While medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for almost 20 years now, adoption by the medical field has been slow. Many doctors and other healthcare professionals question the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine. Research into its various uses has been slowly emerging, impeded in part by the complex legal status of medical cannabis in many countries.
While Canada legalized cannabis for medical purposes in 2001, research in this country has also been slow. With recreational legalization happening in Canada later this year and across the US, more research studies are underway, and it’s hoped more evidence will emerge.
One relatively well-researched area is medical cannabis for chronic pain. The body of research on cannabis’s effectiveness as a pain killer is relatively large compared to other areas of inquiry, and many medical professionals have slowly come to accept medical cannabis as a potentially effective treatment for pain.
If you’ve been wondering about medical cannabis and chronic pain, here’s everything you need to know.
The Most Common Use for Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis for chronic pain is the most common medicinal usage of cannabis in Canada. Of all the potential uses for medical cannabis currently under investigation, chronic pain is the best researched. Most studies agree that management of chronic pain with medical cannabis appears to be effective.
Medical professionals have been slow to adopt medical cannabis as a potential treatment for any number of ailments, particularly because of a lack of high-quality evidence. Chronic pain is the one condition many medical professionals feel medical cannabis has been proven to be an effective treatment.
Studies Claim It’s Effective
There’s a larger body of evidence to support cannabis’s effectiveness in this area.
The research tends to agree that medical cannabis is indeed effective for chronic pain. In fact, some studies even suggest it’s as effective or more effective than opioid pain killers physicians frequently prescribe.
The Solution to the Opioid Crisis?
The body of evidence suggesting medical cannabis for chronic pain may be as effective or more effective than opioids has some people questioning if it’s the solution to the current opioid crisis sweeping most of North America. In Canada, the crisis worsened in 2017, with deaths projected to number around 4,000.
The crisis was created in large part by healthcare professionals using opioids as a “go to” for chronic pain and similar conditions. Now, medical professionals and patients alike are wondering if medical cannabis for chronic pain is a better alternative.
The reported effectiveness of cannabis is one reason people are advocating for its increasing use. Its reported safety compared to opioids is another. Cannabis has has fewer side effects, and those it does have are much less severe than those of opioids. In addition, it appears medical cannabis doesn’t have the same addictive qualities.
It’s Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
You may believe medical cannabis is all the same. The truth is medical cannabis exists in many different strains, and even in different formats, such as oils. As a result, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Different strains will help different people cope with different pains. The result is a highly customized solution to help you treat your particular chronic pain condition.
If you’re wondering if medical cannabis for chronic pain is right for you, discuss the subject with your healthcare provider today and explore the possibilities.