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Can Marijuana treat Pain?

Marijuana for Pain

For patients with chronic pain-related disorders, medical cannabis could indicate remedy for persistent, life-altering conditions. Whether clients are experiencing chronic disorders like fibromyalgia or have symptoms related to the treatment of another illness like cancer, medicinal marijuana can assist improve clients’ quality of life by easing typical causes of discomfort like swelling.

man with a headache, migraine, pain

Marijuana and CBD have been used regularly for chronic and acute pain, offering relief in different ways.

  • Anti-inflammatory – Reduces swelling
  • Anti-anxiety – reduces stress and tension that contributes to it
  • Activates the human endocannabinoid system

It’s also far less addictive with fewer side effects than opioid treatments.

The Science is Mixed

Reading the studies and science research on the topic is as enlightening as reading the studies and science research on the condition. In a nut shell, doctors don’t really understand pain, and how the whole body responds and contributes to it. It’s like stress. And each person’s reaction to it varies. So the studies are as mixed as the viewpoints on the topic, and on the scientific biases.

But the human body is designed to cope, and accept the stimuli for pain relief, and that applies to the cannabinoid types as well. So we are biologically programmed to accept the help cannabis offers.

The continued mixed outcomes of the studies are also because there are so many different types and causes of pain, and it’s impossible, and wholly unethical, to really perform pain-specific studies, on humans definitely, but with growing concern on animal studies. The format of the research then is inherently biased with existing users and study design, which doesn’t account for underlying conditions as much and it’s effects on tolerance.

How to use Medical Marijuana for Pain

With so many options for consumption available, it’s not always clear the best option for the different conditions, needs, and opportunities. Which option you choose depends on the type of pain you have, and your own personal needs and reactions.

What form you choose may also depend on the type of pain you’re suffering from, and if the pain is a primary condition or an underlying one. It also depends on your preference.

cannabis forms

From smoking to vaping, edibles to oils, there are options that will suit your specific needs for your specific concerns. If you are subject to drug testing in your life, you will want to consider a hemp-derived CBD isolate that contains zero THC, while if you’re not concerned by that you may want to try a full-spectrum CBD option that allows for the full entourage effect.

If you’re in a position where you have the option of fully legal medical marijuana, you can discuss different strains with your doctor and cannabis expert to find the right match for your needs and lifestyle, as well as the best format for use.

The thing about pain is that it’s personal, it’s individual. It may be part of another condition, or it may be chronic or acute. It’s always best to speak with your health care provider to determine the sources and triggers, to help discover the best solution for you, together.


While the FDA hasn’t approved any cannabis products for the treatment of pain, it’s been shown through anecdotal outcomes and reports from users and patients that indicate medical marijuana has been an effective treatment option. It not only eases tension and relaxes the mind and body, it also reduces inflammation, all of which contribute to the increase in pain and associated symptoms.

Always check with your health care provider when adding or changing your treatment regimen, and review any possibility of interactions with other medications you may be taking.

Individuals respond differently to the chemicals within the products, and there are different strains that may work for your specific needs.


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