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How is Medical Marijuana Revolutionizing Pain Management?

Mar 8

Medical marijuana is revolutionizing pain management with its ability to relieve chronic and acute pain without the traditional side effects of opioids. In recent years, more and more studies have shown that medical marijuana in Missouri has a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health disorders. Although it still isn’t universally legal in every state, a growing number of states are embracing cannabis as part of their healthcare systems and recognizing its potential therapeutic value. In this blog post, we will explore how medical marijuana is helping people manage their pain in ways never before thought possible.

The Endocannabinoid System: A Primer

Our bodies are naturally equipped with all the tools we need to regulate physiological responses, including pain. This system is known as the endocannabinoid system. It helps us maintain balance within our bodies by acting as a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that control essential functions like appetite, mood, and immune response. Not only does this system affect how we experience pain, but it has also been proven to be an essential source of natural relief from it. Understanding how our body's systems work allows us to control and manage our well-being more effectively.

Cannabinoids: What Are They?

Cannabinoids are the naturally-occurring compounds found in cannabis that have therapeutic and medicinal properties, making them important components of medical marijuana. As our bodies are equipped with endocannabinoid systems to process these compounds, cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with them for their effects. THC, for example, is known for its psychoactive properties that lead to a ‘high’ feeling, whereas CBD is more sought-after for its anxiolytic and analgesic qualities. Regardless of the type or form of cannabinoid you take, unlocking their potential benefits begins with understanding how they interact with our endocannabinoid system.

THC vs CBD: What's the Difference?

THC and CBD are two compounds found in the same plant species - cannabis sativa - but they produce very different effects. THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis and can induce a feeling of euphoria. On the other hand, CBD has no intoxicating properties but offers powerful relief from inflammation and pain. Both compounds have potential therapeutic benefits, depending on an individual's unique needs, making them valuable therapeutic tools for treating various conditions.

How Medical Marijuana Works for Pain Relief?

When dealing with chronic pain, medical marijuana can be an effective and natural solution. Introducing THC and CBD into the body intercepts pain signals before they reach our brains, allowing us to get on with life without relying on over-the-counter drugs. It is achieved through THC binding to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, while CBD modulates those receptors' activity and reduces inflammation all over the body. In this way, medical marijuana can offer hope for those suffering from relentless pain.

Conditions That Can Benefit from Medical Marijuana

While research is ongoing and regulations vary by state and country, there are several conditions for which medical marijuana has shown promise as a treatment option:

  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer-related symptoms (nausea/vomiting)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Epilepsy/seizures

Side Effects: What You Need to Know?

It is important to be aware of the possible side effects of medical marijuana. While they tend to be milder than typical prescription drugs, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and changes in appetite and mood can all result if you choose to use medical marijuana. Make sure that you thoroughly educate yourself on the potential side effects so that you know what to look out for and how to adjust your dosage accordingly. If a side effect persists or worsens, you must speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

Legalization: Where Things Stand Today

The current landscape of marijuana legalization in the US has come a long, long way. With more than half of states now allowing medical cannabis to be used in some form, people across the country have access to a natural remedy that can address various conditions - from chronic pain to anxiety. While regulations and restrictions on use may vary geographically and depending on condition, this widespread acceptance of marijuana’s healing properties is a significant breakthrough for those seeking safe, effective care outside of traditional medicine.

Other Forms of Cannabis-Based Medicine

In addition to traditional smoked or edible forms of cannabis consumption, there are now several pharmaceutical-grade medications containing cannabinoids available by prescription:

Sativex (nabiximols): 

A mouth spray containing both THC and CBD is approved for treating multiple sclerosis-related spasticities.

Epidiolex (cannabidiol): 

An oral solution approved for treating certain types of epilepsy.

Dronabinol (Marinol): 

A synthetic form of THC is used primarily for managing nausea/vomiting related to chemotherapy.

Combining Medical Marijuana with Other Treatments

Combining medical marijuana and other treatments may be the key to finding relief from chronic pain or other medical conditions. Studies have shown that, when used in combination with physical or occupational therapy, acupuncture, and other treatments, medical marijuana can be beneficial for many people. In fact, many medications that are intended only for these conditions don't have the same level of success in treating them as medical marijuana does when supplemented by other forms of treatment. Medical science is making powerful strides daily, and it's incredibly encouraging to know that this ancient treatment can now be used effectively to help so many people.

Finding a Reputable Provider

Navigating the medical marijuana landscape can be overwhelming, but finding a reputable provider is essential if you're looking for relief from chronic pain or other symptoms. Do your research and select one who is appropriately licensed and knowledgeable in cannabis-based medicine. Also, reach out to your primary care physician to ensure they are comfortable with their choice of provider. Working collaboratively together with both providers is the key to getting the best results.

Bottom Line

The medical marijuana revolution has only begun - and so much progress is yet to be made. From doctors to patients, the effects of medical marijuana are undeniable and continue to bring a promising future for pain management. As knowledge and scientific research continue to expand in this field, the potential for medical marijuana will empower us with numerous new possibilities for addressing and treating persistent pain. As these incredible opportunities open up for us, let’s stay encouraged and look forward to the positive outcomes that will follow. Medical marijuana can reduce our pain and improve the quality of our lives.