Pain is something we are all familiar with – whether from sleeping on our necks wrong or stubbing our toe on the door – but chronic pain is a different beast. While acute pain comes and goes situationally, chronic pain typically lasts for six months or more. Fortunately, medical marijuana may help individuals living with chronic pain finally experience relief.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is categorized as pain that lasts for longer than six months or past the time of normal tissue healing. In some cases, individuals with chronic pain may have a recognizable cause, such as a serious injury or medical condition. In other cases, the source of chronic pain is unclear, and there may be no way to pinpoint what is causing it.
What Does Chronic Pain Feel Like?
Chronic pain is more than just an inconvenience – it can seriously impact your physical and mental health. In medical literature, chronic pain is classified as both a disease itself and a symptom of other diseases, such as cancer or arthritis. Because most cases of chronic pain are difficult to treat, medical marijuana may be able to help relieve some of the symptoms.
How Does Medical Marijuana Treat Chronic Pain?
While medical marijuana comes from the same plant as recreational cannabis, the prescribed version is designed to help patients with specific qualifying conditions find relief. When processed by the human body, cannabinoids (the active compounds found in cannabis) have tremendous effects on some of the body’s more important functions: hunger, mood, energy, inflammation, and even pain.
Medical marijuana contains active cannabinoids (THC and CBD) that may help treat chronic pain in several ways:
- Cannabinoids may reduce the perception of pain and inflammation
- THC and CBD bind with receptors in the brain associated with pain relief
- Cannabinoids boost mood and relieve anxiety and depression
Could Medical Marijuana Replace Opioids?
Opioids are narcotics that are commonly prescribed to treat chronic pain. However, opioids are highly addictive and responsible for the opioid crisis. Therefore, alternative therapies, such as cannabis, are often sought.
In a 2017 poll of nearly 3,000 medical marijuana patients, about one third stated that they had used opioids for pain in the past 6 months. The majority stated that marijuana provided equal pain relief, without the negative side effects. In fact, 97% of those polled indicated that they were able to take less opioids thanks to medical marijuana, with another 81% stating that marijuana by itself was more effective at managing pain than cannabis combined with opioids.
Research has also indicated that medical marijuana is one of the safest methods of treating chronic pain. Even though there are mild side effects associated with medical marijuana, they are little compared to the side effects of other medications.
Contact a Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
Medical marijuana has shown potential benefits in treating chronic pain and other pain-related disorders, providing relief and allowing patients to regain a high quality of life.
At MMTCFL, our Florida medical marijuana doctors can determine if you are eligible for medical marijuana and help you get your medical marijuana registration card. Get started with medical marijuana today by taking our online eligibility survey.