Chronic pain can be difficult to manage. The best many patients can hope for is effective management of their pain to improve their quality of life and allow them to live as close to pain-free as possible.
While cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legal in Canada for almost two decades now, its use in the medical field has only been seeing significant growth recently. The most common use of medical cannabis is chronic pain management, as the largest body of evidence for medical marijuana is in the area of chronic pain.
If you’ve been contemplating medical marijuana for chronic pain management, you need to know the facts.
The Most Accepted Use
Medical professionals have been slow to warm to medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment for any health condition. This is usually because the evidence for cannabis’s effectiveness is relatively limited and often poor quality. It’s understandable that medical professionals remain skeptical. There is much promising research going on right now, but more thorough investigations over the longer term will tell people more about what cannabis can and can’t do.
The largest body of evidence currently exists in the area of medical marijuana for chronic pain management. This is the most common reason to be authorized medical cannabis in Canada. The body of research evidence supporting the effectiveness of medical marijuana for chronic pain management has led to more medical professionals slowly accepting this as a potential treatment for chronic pain patients.
It Could Solve the Opioid Crisis
Until very recently, opioids were the treatment of choice for medical practitioners working with chronic pain patients. Opioid prescriptions doubled between 2006 and 2011, and they have continued to rise year over year.
Over-prescription of opioids is one of the leading causes of the current crisis. Opioids have long been believed to be the most effective pain treatment, but they’re also highly addictive and have many dangerous side effects. They may also not be as effective as initially believed, and they don’t provide patients with a high quality of life in many cases.
Medical marijuana for chronic pain management appears to be an effective alternative to opioids. Cannabis doesn’t seem to have the same addictive qualities as opioid medications do, and it has fewer and less severe side effects. The research evidence suggests it could be just as effective as opioids.
With these facts in hand, many people are wondering if medical marijuana for chronic pain management could be part of the solution to the current opioid crisis.
A Customizable Solution
People are unique, and individuals’ bodies react to different medications in diverse ways. This is as true of opioids as it is of medical cannabis. The difference, however, is there are many different strains of medical marijuana for chronic pain management.
While THC and CBD are the best known and most frequently encountered cannabinoids, there are many others active in medical cannabis. While not all of them are equally effective and research is ongoing, most appear to be helpful when it comes to managing chronic pain. All of them produce slightly differing effects.
This means different cannabis strains, with different mixes and concentrations of various active cannabinoids, are possible. You may be able to find a strain that will help you manage your particular chronic pain effectively. Some strains may be more effective than others. Once you’ve found your ideal strain, your dosage can also be adjusted to the optimal level.
This is clearly not the one-size-fits-all solution patients sometimes encounter with other medications.
Talk to a medical professional about medical cannabis. It could be the right solution for you.