Marijuana advocates have been using weed for pain for years, and there’s a wealth of anecdotal proof that points to the effectiveness of cannabis to deal with persistent pain conditions. Nowadays, medical and clinical communities are overtaking what many marijuana advocates have actually known for many years.
What do the studies say about Using Weed for Pain
According to a Harvard-led evaluation of 28 research studies of cannabinoids to deal with medical and discomfort problems published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, using marijuana for this condition is supported by quality proof.
Of the studies evaluated, all six generalized chronic discomfort research studies discovered a substantial enhancement through utilizing cannabis.
In addition, a study from the University of Michigan from March 2016 and published in the Journal of Pain showed that marijuana:
- Improved quality of life.
- Lowered opioid usage by an average of 64 percent.
- Reduced adverse effects of other medications.
Your body develops its own cannabis-like chemicals that affect numerous processes like swelling and pressure. It’s believed that marijuana works well to treat these conditions due to these natural cannabinoid receptors all of us have within our bodies, although more research study requires to be done to ascertain exactly how cannabis works.
Harvard Professor Weighs in
According to Peter Grinspoon, MD, a Boston physician who is a professor at Harvard Medical School:
“The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve, if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD.
“In particular, marijuana appears to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general. This is an area where few other options exist, and those that do, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or opiates are highly sedating. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely out of it and disengaged.
“Along these lines, marijuana is said to be a fantastic muscle relaxant, and people swear by its ability to lessen tremors in Parkinson’s disease. I have also heard of its use quite successfully for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.”
Recent Research and Studies
Since this is a top consideration for the prescribing and use of medical marijuana, whether it’s chronic or acute, stand alone or as part of an underlying condition, it’s not a surprise that there are a number of studies and significant research on the topic being done.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): Marijuana and Pain
- NCBI: Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
- PAIN Journal: An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia
- US Pharmacist Journal: Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Marijuana has been a well reported therapy for pain, from chronic to acute, for a very long time. The science is beginning to catch up and not only support these findings, but also help understand why, and to begin to develop new, more effective treatments. While some doctors have noted that the cannabinoid content of most medical marijuana products may be too strong for patients, stronger than they would normally prescribe, it’s important to note that there is a different effect within the body to these chemicals, and therefore it is critical to speak to your doctor and dispensary practitioner to ensure you have the right strength and product for your overall needs.