Medical marijuana is getting popular as a natural alternative to pain medications and opioids. It contains chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) that have ultimate medicinal properties. These cannabinoids can help ease pain caused by nerve damage, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and various other conditions.
With a medical marijuana card NY, you can buy, use, and possess cannabis for managing pain and other conditions. Other conditions in the NY MMJ qualifying conditions’ list include Crohn’s disease, AIDS, Cancer, Epilepsy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Neuropathies, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, etc.
Also Read- Use Medical Marijuana For Alleviating PTSD Symptoms
In this post, we are going to discuss what are the major pain symptoms, how can marijuana help chronic joint pain sufferers ease life, and top strains for fighting this condition.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
- Low back pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle spasms
Moreover, patients may also experience psychological effects. These include anxiety, sleep problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.
Marijuana For Pain Management
There are various causes of chronic pain. It usually occurs due to an injury or medical condition. Some of the common reasons behind the development of pain are—cancer, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, muscle strains, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and endometriosis.
Marijuana compounds such as THC and CBD are effective in managing pain, nausea, etc. Research says that the cannabinoids deliver natural effects, and don’t cause any unpleasant side-effects.
The psychoactive compound THC has a similar chemical structure as that of the naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the body. It works by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in the brain, thus delivering positive effects. In fact, THC activates the reward system of the brain, thus reducing pain levels.
There’s a wide range of studies conducted to evaluate the effects of marijuana use in pain management. Some of them are-
In 2015, a review of research on marijuana & cannabinoids use for managing various pain conditions was published. It reported that several trials showed positive results. Researchers suggested that cannabinoids may be useful in managing some types of chronic pain, such as neuropathy.
According to a research paper in 2016, cannabis use helped a 64 percent reduction in opioid use. Moreover, it improved the quality of life, fewer side-effects, and reduced medication use.
Does CBD Help?
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which interacts with the brain’s pain receptors, thus delivering pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
In a study published in Neurotherapeutics, researchers reported that CBD can help activate or inhibit chemical compounds in the body’s ECS. For instance, CBD stops the absorption of anandamide in the body. Anandamide is a compound associated with pain management. Increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream mean reduced pain levels.
Moreover, CBD can help in reducing cancerous tumors. Various studies have reported that the cannabinoid is effective in managing cancer chemotherapy side-effects.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) said that CBD can help in managing various side-effects related to chemotherapy, such as pain, vomiting, and appetite loss.
Are there any side-effects of CBD use?
Yes. Common side-effects associated with CBD are—fatigue, diarrhea, and change in appetite. Additionally, Cannabidiol may interact with certain OTC drugs and prescription medications, and deliver negative effects. For example, it’s recommended not to use CBD with medications with a grapefruit warning. So, always talk to a licensed doctor to seek professional help for CBD use for pain management.
Now, the question is—should you use THC, CBD, or combine THC & CBD. Well, it depends. Because everyone has a different condition and requires a customized treatment plan for managing their symptoms. However, medical experts believe that consuming the whole plant can deliver an entourage effect.
Marijuana vs Opioids For Pain Management
Opioids are traditional pain medications, which work by interacting with the nervous system. But, they are addictive and may lead to certain withdrawal symptoms.
So, is marijuana better than opioids? Well, it can be used as an alternative to addictive opioids. Researchers have conducted various surveys and studies on marijuana and opioids use for pain management.
According to a survey conducted on 3000 medical marijuana consumes, researchers noticed that 30 percent of the participants used opioids in the past six months. Moreover, 81 percent of the participants agreed that cannabis was more effective alone than mixing it with opioids.
In a cancer-related pain study published in 2010, participants were given oral sprays of a THC-CBD extract. Researchers compared the effects of the THC-CBD extract with opioids. The study reported that the extract delivered better pain-relieving effects.
Marijuana Strains For Chronic Pain
The type of cannabis strain you consume has a significant impact on the medicinal effects you receive. No two patients can have similar symptoms, thus they require different strains for managing their conditions. It’s good to do comprehensive research on cannabinoids’ effect on your body, and select the right strains that suit you the best.
Here are some of the best marijuana strains for chronic pain management-
- White Widow
- Northern Lights
- Sour Diesel
- Master Kush
- Cataract Kush
- Redwood Kush
- Blue Dream
- Bubba Kush
The COVID-19 Safest Alternatives to Cannabis Smoking
Although smoking is the most popular method of cannabis consumption, it’s not safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It may increase the risks of lung disease. However, you can opt for safer alternatives.
Also Read- How to Be Safe With Cannabis During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Cannabis Oils & Concentrates
Cannabis oils such as THC oils and CBD oils contain high concentrations of cannabinoids with alcohol or glycerine solutions. You can put a few drops of cannabis oil under the tongue and the cannabinoids will be absorbed through the mouth tissues. Marijuana concentrates can be consumed through dabbing or vaping.
These are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and creams, which can be applied directly to the skin. Topicals are particularly used for localized pain and inflammation relief. You can also buy transdermal patches, which are more potent than lotions.
Edibles are foods and beverages, which contain cannabinoids. So, you can eat or drink cannabinoids, and receive medicinal effects. You have a wide range of options—brownies, cookies, candies, etc.
Eating cannabis is one of the easiest methods of cannabis consumption. However, it doesn’t deliver quick effects as smoking and vaping do. You have to wait from 30 minutes to 1 hour after consumption to experience their effects.
Marijuana can be used as an effective treatment for chronic pain. It contains more than 100 cannabinoids, which are packed with medicinal properties. THC and CBD have amazing anti-inflammatory properties and can help in relieving pain, nausea, etc.
When compared to opioids, marijuana delivers better pain-relieving effects. It isn’t addictive. Cannabis compounds are available in various forms, such as oils, tinctures, concentrates, topicals, and edibles. These are smokeless methods of cannabis consumption and are safe to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To access cannabis for pain management legally, you need a doctor’s recommendation. With telemedicine, you can apply for your medical cannabis card NY from home. The process is-
- Sign up an account
- Talk to a licensed doctor through HIPAA-compliant platform
- Receive your MMJ rec letter via email