A chronic condition is an illness or disease with a duration of 3 months or longer. Chronic conditions affect over 40% of the worlds’ population with a quarter of the population dealing with two or more chronic conditions. Chronic conditions can range from mild to severe effects while remaining a major contributor to death rates. Individuals dealing with chronic conditions know how expensive it is to get treatment and to keep the condition under control. Some may not even be able to afford medication at all. Luckily for us, there is Cannabis. Cannabis is easily accessible and by far a more affordable medication with fewer side-effects than pharmaceuticals.
Let’s have a look at the worlds’ top 5 chronic conditions, based on cost and the number of people affected:
Chronic Heart Conditions
Chronic heart condition is an umbrella term for many heart conditions and problems which lasts from 3 months to indefinitely. These conditions include, but not limited to, strokes, heart attacks, angina, hypertensive heart disease, and inflammatory heart disease. Heart conditions are the leading cause of death in America. Chronic heart conditions are caused by abnormal heartbeats, heart defects, weak heart muscles, infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, drug abuse, stress, and anxiety as well as pharmaceutical medications. The effects of chronic heart conditions include pain, pressure, and discomfort.
Cancer as a Chronic Condition
Cancer may not be a singular event in an individuals’ life as it can be closely monitored and treated while never completely going away. Cancer as a chronic condition is often with types of cancer like ovarian cancer, chronic leukemias and includes some lymphomas. Symptoms of cancer include, but are not limited to pain, eating problems (including nausea and vomiting), changes in bodily functions, neurological problems such as headaches and seizures as well as changes in weight. Cancer can be caused by genetics, smoking, radiation and the sun, viruses, and infections and by insufficient diets and exercise.
Chronic Mental Disorders
Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other degenerative diseases, as well as schizophrenia and epilepsy, are examples of chronic mental disorders that are commonly found within the population. These types of chronic conditions affect the way a person feels, thinks and acts. Symptoms of chronic mental conditions include, but are not limited to: changes in emotion, excessive fear or worry, withdrawal from social life, major changes in eating habits, sleeping problems and an inability to cope with stress. Chronic mental conditions are caused by genetics, environmental stressor exposure before birth and impaired brain chemistry.
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Asthma and COPD are both chronic disorders concerning respiratory processes, more specifically, an individuals’ airflow. Airflow may be restricted or become irregular and intense. Asthma develops in childhood as a result of allergies and eosinophils while COPD develops in adults who are frequent smokers. Shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, pain, chest tightness as well as coughing and wheezing. Asthma can be controlled and even reverse while COPD is progressive.
Chronic Bone And Joint Disorders
The most common and costly chronic joint disorders are osteoporosis and other forms of arthritis. Chronic joint conditions also rank high in common types of chronic pain experienced amongst adults. These chronic conditions are typically caused by infection, aging, and injury. Effects include, but are not limited to pain, swelling, immobility, stiffness, changes in weight and inflammation. Arthritis impairs an individuals’ ability to work and complete day to day functions.
How Cannabis Can Help:
Although these are the top 5 chronic conditions… diabetes, obesity, chronic Lyme disease, chronic liver disease, and chronic kidney disease are following along closely. However, just like the top 5 chronic conditions, they too suffer under the medicinal power of cannabis while its bearer takes control and finds relief.
Cannabinoids found in cannabis react and bind to cannabinoid receptors which are located all over our bodies. Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabigerol (CBG) and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are cannabinoids which are currently in the spotlight of research for their medicinal benefits and healing properties. Cannabis may not be able to completely heal you of your chronic condition, but it is most certainly a cost-effective, easily accessible solution for managing your conditions and their side-effects. Let’s not forget that cannabis has far fewer side-effects and ones that are not as severe, like those you might experience from pharmaceutical medications.
Cannabis can help aid with the following:
- Pain management
- Weight management and appetite stimulation
- Preventing and management of nausea and vomiting
- Assists in sleeping
- Increases lung capacity
- Regulates blood pressure and diabetes
- Manages and regulates stress and anxiety
- Stops and prevents seizures
- Stimulates and speeds up bone healing processes
If you need to stay medicated throughout the day, consider micro-dosing cannabis. Otherwise, you can make use of oils, capsules, joints, vaporizers, and edibles. If you decided to consume cannabis just for your chronic condition, find your optimal effect with the minimum cannabis usage. That will take some experimentation but take advantage of that to also find the strains you like and operate best on.
Chronic conditions are not only common and expensive, but they are also preventable if the right measures are taken in advance. Many people tend to ignore symptoms until they are too challenging to handle, which may then be too late. If you experience more than one of any of the symptoms, consult your doctor and keep cannabis in mind when considering treatment for chronic conditions, especially ones that involve pain.