Chronic pain is a frustrating condition. You may have days where you feel better, but even then, the pain is ever-present. The pain may not have a “root” cause, making it impossible to treat.
In most cases, management is the best chronic pain sufferers can hope for. Medical marijuana for chronic pain management is emerging as a possible treatment option.
How Effective Is It?
Opioid drugs have long been the treatment of choice for medical professionals looking to help patients with chronic pain. Unfortunately, opioids have many risks, including their highly addictive nature. The current opioid crisis has many rethinking just how freely these drugs should be prescribed.
Opioids are so often prescribed, however, it’s sometimes difficult to remember there are other treatment options. Medical marijuana for chronic pain management is one of those options.
Many people have their doubts about how effective medical marijuana is when it comes to managing chronic pain. How does it stack up against opioids?
You might think opioids are prescribed so often because they do the best job. That may not necessarily be true. New research shows medical marijuana may be just as effective, if not more so, for chronic pain management.
By the Numbers
You might want numbers on the possible effectiveness of medical marijuana for chronic pain management. A number of studies have provided those numbers. In one 2010 study, people claimed to have effectively managed their chronic pain with as little as three puffs of medical marijuana per day.
In other studies and anecdotal evidence provided by opioid users, it was suggested medical marijuana can lower a patient’s dependency on opioids for chronic pain management. In one study, opioid users claimed to be able to slash their dosages by up to 64 percent, just by having a minimal dose of medical marijuana.
If it takes so little to create such a large reduction in the need for opioids, medical marijuana may be even more effective for chronic pain management.
Medical marijuana isn’t just effective for chronic pain management, however. It’s also potentially safer than the opioid drugs typically prescribed.
First and foremost, medical marijuana is considered less addictive than opioid drugs. It may even be less addictive than tobacco and alcohol. This is important when using medical marijuana for chronic pain management because it will be used long term.
Opioids require higher dosages to achieve the same effects over time, meaning chronic pain sufferers will have to increase their dosages. In turn, this puts them at higher risk of death and overdose.
Medical marijuana, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to cause the body to develop the same tolerances. The dosage may not need to be increased. In fact, some research suggests less is more when it comes to medical marijuana.
Lower Risk of Addiction
Opioids are highly addictive substances. Medical marijuana, by contrast, may be less addictive. In turn, it may be easier to reduce its use if you ever need to. Since you’re also not likely to need an increased dose, you’re less likely to need to mix prescriptions.
Medical marijuana has a host of benefits, and studies suggest it may be as effective as opioids. Consider medical marijuana for chronic pain management.