Nerve pain, also known as neuropathy, is damage to the sensory, motor, or automatic nerves, which leads to constant and disruptive physical pain. While the symptoms vary from person to person, they typically include a burning, stabbing, or tingling sensation in extremities, such as the hands or feet. This complex condition currently affects nearly 20 million people in the United States alone.
When it comes to treating nerve pain, many patients are prescribed a long list of pain relievers, including dangerous painkillers such as opioids. However, most people are unaware that using medical marijuana for nerve pain may provide better pain management without the risks.
Here are four reasons to consider medical marijuana for nerve pain:
1. It’s Considered to Be Safer
While the use of marijuana is stigmatized, studies now show that long-term use of cannabis for managing pain symptoms is likely safe. In fact, a study completed in 2015 found that patients who regularly use cannabis for pain management reported no greater risk of adverse effects than non-cannabis users.
Compared to other options, such as opioids, medical marijuana is likely safer, more controlled, and overall a healthier option for nerve pain patients.
2. It May Be Highly Effective
For anyone suffering from chronic nerve pain who hasn’t found relief in traditional medicine, medical marijuana is a good option. Studies report medical marijuana has been shown to provide relief to patients who have otherwise been unresponsive to other forms of treatment. This may give nerve pain sufferers the chance to try a natural form of medicine that may have higher rates of effectiveness in otherwise unresponsive patients.
Medical marijuana works with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Peripheral nerves in the body that detect pain sensations contain cannabinoid receptors�”any form of cannabis consumption impacts these receptors. When THC and CBD enter the body, they activate the receptors that regulate the neurotransmitter and central nervous system, which, in turn, may manage pain levels.
A number of different studies have been conducted and the results seem positive. For example, patients reported lower dosages of medical cannabis reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep, and were better tolerated than medium dosages of traditional neuropathic pain medication.
3. You Have Choices
When prescribed medication by your doctor, you often have little say in what’s being prescribed. Your doctor makes a decision based on what they think is right and you’re expected to comply with treatment.
However, when using medical marijuana for nerve pain, you have more control over what strain you try, when you consume it, and how you consume it. While there strains and dosages are recommended during authorization, medical marijuana patients are encouraged to experiment until they find a combination that’s the right fit for them.
4. The Risk of Addiction May Be Lower
One of the biggest benefits of medical marijuana is the reduction of the addiction risk. Studies state it’s rare to become addicted to cannabis. Although painkillers can treat constant nerve pain, patients are also much more likely to develop dangerous dependences on them.
When it comes to treating nerve pain, medical marijuana is considered by many to be a safer, more controllable, and effective option that nerve pain sufferers should consider.