Cannabis and CBD for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is pain that continues beyond the expected period of healing for an illness or injury. It can lead to a chronic stress response, which causes blood pressure and heart rate to rise.
Most of the time the pain goes away after the injury heals. Though, if the pain lasts more than a month or two, it may become chronic. Sometimes even the pain becomes chronic because the underlying problem does not heal. Arthritis, for example, induces long-term inflammation and joint damage and pain as much as the inflammation continues. This could be the result of nerve damage that transmits pain (neuropathic pain), but chronic pain often affects the entire nervous system, often indefinitely.
When any form of pain persists for a long time, changes can occur in the spinal cord and brain that change the way we experience unpleasant stimuli, which can lead to severe discomfort with little or no external stimulation. Many chronic pains can be very difficult to treat and can become so frustrating for patients that depression or other emotional problems often accompany it. It is a type of pain that is one of the most challenging problems that a pain management expert can face.
Pain is partially an emotional experience and is also very subjective, so the correlation between pain and actual damage to the body varies greatly. Although these two factors are widely recognized by pain professionals, many general healthcare practitioners often ignore them, and in general, people tend to view pain as a solely sensory experience that reflects underlying tissue damage. As a consequence, the doctor’s knowledge of persistent pain, and how most patients are diagnosed and treated, has significant gaps.
Chronic pain’s physical effects include:
- Lack of energy, and
- Limited ability to move about
- Changes in appetite
- Tense muscles
The emotional effects include:
- Fear of re-injury
Such concerns will hinder a person’s ability to return to their normal or leisure activities. Many kinds of research show the more serious the suffering is, the more severe these things are.
This disease is an undesirable sense of discomfort that persists over a long period of time or progresses. Chronic pain persists over time, and is often resistant to medical treatment, as opposed to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable.
Chronic pain may be associated with various medical problems including (but not limited to) diabetes, arthritis, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, cancer, shingles, sciatica, and prior trauma or disability. Such pain may be compounded by physical and/or psychological factors.
People suffering from chronic pain can have stressful physical effects on the body. These include tense muscles, reduced ability to move about, lack of stamina and increases in appetite. Chronic pain’s emotional effects include fatigue, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. This apprehension may limit the ability of an individual to return to his daily work or leisure activities.
It is a situation, often disabling, that affects every aspect of your life. It could also make the simplest of things, like buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes, a fight. With time, the disease takes its toll, and because of the constant struggle with your suffering, you may find yourself getting down and frustrated. Unlike temporary pain that often resolves within days or weeks, due to its long-lasting nature, chronic pain is often significantly more impactful and is likely to influence every patient differently.
There are however three main causes of chronic pain that have the most effect on patients. Chronic pain types common to all include; neuropathic pain occurs as a result of any nerve damage, visceral pain originates from an organ disturbance, and somatic pain that happens when pain is felt by an external factor on a person
How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Marijuana or cannabis contains compounds that can ease pain, nausea and other symptoms. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the components of marijuana that most studies rely on for pain relief. Years worth of anecdotal evidence pointed to marijuana’s efficacy in treating chronic pain problems. Medical and scientific experts are now getting to grips with what many marijuana supporters have known for years.
According to a Harvard-led study of 28 trials using cannabis for the management of psychiatric and pain conditions published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of marijuana for chronic pain is backed by reliable proof. Of the research analyzed, all six standardized chronic pain trials found a significant increase in cannabis use.
In fact, a study from the University of Michigan published in the Journal of Pain in March 2016 found that marijuana:
- Reduced opioid usage by an average of 64 percent.
- Decreased side effects of other medications.
- Improved quality of life.
Our body generates its own cannabis-like chemicals that affect various processes such as inflammation and pain. Because of these natural cannabinoid receptors we all have within our bodies, cannabis works well to treat chronic discomfort, although more research needs to be done to determine specifically how marijuana works to alleviate pain.
Without help, it can be hard for patients to deal with chronic pain. Medical marijuana and the conditions of pain are closely related to relieving symptoms that you may have suffered for a long time.
While marijuana is widely admired for its medicinal and beneficial qualities, many patients still enjoy the fact that it also provides a recovery plan that includes several different consumption methods. Depends entirely on the state legislation that defines your area, you may not be able to access marijuana in any form — including in states with a legal medical marijuana program. If your treatment is vital for the ability to minimize discomfort quickly, consider discussing this intake method with your physician in greater depth.
Cannabis may also be consumed by capsules tablets, tinctures, and edibles. Alternatively, start using a medication, such as an ointment or gel, for concentrated pain treatment. Explore your choice with a licensed pot practitioner for more information about the drug market and the approaches best suited to your needs.
As always, talk with your physician about what strain of medical marijuana is expected to work best for your type of pain.