Medical Marijuana for Pain: Benefits and Considerations

Medical marijuana is becoming an increasingly prevalent treatment method for pain. It may serve as an alternative to medications such as opioids for people suffering from chronic pain and various conditions. However, medical marijuana has not yet been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and further research into its effects are required. 

Here, we’ll explore how medical marijuana can work to reduce both chronic and disease-related pain, along with risk factors and notable benefits. 

CBD Vs. THC

Marijuana is a plant containing cannabinoids, a combination of chemicals. THC and CBD are the two cannabinoids noted in medicinal uses for marijuana. THC is the cause of a “high” that may be experienced after smoking or consuming marijuana. It also stimulates the reward system of the brain, thus minimizing feelings of pain. 

CBD, on the other hand, can help relieve pain and provide medicinal benefits. It works with pain receptors in the brain to reduce discomfort. CBD can also provide anti-inflammatory effects to aid in pain relief. CBD doesn’t cause a high and isn’t addictive. 

Marijuana for Chronic Pain Relief

Medical marijiana has been shown to have properties that can reduce chronic pain relating to:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain (also called neuropathy)
  • Joint pain
  • Spasticity 
  • Nausea (including nausea caused by fibromyalgia)

Risks of Marijuana for Pain

While marijuana is a promising treatment option for pain, it doesn’t pose certain risks, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Dependence, addiction, or withdrawal symptoms
  • Reduced coordination and concentration
  • Interactions with other drugs
  • Impaired breathing
  • Compromised memory
  • Increased heart rate

Benefits of Marijuana for Pain

In the treatment of pain, marijuana provides these key benefits:

  • Marijuana can help reduce pain and inflammation for a broad range of conditions. 
  • Marijuana may be used as an alternative to opioids and other types pf pain-relieving drugs. Opioids are extremely addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Marijuana may greatly improve the general wellbeing of individuals with debilitating conditions like cancer. 
  • In addition to chronic pain, marijuana may provide benefits in the treatment of seizures and mental illness, as well as in chemotherapy cancer treatment. 

While there is research yet to be completed on medical marijuana as a treatment for pain, it shows encouraging signs in the management of pain and inflammation. As a potential alternative for opioids, people suffering from various conditions may benefit from medical marijuana use. Consider contacting your local licensed medical marijuana doctor to learn more.

 

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Medical marijuana is available in Florida,
however, remains illegal under federal law.