD strain, like Purple Kush.
If you don’t want to smoke it…
The route of administration may also play a role in the pain-relieving effects of cannabis. Cannabis can take the form of flower or bud, tincture, oil and edible. You can smoke it, vaporize it, ingest it as an edible, take it sublingually (under the tongue) or apply it topically. Smoking or vaping cannabis generally produces rapid effects, while oral forms take longer to work, but may last longer. For localized pain, such as joint or muscle pain, many people prefer topicals or creams.
Depending on the composition of the strain, the amount you consume and the way you consume it, it may take some time before you find the most effective way to use cannabis to treat your pain.
Depending on the severity of your pain, you can either seek out cannabis medically or recreationally. Consult your doctor if you think medical cannabis is right for you.
Cannabis shows significant promise in the field of pain management. It has the capacity to change lives, and it might just change yours too!