Cannabis and Chronic Pain: A Promising Alternative Treatment

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Medical cannabis has been shown in preliminary studies to have a positive effect on managing chronic pain, which makes it an attractive and safe alternative to opiates in chronic pain alleviation for a variety of conditions.

Reliant heavily on the use of the cannabinoid cannabidiol, medical cannabis is growing in popularity in the many states that have sanctioned its use. For medical science, the applications of medical-grade cannabis are an exciting new frontier, with many initial studies showing immense promise for the applications of cannabinoid-derived medications in several fields. Among the most exciting of these is the management of chronic pain.

Because chronic pain has many causes, it is often difficult to adequately address; patients often respond remarkably differently to different treatment options. Thus, testing out a barrage of different treatments from pharmaceutical drugs to complementary and alternative methods have become a standard practice for medical practitioners, with emphasis favoring non-invasive treatments with minimal impact on the patient in the long run.

Medical cannabis, when properly administered, is generally considered safe, and knowledgeable physicians can safely allow patients to try medical cannabis for themselves and report on any improvementsA certified dispensary can provide patients in Tulsa with ready access to high-quality medical cannabis products.

Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol is one of the many compounds found in many strains of cannabis. Medical cannabis is derived from breeds of cannabis known to produce significant quantities of cannabidiol. Cannabidiol responds differently compared with most compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound responsible for cannabis’s trademark high.

Rather than latching onto the brain’s neuroreceptors directly, cannabidiol stimulates the production of the body’s natural anti-inflammatory receptors, which can help manage pain without the risks of addiction. Instead of blocking signals the way opioids do, cannabidiol interferes with the signals associated with the perception of pain.  Medical cannabis overall is a more attractive option for both doctors and patients due to its lack of the dangers posed by opioid painkillers.

The Evidence

Anecdotal evidence strongly supports cannabidiol’s role in chronic pain management. Although it has not shown effectiveness in relieving acute, severe pain, where its effects are simply not strong enough, it has shown immense promise in the management of many types of chronic pain associated with a variety of medical conditions.

Several studies on medical cannabis in recent years have yielded mainly positive effects on its effectiveness in managing chronic pain. Medical-grade cannabis is also a known muscle relaxant, which makes it popular for alleviating pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as fibromyalgia and in easing tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.

A Safer Alternative

Current studies are still exploring the full extent of how medical cannabis can be used to manage pain from various other sources, which can reveal when and how cannabidiol can be utilized to mitigate pain. Its potential to curb the growing abuse of opioids have made medical cannabis an attractive alternative for many medical practitioners, especially in light of recent evidence.

Cancer patients have reported a 64% reduction in opioid painkiller use when using medical cannabis to address chronic pain. These patients also reported a marked increase in their quality of life and fewer side effects associated with medications. States where patients can be prescribed medical cannabis also report a 5.88 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions and a 24.8 percent decrease in the annual number of deaths to opioid overdoses.

In addition, patients have also reported that medical cannabis lacks the sedative effects that opioids have, and are capable of resuming their regular activities with a better presence of mind.

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